Flat Rate Roofers LLC recently filed an assumed business name (ABN) a.k.a. doing business as name (DBA): Divergent Roofing. You may be wondering, "why?" "Why divergent" or "why a new name at all?" Those are both great questions and this post should help clear them up.

Divergent Roofing Logo

First let's answer, "Why a new name?" Flat Rate Roofers started with the idea of providing a roofing installation service that went way above the status quo. A big part of that included doing a thorough inspection before doing a re-roof so the price you are quoted is the price you pay in the end. The thought was, the fact that almost nothing could raise the price once a contract was signed, would resonate with people. Little did we know, people are so used to contractors finding every excuse possible to get them to sign a change order to raise the price, that even when a homeowner had the concept clearly explained, they wouldn't believe it or maybe they would just forget. We will still work hard to avoid change orders which raise the price. The name however, wasn't resonating with people as well as hoped, so it has been scrapped while the company is still young enough for that not to be a huge deal. Another big reason for changing the name is people commonly referred to it as "Flat Rate Roofing" instead of "Flat Rate Roofers".

Now, "Why Divergent?" Divergent is a synonym to different. We want to be different. Not different for the sake of being different but different for the sake of being better. There are many great business practices that have been adopted by almost every industry. Construction, however, is a relatively noncompetitive and highly regulated market, increasing the time it takes for substantial improvements to be seen by home owners. Our view is, why wait for competition to demand it? Let's do what we can to make good changes for our customers. Why not? Are we successfully getting closer to our goal of beating the status quo? You decide!

Shingles, or whatever roofing materials you choose to use to cover your roof, are your first defense against the elements but there is an unsung hero working in the shadows. Roofing materials consist of far more than just shingles, tile, or metal panels. One of the most

Shingles being installed by Flat Rate Roofers over hybrid underlayment
Roofing in progress in Medford, OR

important things other than your shingles is the underlayment. Underlayment serves multiple purposes and I am going to do my best to explain some of them to you in this article.

It can take a while to install a roof - especially with a small crew and/or a large job. Also, in wet states like Oregon, a job that would otherwise be quick can be interrupted or slowed down by rain. Building materials are usually made to withstand some rain for a short period of time. This is to make building in states like Oregon possible. Imagine having your house framed and then having an unexpected rain storm and needing to completely re-frame the building. That would be expensive and time consuming. Covering an entire building in tarps for unexpected rainstorms before it is ready would be impractical at best. Once the house is built, however, there are many things that can get damaged by water easily. Things like drywall and your belongings. When a house is complete, there is also less airflow because it's no longer wide open. This lack of airflow could also cause mold and dry rot if something gets wet.

When you are getting your roof replaced, as long as there is sufficient attic ventilation, a little sprinkle of rain shouldn't hurt your roof deck. Even so, a good roofer will do his or her best to get the underlayment installed before even a sprinkle occurs. Underlayment serves multiple purposes. There are also many different types of underlayment for different budgets and different purposes. I'm going to give you some information on underlayment in general. I'll probably go into more detail in another post.

The first purpose of underlayment is to protect the roof from rain while it is being installed. underlayment generally goes down very quickly compared to the shingles. This makes it so a roof can be torn off and the underlayment can be rapidly installed before a rainstorm. In fact, it is common to install shingles while it is raining on underlayment that was installed just before the bad weather. This is especially common in the Portland area where it rains even more than here in the Medford area. Both the underlayment and the shingles water resistant and can handle moisture. Installing while it's raining isn't ideal because it can take a while for it to dry out between the underlayment and the shingles but it is sometimes necessary in rainy climates. Properly installed underlayment can protect the roof for several months if absolutely necessary. Even so, it's best to get the roofing installed over the underlayment within a few weeks

because the underlayment will get sun damaged in the summer and some types can get damaged after a few good rains. Waiting a few months is generally a bad idea and is probably never necessary.

Another purpose is traction on the roof during installation. Different types provide better traction in various conditions. Roofers may decide to change types depending on the weather or the pitch of the roof.

Properly installed underlayment also has another very important purpose as a second layer of defense for your roof. Wind can drive rain under your shingles. If there wasn't underlayment it would soak into your roof deck and you could get mold and/or rot. As your roof gets old, some of the shingles may loose their seal and get wind damaged. this second layer of protection will help minimize leaks while you wait for the repair or replacement. Ice, leaves, and moss can also re-direct water underneath your shingles.

This is why we don't take underlayment lightly and we will probably make an article in the future telling you what, why, and how we install underlayment.

According to Britannica, there are at least 12,000 species of moss. Moss does great things for the forest including helping to keep the soil wet, slowing down erosion, and breaking

Mossy Roofing | Flat Rate Roofers LLC | Medford, OR

stuff down to release nutrients that other plants can use. Some people use peat moss for gardening since it holds water nicely. Moss may be beneficial in nature but it can wreak havoc on your roof.

As moss grows, it tends to work its way between the shingles, lifting the shingles up which can damage the seal between the shingles and make it easy for the wind to catch them. Moss can also re-direct and/or slow down water flow forcing it under the shingles and making your roof leak.

When it comes to moss, prevention is the most important thing. Trimming or removing trees that cast shade on the house and keeping the roof clean using a leaf blower is the best way to minimize or eliminate moss growth. One option that some people use is to install zinc or copper strips at the hips and/or ridges. I don't personally recommend this method. I have seen roofs where zinc strips were installed and they didn't seem to help prevent moss at all.

Many shingles come with copper in the shingles. They are referred to as "AR" (algae resistant). These shingles are pretty good at stopping black algae streaks from forming on the roof but are not very good at preventing moss growth.

If you can't or don't want to keep your roof out of the shade or you still have some moss growth without shade, there is the option of treating your roof to kill the moss. It is important to kill the moss before it gets bad enough to cause significant damage. You should have your roof treated when you see the first sign of moss.

There are many ways that people have alleged will work for killing moss. Be very careful if you decide to apply one of these treatments or do anything on your roof yourself. Not only is there the chance of getting hurt, you could also damage your roofing. One method is to increase or decrease the acidity to a point that kills the moss. Applying vinegar or even lemon juice is supposed to do the trick. Others claim dish soap does the trick. Acidic substances such as vinegar or products containing detergents such as modern dish soap can cause damage to the shingles effectively making it pointless to remove or kill the moss. The method that we previously used and is common in some areas is to apply zinc sulfate powder. The method we use now uses regular household chlorinated bleach. Click here to view a PDF with important information explaining this method including how to avoid damaging the shingles.

You may be wondering, what if the moss is already bad or I just want my roof to look really clean? Can I pressure wash my roof or sweep it off? The answer is no. I don't recommend pressure washing or sweeping the roof since it can easily wash away the granules that protect the rest of the shingle from sun damage. Pressure washing can take years of life from your roofing. If you decide to clean your roof, try low pressure washing with a garden hose first to reduce the risk to your roofing. If you have fairly significant moss growth on your roof, be sure that it is cleaned as gently as possible, preferably after it is dead, and be aware that it could damage or destroy your shingles.