The Importance of Proper Roof & Attic Ventilation

The following information provided by GAF

Poor Attic Ventilation Can Ruin Your Insulation, Destroy Your Shingles, And Raise Your Energy Bills!

Proper attic ventilation systems allow a continual flow of outside air through the attic, protecting the efficiency of the insulation and helping to lower temperatures in the living space.

It consists of a balance between air intake (at your eaves or soffits) and air exhaust (at or near your roof ridge).

The U.S. FHA (Federal Housing Administration) recommends a minimum of at least 1 square foot of attic ventilation (both intake and exhaust) for every 300 square feet of attic space. For example, if your attic is 900 square feet, you need a total of 3 square feet of ventilation. This amount should be divided equally between intake and exhaust ventilation (i.e., 1 1/2 feet of each) to insure proper air flow through the attic. To calculate the amount of ventilation you need for your home, visit GAF’s Ventilation Calculator .

Why Take Risks?

It is estimated that 9 out of 10 homes in North America do not have proper attic ventilation. Why? Because most people are unaware that attic ventilation can impact the longevity of their entire home!–

In the summer, improper ventilation can cause attic heat to build in excess of 160°F. This super-heated air eventually penetrates the ceiling insulation into the living area below.

Types of damage that can result include:

  • Premature aging of your roofing system (“fried” shingles)
  • Warping, cracking, or breaking down of wood framing
  • Damage to siding, exterior or interior paint, and wallpaper

A properly ventilated attic can help reduce the load on your air conditioner by moving the super-heated air out of your attic before it builds up and causes damage.

In the winter, various household appliances, bathtubs, showers, and cooking vapors can contribute to excess moisture build-up. Improperly ventilated attics will allow this moisture to collect and cling to the underside of the roof. The moisture will condense and fall, soaking the attic insulation and reducing its efficiency.

Additional structural damage can include:

  • Roof deck warping and rotting of the wood frame
  • Mildew growth
  • Buckling of shingles and felt

Finally, attics should be properly ventilated to help prevent ice dams in cold northern climates. During the winter, ice and snow on a roof will melt and run down the deck to the cooler eaves. This run-off can re-freeze, creating an ice dam that may force water back up under the shingles and leak into your home — causing hundreds or thousands of dollars of damage to your ceilings and walls. Adequate attic ventilation reduces the amount of initial melting that occurs on your roof, thereby reducing the chance that ice dams will form.

Fall Home Maintenance

Did you know roof damage can happen at any time of the year whether it’s during the cold rainy winter months or dry heat over the summer. Now that the summer has come to an end and the rain has begun to fall, you’ll start noticing the damage whether it be mold or active leaks in the attic.

composition roof inspection


Here are few things to look for:

Check the chimney for cracks or damaged/missing flashing. In the winter this can be potentially serious if water gets trapped in cracks in the mortar, it will freeze, expand and cause more damage to the chimney.

Missing shingles expose your roof deck to the elements. If you notice spots where shingles appear to be missing, it may be an indication that you have water leaks. This is where an attic inspection is helpful in identifying leaks.

Inspect the attic for water damage or mold. Leaks and improper ventilation allow moisture to build up int he attic and cause mold growth.

Damaged, rotted or blistered shingles should be inspected and repaired immediately.

Smooth or deteriorated shingles indicated that the shingles have most likely reached the end of their productive life. The granules on the roofing shingles are what protect the roof system from the elements.

Moss and algae growth can build up under shingles and allow water to get in causing leaks.

Gutters need to be cleaned out regularly, not just during the fall months when the majority of leaves are falling from trees. If the water gets trapped in debris on the roof, or can’t run freely through the gutter system, it will find a way into your home.


home repair

Don’t hesitate to contact a professional. Putting off necessary repairs can end up being costly in the end. Protect your most valuable investment and get a free estimate from a professional contractor. Mark’s Custom Exteriors will provide a thorough estimate of your roofs condition, take accurate measurements and inspect the attic to ensure there are no active leaks for free! Give us a call to set up your free estimate at 503-397-2215 or submit our online consultation request form below.


Summer Roof Maintenance Tips

Summer has arrived and we’re all anxious to get out and do summer fun activities, but don’t neglect necessary home improvements during this time of year!

Without the rain, it’s easy to forget about roof maintenance, but heat can cause just as much damage this time of year as any other season.

Inspect your roof and gutters for damage that may have been caused over the winter months and prevent future issues that be worsened by the summer heat. Roof maintenance including moss removal are crucial in extending the life your roof. If your roof goes too long without proper maintenance, you may be headed for a roof replacement sooner than later. Here are a few tips on what to look for.

Check for missing, curling or damaged shingles

What to expect during your roofing project

Depending on the steepness and height of your home, you may be ableto do a quick visual check from the ground. Missing and curling shingles can be an easy thing to spot, but if your granules have started falling off exposing the shingle, this may be a bit tougher to identify. If you are not comfortable on a ladder or not sure about identifying these issues, our roof estimates are free. Please call to schedule a free, thorough roof evaluation 503-397-2215.

Inspect the gutters for granules or clogs

Check your gutters and remove debris as necessary and check your downspouts by running water through to make sure they are draining properly. If clogs are left for the winter, once it starts raining, that standing water will find other places to go and typically finds its way into your home. The other thing you might find in your gutters are granules. When shingles start to lose their granules, they typically run off into the gutters. If you find a build up of these granules in your gutters, it’s a sign that your shingles are ready to be replaced. The granules that are on your shingles are what protect the rest of your roofing system from damage. Once that primary barrier is weak, that can only lead to roofing issues and leaks.

Remove debris and trim branches

Trees can be a nuisance to your roof. Lightly brush off any debris on your roof and trim low hanging tree branches that are likely to fall onto your roof or scrape the shingles. Debris build up on your roof such as pine needles can collect water and hold moisture. The longer it sits on your shingles, the more damage it’s going to cause. Don’t try to scrape or pressure wash your roof. This can cause damage to the shingles and remove the granules that protect your shingle. If you have moss or algae, a roof cleaning may be an important part of your roof maintenance. Living in the Pacific Northwest, roof maintenance is recommended every two years. If you are in need of a roof cleaning, our services include the Roof Shampoo Roof Cleaning System. Find out more about it here and call us for a free estimate 503-397-2215.

Inspect the attic

Look in your attic and see if you can spot any areas where light may be coming in. This can be an indication that critters have damaged your roof and made their way into your attic. The other important thing to check for is moisture build up and mold. Moisture build up and mold could be a result of an active leak, but it could also be a result of poor ventilation. Call us for a free inspection that includes a thorough evaluation of your roofing system from the exterior roof top, the interior attic space and the ventilation system 503-397-2215.

If you’re not sure where to start, don’t hesitate to contact our office and speak to one of our knowledgeable staff. We can set up a time to meet with you at your home, perform a (FREE) thorough evaluation of your roof’s condition and answer any questions. Our office can be reached at 503-397-2215.

MCE Receives GAF’s Prestigious President’s Club Award for the 7th year in a row!


Mark’s Custom Exteriors Receives GAF’s Prestigious 2018 President’s Club Award

Saint Helens, OR – June 6, 2018: Mark’s Custom Exteriors

Mark’s Custom Exteriors of Saint Helens, Oregon, has received the most prestigious contractor award GAF offers: The GAF President’s Club Award. This highly coveted award recognizes Mark’s Custom Exteriors as one of the “elite of the elite” residential roofing contractors in the United States.

GAF is North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, and only GAF Master Elite® Contractors can compete for its residential President’s Club Award. To qualify for this award, a residential roofing contractor must meet specific criteria in at least one out of three different pathways:

  • Performance pathway – where contractors focus on giving their property owners the best possible service, quality, and protection
  • Reliability pathway – where the contractor has a long history of offering their customers the best quality and protection
  • Service pathway – where contractors consistently offer their customers the best protection available in the marketplace.

Mark’s Custom Exteriors has been a GAF Master Elite® Contractor since 2011. To become a Master Elite® Contractor—a status that less than 2% of roofing contractors nationwide are able to achieve—a candidate must demonstrate proper licensing (in states that require it), maintain insurance, have a proven reputation, and show commitment to ongoing professional training.

“We value our certified contractors for raising the industry standard year after year by installing the best roofing products and systems. Our President’s Club award recognizes only those contractors who have distinguished themselves by the highest standards of excellence, customer satisfaction, and dependability,” says Jim Slauson, GAF’s VP of Certified Program & Services.

“A very high level of trust and faith in our ability”—those are the reasons why customers hire Mark’s Custom Exteriors, according to owner Mark Holcomb. “We’ve been in business for more than 20 years and demonstrate a high level of customer service. New customers do some research on our track record, and they feel comfortable with that.”

With experienced sales staff and roofing technicians who are factory certified, Mark’s Custom Exteriors makes it a priority to stay current on industry and manufacturer specifications. “All of our installation crews are hourly, in-house employees,” explains Holcomb. “No subcontractors. That sets us apart from a lot of roofing contractors in our marketplace. And we use only the highest quality materials, backed up with the best warranties available. Our customers are guaranteed to be satisfied with the roofing job we do.”

“There’s quite a lot of interaction with our customers,” continues Holcomb. “We always have a site foreman at every project, at all times. The foreman keeps the customer informed and ‘in the loop’ about what’s being done and what still remains to be done. People appreciate that.” The attention to customers is reflected in the company’s ratings and reviews; Mark’s Custom Exteriors is an A-rated provider on Angie’s List and holds an A+ accreditation with the Better Business Bureau.

In 2015, Mark’s Custom Exteriors began partnering with No Roof Left Behind(TM), a nationwide program in which members of a community nominate a neighbor who has fallen on hard times. That neighbor then becomes the recipient of a new roof, free of charge and installed by the local contractor. “This is one of the newest things we’ve taken on, and we’re really excited about being involved with this project,” says Holcomb. The company also works with Habitat for Humanity and is a GAF Certified Green Roofer(TM).

Moving forward, Mark’s Custom Exteriors has the goal of expanding into the larger Portland Metro and Vancouver markets. “We want to be more established in those areas and have more of an impact in serving those customers,” concludes Holcomb. “A satisfied customer is our greatest source of new business. As we say on our website: ‘We are here tomorrow to stand behind what we do today.’ And I believe that’s what most folks are looking for.”

About Mark’s Custom Exteriors

A family-owned business, Mark’s Custom Exteriors has provided roofing replacement and maintenance services in the greater Portland area for more than 20 years. The company is committed to being a leader in the industry by exceeding customers’ expectations. With in-house installation crews that are fully trained and factory-certified, Mark’s Custom Exteriors believes that “Coming together is beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success!”

Mark’s Custom Exteriors

58581 Columbia River Hwy

Saint Helens, OR 97051

(503) 397-2215





About GAF:

Founded in 1886, GAF is the leading roofing and waterproofing manufacturer in North America. As a member of the Standard Industries family of companies, GAF is part of the largest roofing and waterproofing business in the world. The company’s products include a comprehensive portfolio of roofing and waterproofing solutions for residential and commercial properties as well as for civil engineering applications. The full GAF portfolio of solutions is supported by an extensive national network of factory-certified contractors. GAF continues to be the leader in quality and offers comprehensive warranty protection on its products and systems. The company’s success is driven by a commitment to empowering its people to deliver advanced quality and purposeful innovation. For more information about GAF, visit

Celebrating 20 Years as an A+ Rated BBB Accredited Business


Mark’s Custom Exteriors Celebrates 20 Years of BBB A+ Rating Accreditation

Saint Helens, OR – May 30, 2018: Mark’s Custom Exteriors has been a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited business since April of 1998 and holds an A+ business rating. To receive an A+ rating, you must meet several guidelines and score at least 97 points from 13 elements on their 100 point grading scale. BBB has determined that we meet Standards of BBB Accreditation, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints (to which we have had none in our history).

To learn more about our BBB accreditation visit our profile page here: Mark’s Custom Exteriors or to learn more about the BBB in general, visit