What issues should I look out for on my flat roof?

There are several things you should look out for that may cause damage to your roof or signal the start of a larger problem:

Common issues with flat roofs:

  • Drainage can be inadequate, causing water to pool and break down the roofing material

  • Leaves and debris can block drainage if they are not regularly cleaned from the roof

  • Roofing material can be installed incorrectly, leading to an increased chance of leaks

  • It’s hard to pinpoint leaks on a flat roof, as water can travel a long way underneath the roofing material.

  • Typical flat roofing material is not reflective or insulating, leading to higher cooling bills in the summer and higher heating bills in the winter

How will I know if my roof should be restored or replaced?

When roof replacement or restoration is overdue, it’s common to see aging or damaged roofing material. Depending on the material used for your flat roof, the following signs show your roof should be replaced right away.

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TPO roofing

TPO roofing looks like a large white sheet of thick vinyl with seams every few feet. You can tell this type of roofing is getting old if seams are coming apart or you can see fibers or cracks in it. TPO roof are made with flat insulation board covered with a vinyl-like membrane. When that membrane wears down or is torn it is no longer waterproof.

You’ll also want to look out for:

  • Roof patches indicate that there may be complications from prior leaks in the roof.

  • Tears or holes in the material. Even small tears can let in enough water to cause issues.

  • Damaged flashing around pipes or vents leading into the roof.

  • Excess pooling water or obvious leaks. Your roof should be free of water 48 hours after a rainfall.

  • Humps or large bumps underneath the roof liner. These come from improperly secured insulation boards that pop up as the building expands and contracts from hot and cold weather.

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EPDM roofing

This type of roof is made from black sheets of rubber that are glued together. When it gets old, it will dry out, crack and may look like “alligator skin”. You may also see seams that pull away from each other - they are held together with glue which can fail in as little as 5 years after the roof has been installed.

You’ll also want to look out for:

  • Roof patches. Patches are not very effective with this type of roofing and tend to fail relatively quickly due to issues with gluing rubber to rubber.

  • Damaged flashing around pipes or vents leading into the roof.

  • Excess pooling water or obvious leaks. Your roof should be free of water 48 hours after a rainfall.

  • Air bubbles. Rubber contracts and expands over time. Air bubbles show that the sheets are pulling away from the surface of the roof and indicate that nearby seams may be compromised.

 
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GRAVEL (AKA. Built-up or Tar & Gravel) roofing

Gravel roofs are made of a black membrane covered in tar and gravel. Gravel will wash off over time and will expose the membrane underneath. Look for cracks in the membrane or patches with less gravel than the rest of the roof.

You’ll also want to look out for:

  • Roof patches. Patches will not repair a damaged membrane underneath and show that the roof may have leaked previously.

  • Gravel piles at the bottom of your downspout. This indicates that the membrane may be exposed on the roof.

  • Damaged flashing around pipes or vents leading into the roof.

If you’ve noticed any of these problems, its time to get a professional opinion.


What should I do next?

We want to help you with a thorough inspection of your roof so you can feel safe and comfortable knowing your roof is leak free. It’s a quick and easy way to know that you won’t have to worry about the safety of your home.

  1. Schedule a consultation today - it's easy and free! Just click the button below.

  2. We’ll complete a thorough inspection of your roof and will provide detailed and honest feedback on what we find.

  3. We'll educate and guide you to make the smartest, most cost-effective decision for your personal situation. 

  4. We'll complete the job - with quality and efficiency, guaranteed. Our flat roofs come with a 10 to 15 year warranty and can be installed quickly and quietly in only a few days.

“My flat roof had previously leaked and caused damage inside. I needed to restore it badly and reached out to Rolling Hills Roofing and the guys out of Lewiston.

Both companies were responsive and gave me a quote. But Nethaniel, with Rolling Hills Roofing took the time to show me pictures from the roof, listen to my concerns, and explain exactly what my options were. I felt really good hiring Nethaniel even though his product was a little more expensive than the other guy. Jesse, Paul, and the rest of the crew worked very hard every day. They talked with me about the process and explained things to my grandson, Thomas. They took pictures and showed me.

I totally trusted all of their integrity and loved having them at my home so much that I miss them now that my roof is done!

Nethaniel answered his phone or called me back every time I called with a question. He came by to check on the final product and even had his guys come back to make sure it was up to his quality standard.


Don’t even consider other flat roofers on the Palouse. These guys are the best. Highest recommendation.”

Colista Mclean,⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

PS. We’re glad that you care about your home and would consider working with us. If you’re not sure if your home really needs a new roof, please give us a call for a quick talk about your situation. If money is an issue, we offer financing and will work to make sure keeping your home safe won’t break the bank.

We never use high pressure sales tactics and aim to be the most honest and ethical roofing company out there. That means helping you make a smart decision for your situation - even if it means you won’t need a new roof.

Our phone number is (208) 301-6173. We hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,

Rolling Hills Roofing

“We Make Roofing Easy”"

What is the best shingle for my home?

What is the best asphalt shingle for my home?

If you’ve been reading about different types of shingles, the amount of information out there can be overwhelming.

You’re in luck - this post will quickly guide you through your options and make sure you can make a smart decision that works for you.


What shingles should I use on my pitched roof?

1. The first thing to consider is the average weather and wind your roof needs to protect your house from.

Here on the Palouse we have high winds throughout the year, snow and ice that melts and freezes several times during the winter, and high temperatures in the summer.

Because of this, your roofing material needs to do several things:

  • It needs to be securely fastened to the roof so that high winds don’t blow shingles off and expose the underlayment beneath.

  • It needs to allow water to flow off quickly without pooling on the roof. Spring rains in Moscow & Pullman can dump more water on your roof than you’d think, so a leak-proof roof is really important.

  • It needs to protect against ice dams that are common here on the Palouse. We do this with a layer of ice and water shield at the eaves.

  • It needs to be able to withstand high temperatures. Your roof absorbs a lot of heat from sunshine, which affects the life of your shingles.

  • It needs to be able to withstand freezing and thawing cycles. Water seeps into cracks and expands when it freezes, widening the cracks and creating entries for water into your home.

2. The second thing to consider is the aesthetics of your home.

Shingles come in many different colors to complement different styles of homes and exterior colors. You can also choose between old school 3-tab shingles or newer architectural shingles. We prefer architectural shingles as they provide a higher quality finish and just plain look better. They can actually be cheaper than 3-tab as fewer 3-tab shingles are being manufactured nowadays.

Above: Old and worn 3-tab shingles before a roof replacement.

Above: Old and worn 3-tab shingles before a roof replacement.

Above: New architectural shingles we installed on the same home.

Above: New architectural shingles we installed on the same home.

With those 2 things in mind, we recommend GAF Timberline HD shingles. They’re beautiful and can hold up well to the weather in our area.

As a GAF Certified Contractor, we’re also able to provide a manufacturers warranty on our roofs using these shingles along with the complete GAF roofing system. We’ll be happy to show you samples and color options when we meet to talk about your roof replacement.

Are you able to use these shingles on my home?

Yes we can! If you’ve been thinking about replacing the roof on your home, you can schedule an inspection in under 60 seconds here.

Or, give us a call at (208) 301-6173   for a quick chat about your situation. We’re always happy to talk with homeowners in Moscow & Pullman!

How we keep your roof valleys watertight

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Roof valleys are one of the most common leak locations, so we take extra care to make sure they’re sealed tight.

A roof valley is where two planes of your roof intersect. Valleys see a larger amount of water and can wear out faster than other sections of your roof.

Above: This line running down the roof is the center of a valley.

Above: This line running down the roof is the center of a valley.

Above: Rolled metal runs down the valley underneath the ice and water shield. (Actual valley metal would run underneath the ice and water shield you see here!)

Above: Rolled metal runs down the valley underneath the ice and water shield. (Actual valley metal would run underneath the ice and water shield you see here!)

Underneath those shingles are plywood sheets that are cut at this intersection. That cut creates a gap in between each sheet.

Because it isn’t sealed at the seam, we do several things to protect it and seal it from leaks.

First, we cover each valley with rolled metal to keep each roof deck panel from moving when we step on the roof deck. If those panels move, they can tear through the layers on top of it.

Next, we cover them with ice and water shield for an extra layer of protection against leaks.

Finally, we cover these with 2 layers of shingles, cut the shingles to make a nice seam, and let the shingles seal down with the heat from the sun.

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You end up with a beautiful and watertight valley that looks great from the street.

Have you noticed any issues with your roof?

You can inspect your roof for common issues in less than 15 minutes. This guide will walk you through a self inspection of your roof.

If you would rather have a professional inspect your roof, you can schedule a free inspection in under 60 seconds through our site here.

Or, give us a call at (208) 301-6173 for a quick chat about your situation. We’re always happy to talk with homeowners in Moscow & Pullman!

Are there any hidden costs with roofing?

Q. “Are there any hidden costs with roofing? Am I going to be surprised with a huge bill?”

We do everything we can to give you an extremely accurate quote for your roof! We do very thorough inspections before starting every job, use a 3D modeling software to measure your roof accurately, and have standards and processes in place to reduce waste and save you money.

However, as we all know, sometimes the unexpected happens.

The biggest hidden cost that can happen is when we find a rotten roof deck.

Your roof has a layer of plywood underneath all of those shingles. Water damage from consistent leaks will rot the wood.

If the damage is severe enough, portions of or even the entire roof deck will need to be replaced. This can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to the cost of your roofing job.

Because of this, we want to discover and prepare you for this challenge before we start any work!

Even though we can take photos and measure your roof to the inch, we still pull out our ladder and walk your roof. Our hope is that we can tell you upfront if this is something you will face during the replacement.

Above: Improperly installed roof vents led to water damage on the roof deck. You can see the leaks centered around nail holes.

Above: Improperly installed roof vents led to water damage on the roof deck. You can see the leaks centered around nail holes.

With rotten wood you can feel some “give” to the roof deck when standing on it. If there are existing leaks we can check inside your attic for visible damage and wood rot, and when possible we’ll stand on your roof deck and check for soft spots on your roof deck.

Walking the roof up front means that you’re less likely to face surprise expenses during the job.


Should I be worried about my roof deck?

You don’t need to worry. When we inspect your roof, we make sure that you know about every issue we find and put together a personalized plan for your situation.

We don’t like surprises either and will make sure that you’re well informed about your roof every step of the way.

If you’re ready to get an accurate estimate for what it would take to replace or restore your roof, set up an inspection today. It takes less than 60 seconds. We’ll make sure that your home is safe from roof leaks and that you’ll have a roof you can trust for decades to come.

You can set up a roofing inspection today in under 60 seconds:

How roofing ventilation fights moldy attics

Welcome back to our weekly series on roofing anatomy. We’re breaking down the different parts of your roof step by step so you can make informed decisions about your roof and keep your home safe!

This week, we’re covering an important part of what covers your home: roofing ventilation.

Roofing ventilation is an important part of your roofing system, working together with the rest of your roof to accomplish several important goals:

  • Heat and water vapor from your home rises into your attic. Without ventilation, that moisture leads to mold and water damage.

  • Your attic can get too hot if not properly vented, which “cooks” your shingles from the inside.

  • If your attic is hot, your air conditioner needs to work extra hard to keep your home cool.

  • Proper ventilation helps prevent ice dams, which are very common here in Moscow and Pullman!

Let’s get started.

Why does roofing ventilation matter?

An improperly vented roof can lead to many problems. Not only do you have the immediate problems of condensation and a higher heating / cooling bill, you have the longer term problem of premature roof failure.

Above: This roof looks normal from the outside, but when we inspected the attic we found out that it was left sealed shut. This arrow indicated where the attic should be open for ventilation.

Above: This roof looks normal from the outside, but when we inspected the attic we found out that it was left sealed shut. This arrow indicated where the attic should be open for ventilation.

The photo above shows the underside of a roof that was recently re-roofed by another local company. Our remodeling company, Ealy Construction, was on site for another project and noticed something odd in the roof: The ridge vent was improperly installed and completely sealed shut!

You see that grey fabric peeking through the hole? That hole is supposed to be cut open when the roof is completed, allowing air to flow through it and out of a ridge vent on the top of a roof.

Because of this careless mistake the attic had already started to mold only a few weeks!

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So why would a home with a new, watertight roof still end up with a moldy attic? The culprit here is that hot air and moisture from inside the home wasn’t able to escape.

Because your heating and air conditioning systems bring in air from outside, your home has what’s called “positive pressure” and pushes air outwards.

That air carries water vapor as it’s driven outward through your walls and roof. Without proper ventilation, this vapor can be trapped. When trapped in your home it leads to mold.

How does roofing ventilation work?

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Your roof ventilation brings cool, fresh air in down low and carries hot, moist air out the top.

This helps maintain proper moisture levels and keeps your indoor temperature comfortable.

What type of ventilation does my home have?

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On modern homes, you’ll typically see soffit vents and ridge vents.

The left photo shows a soffit vent, which brings in cool, fresh air. The photo on the right shows a ridge vent, which lets hot air and moisture escape.

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Older homes typically have gable vents (left) for intake and attic vents (right) for exits.

If you’re experiencing discomfort in your home, you may need to update your ventilation. give us a call and we’ll talk through your options.


How we can help you keep your roof properly vented.

Proper roofing ventilation is an important part of the roof system. When we inspect your roof we consider whether you would be better off with the existing system or upgraded ventilation.

When we reroof a house, we typically match the existing style and type of ventilation unless there is an issue or concern. It can be costly to retrofit roof ventilation, so we try to avoid it when possible.

However, for the health of your house and your comfort, updating your ventilation ought to be considered.

If you think your roof might be reaching the end of its life, you can schedule a free inspection in under 60 seconds through our site here.

Or, give us a call at (208) 301-6173 for a quick chat about your situation. We’re always happy to talk with homeowners in Moscow & Pullman!

Can I check out my roof on my own?

Can you check out your roof on your own? Absolutely! In fact, the National Roofing Contractors Association recommends inspecting your roof yourself twice per year.

It’s a pretty quick process - learn what common issues to look for, then walk around your home and see if you can spot any of them.

You can inspect your roof by yourself in under 10 minutes.

Just a few minutes is often all it takes to catch a problem before it turns into a major headache.

Many homeowners in Moscow and Pullman want to check out their roof themselves, and we support that. Early detection is key to preventing serious damage.

This free guide will show you exactly what to look for. You can see most of these signs from the ground. If you need a closer look, you can put up a ladder against your roof or try zooming in with a camera.


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When you’ve read this guide, you’ll learn:

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If your home has a pitched roof:

• How to identify shingle type and quality.

• How to identify common signs of wear.

• What to look for in your gutters.

• What roofing issues can be seen from inside your home.

• What additional issues to check for.

• If your home would benefit from a professional inspection.

 
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If your home has a flat roof:

• Why standing water on your roof is a bad sign.

• How to care for roof drains.

• The importance of seals around roof entries.

• Why typical chimney flashings can lead to leaks.

• What additional issues to check for.

• If your home would benefit from a professional inspection.

 

If you notice any issues while checking out your roof, or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at (208) 301-6173. We’re always happy to help our community!

PS. Please use caution and stay safe if you decide to get on top of your roof! Using a pair of binoculars, zooming in with a camera, or staying on your ladder can get you close enough to see the issue without putting you in harms way.

How your roof protects your home from winter weather

Welcome back to our weekly series on roofing anatomy. We’re breaking down the different parts of your roof step by step to help you understand your roof and make smart decisions about protecting your home.

This week, we’re covering an important part of what covers your home: the eaves (AKA. The lowest few feet of your roof).

Hiding behind those gutters you’ll find ventilation and several other features that protect your home. These features accomplish several important goals:

  • Preventing damage from ice buildup on the edge of your roof

  • Properly draining water away from your home or building

  • Allowing air into the attic to decrease moisture and maintain a proper temperature

There are four parts to your roof edge that we’re going to focus on today: roof fascia, gutters, drip edge, and the ice and water shield.

What is roof fascia?

Above: Roof fascia sits behind your gutters.

Above: Roof fascia sits behind your gutters.

Roof fascia is the trim that borders outside edge of your roof. You’ll see the fascia board behind your gutters and up the sloped edge of your roof.

Fascia provides some protection to your soffits and is typically made of wood, but may also be made of composite material or metal.

If roofing material is improperly installed, moisture can ruin the fascia board. That’s ugly and hard to repair without disturbing the rest of your roof. However, there’s one important piece of your roof that protects the fascia from water damage: the drip edge.

What is a drip edge?

Above: Drip edge applied to the roof.

Above: Drip edge applied to the roof.

We use the most effective style of drip edge, Type D.

We use the most effective style of drip edge, Type D.

A drip edge is a small strip of metal that runs along the edge of your roof and transitions between the sloped portion of your roof and the fascia.

As water runs off of the last shingles, the surface tension of the water makes it “stick” to the edge of your roof. Without a drip edge, water would run down the roof fascia and cause damage.

The drip edge puts a gap in between the fascia and the path of the water, safely directing it into the center of your gutters.

What about my gutters, do they matter?

Above: Clogged gutters caused by leaves and moss can contribute to ice damming and gutter overflows.

Above: Clogged gutters caused by leaves and moss can contribute to ice damming and gutter overflows.

Your roof gutters are important for several reasons. Number one, they direct water away from your home.

You’d be surprised at how much water comes down during a good rainfall here on the Palouse. All of that water can be safely directed away from your home thanks to your gutters and downspouts.

When winter weather hits, we have a new problem: water can freeze on the edge of your roof and create something called an “ice dam”.

An ice dam is a wall of frozen ice that prevents melted snow from draining and creates a pool of water on your roof. That water can back up underneath the shingles and leak through into your attic.

We see a lot of these in Moscow and Pullman with how often the snow melts and freezes again during the winter. Because these are so common here, we use a special product called an ice and water shield to protect your roof.

What is an ice and water shield?

Above: We install ice and water shield standard on all of our roofs!

Above: We install ice and water shield standard on all of our roofs!

An ice and water shield is a layer of thick material we apply to the eaves and roof valleys. If any water makes it underneath the shingles, this prevents it from damaging the roof deck or entering your attic.

Building codes in Moscow require ice and water shield to extend 24 inches past the insulated area of the house. Typically that means that the lowest 6 feet of your roof slope get this extra protection.

While ice dams are pretty common here, there is a feature of your ventilation that helps prevent them: the soffit vent.

What are soffit vents?

Above: You can see ventilation holes that let cool air flow into the attic.

Above: You can see ventilation holes that let cool air flow into the attic.

Proper ventilation hand in hand with proper insulation minimizes ice damming.

A soffit is one part of that proper ventilation. Soffit vents are located on the underside of your roof eaves.

This is important for several reasons.

When air is pulled through the soffits and out the peak of the roof, it keeps the attic space cool in the winter, which prevents ice dams.

Ventilation also helps with moisture control in the attic. Moisture and condensation in the attic can lead to mold and wood rot. Fresh air flowing through the attic helps keep the air dry and gives moisture a place to evaporate and exit through ridge vents.

If your home doesn’t have one, don’t be alarmed- certain styles of home (such as Craftsman) may not have soffit vents, as they have finished spaces upstairs instead of full attics.

Some homes have vaulted or cathedral ceilings and may not be vented at all, though this is less common.

It’s important to consider the ventilation your house requires. Improper ventilation can quickly cause severe damage to your home such as mold or wood rot. It’s also critical to keeping the inside of your home comfortable.


Is my roof ventilated properly?

We created a guide that will walk you through a self inspection of your roof. You can download it here.

If you would rather have a professional inspect your roof, you can schedule a free inspection in under 60 seconds through our site here.

Or, give us a call at (208) 301-6173 for a quick chat about your situation. We’re always happy to talk with homeowners in Moscow & Pullman!

Your Roof's Support System

Welcome back to our weekly series on roofing anatomy. We’re breaking down the different parts of your roof step by step so you can make informed decisions about your roof and keep your home safe!

This week, we’re covering an important part of what covers your home: your roof deck. Underneath all of those shingles is a layer of wood and a protective membrane called the underlayment.

The deck and underlayment are part of the entire roofing system, working together with the rest of your roof to accomplish several important goals:

  • Your roof deck is a secure foundation for roofing material and vents to attach to.

  • The underlayment works as a moisture barrier to block any water that makes it past your shingles.

  • Your roof valleys (where two roof slopes meet) direct water down the roof.

Let’s get started. There are three parts of your roof we’re covering today: The roof deck, underlayment, and roof valleys.


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What is a roof deck?

Your home’s roof deck is the layer of sheeting in between the trusses and shingles.

These are typically built with OSB (pressed wood chips), plywood, or dimensional lumber. It provides a sturdy base layer for all of those shingles to sit on top of.

Having a dry and structurally sound roof deck is very important to the health of your roof.

Water damaged roof decks can lead to several serious problems:

  • Wet wood leads to mold and wood rot, putting you and your family in danger of health issues.

  • Rotting roof decks start to sag and can’t support as much weight, which can become a problem when it snows.

  • Impact to your wallet. Replacing your roof deck can be quite expensive.

Because your roof deck is so vital to the overall quality of your roof, we take extra care to inspect it when we first visit your home.

This is why we still pull out a ladder and walk your roof. Our hope is that we can tell you upfront if your roof deck is damaged and will need to be replaced.

If everything checks out and your roof deck is in good shape, we apply a protective barrier on top called an underlayment.

What is an underlayment?

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The roof underlayment sits on top of the roof deck and helps protect it from moisture. We secure it to your roof using special nails with a plastic cap to keep it waterproof.

Your underlayment can provide emergency protection against water that makes it past the shingles.

More importantly, the underlayment also allows the roof to “breathe.”

For most of the year, attics in our area will have warm, moist air that needs to escape. Proper ventilation allows for most of this, and the underlayment lets the remaining water vapor pass outside without letting moisture back in.

Protecting from water is especially important at the area of your roof that sees the most water: Your roof valleys.


Above: An existing 3-tab shingle valley.

Above: An existing 3-tab shingle valley.

Above: The new valley and roof covered in architectural shingles.

Above: The new valley and roof covered in architectural shingles.

What is a roof valley?

Your roof valley is the point where two slopes of your roof meet.

There are 3 kinds of valleys you’ll typically see on roofs: A woven valley, a closed valley, or a metal W valley.

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On a woven valley, shingles weave together in an overlapping pattern. As the roofer moves up the roof, he switches the top shingle layer with each row, making a weave of shingles all the way up to the crest of the roof.

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With a closed valley, shingles are installed on each roof slope. Shingles are overlapped, cut, and sealed to make a straight edge at the center of the valley. This makes a straight pathway for water to run down the roof.

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Metal W valleys are not typically seen in our area. It involves getting a large piece of metal that sits in the center of a valley. It has a raised bump in the center that helps direct water downward. While we don’t typically use these, they can be specially requested.

 

Leak proof valleys are critical for three reasons:

  • The plywood decking is cut at the seam between the two slopes, so there’s a small gap between them that needs to be protected.

  • Water from both slopes of your roof meets here, so this section of your roof sees a lot more water flow that other areas.

  • Snow tends to gather and sit in the valley, leading to additional wear.

To keep your roof valleys leak proof, they need to be covered with ice and water shield.


Have you noticed any issues with your roof?

You can inspect your roof for common issues in less than 15 minutes. This guide will walk you through a self inspection of your roof.

If you would rather have a professional inspect your roof, you can schedule a free inspection in under 60 seconds through our site here.

Or, give us a call at (208) 301-6173 for a quick chat about your situation. We’re always happy to talk with homeowners in Moscow & Pullman!