FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

If you are looking for roofing services in the Tacoma area, then you have come to the right place. Guardian Roofing, is the premier roofing contractor in the Tacoma area. Listed below are some frequently asked questions. If there is a question that you need to know about your home and its roof, then please call us today at 877-926-9966 or complete our online form.

Note: The methods described below only work if maintenance is frequent. If debris is left on the roof in a moist and shaded area more extreme cleaning measures will be necessary. All of which will shorten the life of your roof, and can cause leaks.

Debris Removal- Debris should be removed with a leaf blower, or water from a garden hose. Leaf blowers work best when debris is dry. If the volume is too great combine the use of light brooming, and water from a garden hose. DO NOT PRESSURE WASH!

Moss Removal- The length of time that the moss has been on the roof, and the type of roof it is on will determine the method for removal.

If the moss is recent and light use of a moss killer may be required. (There are many types, both chemical and organic) However you may be able to lightly broom the moss off of the roof.

If the moss has embedded itself beyond the point of a simple broom job then a Moss Killing product will be necessary. These products typically work very quickly (Within 1 day) Apply the product according to manufacturer’s recommendations, wait for the moss to discolor and die, then remove with non abrasive broom.

Note: If roof has been neglected moss can take roof granules with it. This will cause your shingles to fail rapidly. If this is the case it is recommended to contact a professional immediately.

Algae Stain Removal- There are a multitude of Algae Removal products out there. The two predominant versions are either Bleach based, or Biodegradable. The bleach based products will perform faster, as the biodegradable may take more applications. (Call for list of products)
Either way the application is similar. Mix in a garden sprayer. Spray area affected, and rinse after a short period of time.

If in the spring and fall you are able to clean debris off of your roof, and treat the roof with a liquid algae cleaner moss should not be an issue for you, and your roof will look bright and new!

Short answer…. No. Zinc is a fungicide, and does kill algae which can reduce moss growth. However, you are relying on rain to wash over the strip carrying zinc oxide from the strip down the roof. Experience has shown that the effectiveness of the strip is 3-4 feet down from where the strip is installed (Typically at the peak of the roof). Experience also tells us that the strips wear out after a couple of years.

Other drawbacks are that when they are on the roof they are noticeable, and they have a tendency to break and flop around on the roof.

Copper wire is less effective based on the size of the wire typically used. However, many asphalt roofing shingles have Copper Granules embedded in them. These have proven to be effective in the prevention of Algae Staining for periods of 10-15 years. These work because they are evenly spread throughout the roof providing constant and consistent protection. For more information contact our office.

This question is largely determined by the contractor. If the contractor is professional, and organized the project will be swift. (1-2 days on overage)

This will be due to the contractor having highly trained crews. The contractor will assign the appropriate team for your property. They will show up when they say, and stay until the job is complete, and not leave your home partially complete to finish other jobs.

If you are in need of a roof, and want the job completed promptly contact us for your free estimate.

Depending on if you are removing your existing roof, and what it is you are removing metal roofing can be as much as double the cost of a mid grade asphalt composite. The reason for this is that the materials themselves are typically about twice as much, and the installation of a metal roof can be 3-4 times longer than an asphalt composite.

The installation of metal is crucial. If you are considering a metal roof contact us. We do not install metal roofs, but we can refer a qualified contractor for you.

The answer is ABSOLUTELY! Actually the quality of the shakes today is far superior to what could be purchased 15-20 years ago.

There are two reasons for this:

  1. There is a regulatory board known as ICBO. This governing body establishes the quality standard that shakes must be manufactured to. If a mill wants to stay in business they have to comply.
  2. The shakes can be pressure treated at the factory. This presses the treatment deep into the shake for long lasting protection. (Topical treatments that are applied after the roof is installed do not last long)

The shake mills in Canada harvest Old Growth Cedar that has fallen in the woods. They cut out the good wood and make shakes from it. Of course there are different grades, and if you want a quality product it will cost more. But if you want that shake look you can still get it, and get a quality roof as well!

The key to dealing with moss is being proactive. In the Pacific Northwest we are truly blessed by our clean environment (Crucial for moss growth) and beautiful large evergreen trees. And some people say it rains around here once in a while.

Unfortunately the combination of these things make for perfect fungus and moss growth conditions.

So what can you do? Depending on your circumstance, and environmental consciousness here are a few suggestions.

  1. Remove any foliage or structures that might be shading an area to the point that sun rarely or never hits it.
  2. Keep the roof free from decaying organic material. I.E. Leaves, Needles, Pine Cones etc. Depending on the volume, if you are like most Northwestern Homeowners a minimum of a fall cleaning and a spring cleaning is necessary.
  3. Keep the Fungus off of the roof. Fungus and algae grow on everything in the Northwest as well. It is easily treated, and needs to be stayed on top of.

Euroslate is a roofing product that in fact is made from the rubber from used tires. It is manufactured by a Canadian company named GEM. In Washington state the product is being distributed by a company called State Roofing. They have exclusive rights to the product.

Benefits of the product are:

  • It is light weight and can go on most roofs
  • It has a slate tile appearance
  • It is impact resistant
  • It is impervious to moisture

Issues with the product are:

  • The cost. Typically 2-4 times as much as a medium grade asphalt composite
  • Fire Rating. Class A fire is not achieved without additional cost in underlayments.
  • Warranty – The warranty is loosely written, and favors the manufacturer. Major concern with discoloration. Warranty is vague in this area. Also does not cover labor or removal of defective product. (From what could be determined by reading warranty) *Read warranty for clarification.
  • Maintenance – The roof can still grow moss. The issue with these types of products is walking on them to clean them.

Believe it or not, you can actually get a guarantee on Asphalt Shingles that is superior to ANY other roofing product. For more information on any of these topics contact us.

The answer to the question is yes. However, it is crucial as to who you invite to perform the work on your home.

Your most important decision in any contracting job is who you hire no matter what time of year it is.

The right contractor will design the job correctly, they will specify the correct materials, they will have the appropriately trained personnel assigned to the job, and they will do so with the weather in mind.

Most standard jobs take 1-2 days to complete. If the contractor is adequately staffed with trained personnel the window of time that a roof is vulnerable to weather can be reduced to a few hours depending on the job.

For example, if the roof is an asphalt composite removal and installation, and the roof is installed on plywood a company like ours may only need a few hours of good weather to assure it is weatherproof.

With that in mind it does depend on your situation. If you are considering re roofing, and would like some more information please call us. We will try to assist you in any way that we can!

Simply put the answer is NO.

Asphalt shingles, unlike wood shakes are manufactured with components that create a roof system.

An asphalt composite shingle starts out as a woven fiberglass sheet nearly 1/8” thick. The fiberglass is saturated on both sides with asphalt. The top layer of asphalt, while still molten is embedded with Ceramic Granules.

Granules have 2 functions:

  1. To give the shingle it’s color.
  2. To protect the asphalt from the harmful UV rays of the sun.

Along with the granules, Asphalt is the waterproof component of the shingle, and the Fiberglass is the chassis that holds the shingle together.

Asphalt is a very volatile product (meaning that it is easily affected by heat causing change in viscosity and increasing expansion and contraction) and when granules are missing and there is more UV exposure the asphalt gets dried out and causes roof failure.

Pressure washing a roof when done improperly minimally removes granules that are so important to the longevity of your roof. Because asphalt composite is a thin product that can be easily torn it is not too difficult to cut the shingles with the pressure wand.

Many pressure washers will assure you that they are experienced and will not cause damage. They may be right, but how can they guarantee it?

The adhesion of granules reduces as the roof ages. The challenge for a pressure washer is how to gauge their pressure. The problem for you is HOW WOULD YOU KNOW IF THEY ARE DOING IT RIGHT?

It is difficult to know. The big question is, why pressure wash anyway? The only reason is that it is a quick fix. Quick fixes typically come with a bill to pay later.

Maybe it would be better to examine where moss comes from, and what can be done from a preventative standpoint to keep your roof healthy and looking clean.

It is allowed to install a roof over the top of an existing roof. By doing so the current owner of the building can save some money on the roofing project. However, Roofing over another roof does not provide the same quality of roof, or offer the same level of security that a roof system installed when a complete removal was performed.

This is where people say, “Building code, and manufacturers allow it. It must be all right.”

Let’s look how the code officials, and manufacturers look at roof over jobs.

When installing asphalt composite shingles most Building Codes allow for up to 2 layers of asphalt roofing on a structure. The code has nothing to do with shingle performance. It is written in regards to structure performance, and how much weight it can handle.

Manufacturers also prohibit roofing over an old roof. However if you read the fine print of any roofing manufacturer’s warranty you will find verbiage in their warranty exclusions that say “We will not warrant product failure if roof is installed over a substrate that is not smooth, flat, and clean.” This means that if anything under the roof causes the roof on top to fail, there is no warranty.

Other concerns about roofing over the top of a roof system are:

  1. There is no way to do a thorough roof deck inspection when it is covered by old roofing. This could result in damage being concealed.
  2. It is much more difficult to flash a second layer. If the second layer leaks the water can ride the layer underneath and travel to a different area of the roof. This makes leak detection and correction very difficult.
  3. Shingles are made from Asphalt. The flexibility of Asphalt comes from the natural solvents within it. A second layer can be super-heated in summer months which can cause the shingle to buckle and curl prematurely.
  4. Removal costs in the future will be tremendous due to the extra labor, and escalating landfill rates.

At Guardian Roofing we believe that roofs should be removed so the property can be totally inspected, and any damage can be repaired before a new roof system is applied. If you are considering re roofing, and are not sure of what your options are contact us for your free inspection!

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an agency that designs testing and standards for manufactured products of all shapes and sizes.

In regards to roofing products there are 3 classes of Fire Rating. These classes are:

Class A roof coverings are effective against severe fire test exposures. Under such exposures, roof coverings of this class afford a high degree of fire protection to the roof deck, do not slip from position, and are not expected to produce flying brands.

This is the highest rating attainable. Asphalt roof shingles, Concrete and Clay tile, and Authentic Stone Slate Roofs are in this category. Metal roofs and synthetic products typically require special underlayments to qualify for Class A fire Rating.

Class B roof coverings are effective against moderate fire test exposures. Under such exposures, roof coverings of this class afford a moderate degree of fire protection to the roof deck, do not slip from position, and are not expected to produce flying brands.

Class C roof coverings are effective against light fire test exposures. Under such exposures, roof coverings of this class afford a light degree of fire protection to the roof deck, do not slip from position, and are not expected to produce flying brands.

Wood shakes are an example of Class C Fire Rated material.

* Consult specific manufacturer literature for exact rating information. The information provided is not manufacturer specific.

Ridge venting is one of the many ways to vent a roof. Depending on your roof type, it may be the most efficient way. (Contact us for an evaluation of your roof)

Ridge Venting

Ridge venting works by cutting a continuous slot at the peak of your roof to provide a consistent area for air to exhaust from your attic space.

Some ridge vents are warranted against leaking, and failure for the duration of the roof system. Many of the vents are the shingle over type. This means that the roofing material can cover the top of the vent and hide the fact that there is a vent there at all.

For more information about ridge vent systems contact us.

Ventilation is important year round. In the Summer, heat from the sun is running attic temperatures up to 120 degrees or more. This overwhelms the insulation on the attic floor and causes your home to heat up.

In the Winter the cold air from outside cools your attic space. Because of how efficiently we are sealing the walls of our home, heat and moisture generated in the fall, and winter months is carried by rising heat into the attic space. When warm air meets cool air in the attic moisture is created. Moisture is a conductor, and insulation is an insulator. If moisture infiltrates insulation, the insulator becomes a conductor. Thus compounding the problem of heat loss because now the insulation is not doing it’s job to hold heat in the home.

This is why ventilation is important all year long. Ventilation is doing it’s job when it is removing hot air in the Summer, and moist air in the Winter.

If you need a ventilation inspection, please contact us for a free evaluation.

Moss does not only grow on the north side of trees, and homes. Moss will grow anywhere that there is an adequate of moisture, and sunlight. (Or lack thereof)

Moss likes to grow in shady moist conditions where the temperature is over freezing, and under 70 degrees Fahrenheit. When it gets warmer moss becomes dormant, but may not die.

Moss does not have roots so it needs running water to survive. (Like on roofs) Since it does not have roots it can grow on anything. Asphalt, wood, we even see it grow on glass, and metal roofs. In the Pacific Northwest tree debris, and even pollen that collect on the roof can create a dam that moss can grow on.

So if you aren’t supposed to pressure wash what should you do?

If you are looking for a Tacoma roofing contractor please call us today at 253-242-8117 or complete our online service request form.