Tag Archives: roofing


Roofing systems take a beating. After all, they are typically the home’s first line of defense against the elements.

Like all of your home’s elements, roofs will eventually show their age through deterioration. During a recent inspection on Whidbey Island, I came across built-up roof coverings that were cracking—a phenomenon in the industry known as “alligatoring.” As you might guess, this means the roof was starting to resemble reptile skin.

In my report, I recommended further evaluation by a qualified contractor to make repairs as deemed necessary. I also recommended that the clients budget for re-seal coating of the roof coverings.If you have questions or comments about roofing or home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).


In my reports, I address flashing details (or the lack, thereof) quite often. Considering we live in a very wet environment, this makes perfect sense.

Today, I’d like to discuss metal drip-edge flashing details briefly. A drip-edge flashing detail is a material applied on a roof’s edge that gives the roof system more capacity to direct water away from the system.

Why is drip-edge flashing important? Well, lots of reasons, including:

• Insects and small pests are better deterred from infesting a roof system

• Water is better directed into building gutter systems and away from exteriors and foundations

• Shingles are better shielded from water damage

• Underlying rooflines are better protected from rot

I recently came across a home in Langley that was lacking drip-edge flashing. As a result, some of the roof system’s OSB sheathing was swelled and deteriorated. I advised them to address this as soon as possible.

If you have questions or comments about roofing systems or home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).


Your roof. 

How’s it going up there? Have you taken a trip to the top of your house recently to say “hello?” Have you even looked at it lately? 

If you haven’t checked in with your home’s roof coverings, you may want to sometime soon because here in the Pacific Northwest, weather can get wet and wild—and moisture can cause havoc with roofing systems if the systems are not adequately maintained. 

Today, I’m going to share some tips on how to care for asphalt composition roof systems. 

Below are some key points I’ll elaborate on in the video below. I hope you enjoy it!

• Treat your roof 2x annually

• Use zinc granules and powders

• Spray treatment can work

• Don’t pressure wash!

If you have questions or comments about roofing, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).


Every month, we seek to bring our readers insight from the worlds of home construction, home repair, and home maintenance straight from local Northwest Washington contractors in a segment we call “3 Questions.” Yep, you guessed it: we ask three questions, and the contractors answer them.

This month, we talk about roofing systems with Richard Steiner, president at Cascade Roofing Company Inc. in Burlington.

Q1: Do you have any advice, or pet peeves, to share with our audience about roofs? 

Please do research on your contractor, such as: 

• Are they licensed, bonded, and insured?

• How many years have they been in business?

• Are they recommended by the Better Business Bureau?

Q2: Do you perform roof repairs on an older roof installed by another contractor or is this too high of liability?

We do all types of repairs, old and new.  If another company may have installed the roof, check with them first to see if you still have a warranty.  If a warranty is still in place and we were to do the repair it could void your current warranty.

Q3: What’s your preferred method of roof ventilation and why? Soffit / gable vents, soffit / roof vents or soffit / ridge vents?

For roof ventilation, continuous ridge vent or can vents are our preferred method. We also use soffit vents, which are considered a positive air flow system whereas gable vents are deemed inadequate.

Bonus Q: What advice can you give homeowners about how to best maintain their roof system?

Roof maintenance is best done by a professional.  But if it’s not in the budget, we recommend moss treatment and keeping gutters and drains free from any debris.  Note:  Have a contractor install some tie off anchors before doing your own maintenance so that you can be safe on the roof.

About Cascade Roofing Company Inc.

Cascade Roofing Company Inc. provides commercial and residential roofing services throughout the Skagit Valley and Whidbey Island regions. With more than 30 years of experience, the company guarantees quality workmanship at affordable rates. The organization is also a proud member of The Skagit/Island Counties Builders Association (SICBA) and is accredited with the Better Business Bureau.

For more information, visit www.cascaderoofingcompanyinc.com .
A big “thanks” to Richard for his responses!

If you have questions or comments about home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).


Every month, we seek to bring our readers insight from the worlds of home construction, home repair, and home maintenance straight from local Northwest Washington contractors in a segment we call “3 Questions.” Yep, you guessed it: we ask three questions, and the contractors answer them.

This month, in our inaugural edition of “3 Questions,” we spoke with Norman Flint—owner of Timberline Construction LLC—about some common roofing questions.”

Q1: What’s your favorite type of composition roof and why?
“Architectural composition is the most universal and widely used. It has longevity and looks good on a variety of buildings.”

Q2: What are your thoughts about pressure washing roofs?
“Pressure washing roofs tend to cause more damage than benefit. Moss treatment products are best applied early. Consistent maintenance for moss is a better approach. Once the moss gets rooted, it is a difficult process of scraping and light pressure washing. It is best to address moss in the dry months when the roots of the moss are dried out.”

Q3: For asphalt composition roofs, what are the most significant issues you discover when inspecting roofs coming to end-of-life? 
“The biggest problem with any roof coming to the end-of-life is that owners wait too long to replace them. This leads to a host of issues, ranging from (roofing) blow off, leaks, water damage, and rot-related issues.”

About Timberline Construction
Timberline performs full construction services for new construction and remodels, including services related to roofing, siding, decks, additions, etc. The company—started in 1990 by Norman—is based in Eastsound on Orcas Island, and serves Orcas Island, Shaw Island and the outer islands.

“We are a small, hands-on crew, which ensures quality for our customers,” Flint said. A big thanks to Norman and Timberline for their responses.

Questions or comments about roofing or home inspections in general? Go “All” in and tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).

Vulnerable Roof-to-Wall Flashings

Tim Hance with All Islands Home Inspections discusses vulnerable roof-to-wall flashing details discovered at a recent home inspection. All Islands Home Inspections services all of Anacortes, the San Juan Islands, Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan, and Snohomish counties. If you’re looking for a home inspector that’s so thorough and experienced that you won’t get stuck buying the “Money Pit,” then you need All Islands Home Inspections working for you! We’ve inspected over 8,000 homes to date and feel we are simply the best in the industry. We look forward to working with you soon, THANKS!

Handyman DIY Roof Repairs

Tim Hance of All Islands Home Inspections documents handyman DIY repairs to a roof from a recent home inspection. Noted were displaced shingles, recently repaired and failed which, because they were displaced, I was able to tell there wasn’t a necessary tar paper underlayment installed. If you plan to conduct DIY repairs on your roof, please follow the installation instructions found on every package of roof shingles! Better yet, hire a roofing contractor.

Roof maintenance

If your roof isn’t too steeply pitched and has material that won’t be damaged by walking on it, AND you are mentally and physically fit to do so, carefully inspect it in good weather. Look for broken or missing shingles, missing or damaged flashing and seals around vent pipes and chimneys and damage to boards along the eaves. Shingle damage up-slope will often cause water damage far downhill. Check the chimney cap and screen and look down the flues for obstructions or animal nests. If you can’t or don’t want to get on the roof, you might want to use a ladder around the perimeter. Pay close attention to valleys and flashings; these are the primary leak-generators. Some simple, easy fixes now can prevent thousands of dollars of water damage later.