What is Polyglass?

Polyglass® is a leading manufacturer of modified bitumen roofing membranes and roof coatings.  With several of the most technologically advanced facilities in the roofing industry, Polyglass® services the United States and Europe.  Modified bitumen membranes are particularly applicable for flat roofs.

Flat roof technology has improved significantly over the years

Shingles are overlaid in a way that allows water to roll down them and off the roof, yet if the slope of the roof is too shallow, water instead pools and penetrates through the seams.

This creates a unique problem for buildings with flat roofs.  Asphalt and gravel used to be the traditional method of flat roofing, yet far superior membrane roofing has since emerged.  By using a heat welded application (also known as torch down), membranes solve for the difficulty of sealing seams and connection points in asphalt roofing.

Torch down is a lot like it sounds.  The roofer gradually rolls out the membrane across the substrate while torching the bottom side of the membrane.  The heat causes the membrane to “bleed out,” which bonds it to the substrate as well as bonds at the seam where two membranes meet.  The resultant product is one continuous membrane across the entire roof, yielding significantly more robust protection than the old method of asphalt and gravel.

How do Polyglass membranes differ from other types?

Some popular membranes, like TPO, are installed as a single layer.  They offer great protection from weather, but are vulnerable to damage from collisions with sharp objects.  Modified bitumen membranes, like that of Polyglass®, avoid this problem by having multiple layers.

Installing Polyglass

On March 29, 2018, Chase Construction North West, Inc. attended an interactive demonstration of Polyglass® installation at Commercial Distribution Specialists in Fife, Washington.  It was an excellent learning experience!  Jim Potter did a fantastic job of describing each step while we installed the membranes. 

The first of two membranes we installed was Elastoflex Sa V.  It’s a self-adhered membrane that is installed by peeling off the bottom side then running a heavy roller over it.  The peel-and-stick method was mildly satisfying in the way peeling off the film from a new electronic appliance can be.  But then we broke out the torch and the real fun started!

With flaming torch in one hand and a guiding rod in another, we rolled out Polyflex G and bonded it to the Elastoflex Sa V (and across the seam with the previous roll) with the torch down technique.  If you have no experience with this method of installation, it can be intimidating at first.  However, when heat welding any membrane, roofers pay the closest attention to safety.

Polyglass® makes some excellent products, and we look forward to using them more and more!

Looking for a multi-layered membrane roof system?  Let us install one for you!  CHASE CONSTRUCTION NORTH WEST, INC. has the experience and the expertise to get the job done right! Call us today at 253-445-8950 or fill out our quick estimate form!

New Tax Law Expands Full Expensing to Nonresidential Roofs

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expands eligibility for full expensing to nonresidential roofs as of Jan. 1, 2018.  Previous law allowed the cost of roof improvements to be deducted from taxable income through depreciation over time.  The new law allows the cost to be deducted in full immediately!  This is a fantastic improvement for small businesses across the country!

The logic behind allowing businesses to deduct expenses from taxable income is to help them produce more of their goods or services that people want to buy.  Deductions aid this by reducing the cost of inputs into production.  For example, if a company can deduct the cost of new office computers, the company can produce its goods and services at lower cost, which allows the company to pass savings onto its customers as well as provide additional products for new customers.

The new tax law increases the power of this effect by shifting deductions for roof improvements from depreciation over time to immediate.

How is the shift from depreciation to immediate expensing an improvement?

Let’s say you spend $10,000 today.  Are you better off if you can deduct that entire sum today or if you deduct small portions of it over a period of many years?  In most cases you want to deduct the $10,000 in full now because your money is worth more today than the same amount is worth in the future.  Today’s money has investment earnings potential and future money loses value to inflation.  When your deduction of the $10,000 is not immediate, it means the true deduction is less than $10,000.  There is a caveat to this: if you expect your future income to increase and you expect to pay a higher tax rate at that time, depreciation can make you better off than immediate expensing since depreciation can allow you to reduce taxable income when at higher rates.


Up until the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, businesses were unable to immediately expense improvements to roofs, fire protection systems, and heating and cooling systems.  Now treatment is fairer, allowing businesses to opt to immediately expense roofing costs or recover the costs over time through depreciation.  Immediate expensing of nonresidential roof improvements will allow many companies to more efficiently provide for their customers.

What other ways do you think tax treatment of roofs could be improved?


Your roof is one of the most important investments you can make!  Call us today for your free estimate at 253-445-8950 or fill out our quick estimate formCHASE CONSTRUCTION NORTH WEST, INC. has been MASTER ELITE® with GAF since 2011, and we would love to help set you up on the path of long term success!

10 Easy to See Signs That Your Roof Needs Replacement or Repair

10 Signs That Your Roof Needs Replacement or Repair

All roofs need replacement eventually, but when?

Nobody wants to replace their roof prematurely.  Likewise, nobody wants to wait too long either.  The sweet spot is right in the middle, where your roof has reached the end of its useful life yet hasn’t gone past it.  If you’re wondering where your roof is on that spectrum, you’ve come to the right place.  Below, we’ll discuss 10 easy to see signs that your roof may need replacement or repair.

1. Roof age and extent of damage

The age of your roof and the extent of the damage can mean the difference between needing a reroof or some minor repairs.  The younger your roof and the more isolated the damage, the more likely repairs may suffice.  The inverse is also true, that the older your roof and the more prevalent the damage, the more likely replacement is needed.

If you live in a neighborhood where the houses were all built at the same time and your neighbors are replacing their roofs, it’s a sign that yours may be at end of life.  For a more exact measurement of age, check your records for date of roof installation, any repairs since, types of materials used, and the reputation of the contractor who installed the materials.

If the latest shingle installation overlays existing shingles, it can mean any problems with the previous shingle installation were never solved, which can significantly reduce the lifespan of your current roof.

2. Evidence of leaks

Leaks can be large or small, and the damage they cause can be obvious or subtle.  The damage can manifest as water stains, rotten wood, or mold.  Leaks can be difficult enough to identify that by the time they’re noticed, a reroof is needed.  If you see any water where it doesn’t seem it should be, or if you find any water damage, you’ve found sufficient enough evidence that there may be a larger hidden problem.

3. Attic moisture or daylight.

If you walk on your roof and it feels less firm than you would expect it to, it can mean that moisture seeped through to the underlying structure and has compromised its integrity.  In the attic, moisture from a compromised roof system is often found near the eaves and in the insulation.  Look for daylight shining through the roof. A faint glow at the eaves or along ridge vents can be normal, but beams of light shining through the roof can signal that the system has been compromised.

4. Misshapen, misaligned, or missing shingles

Shingle deterioration occurs in a wide variety of ways.  Edges can curl up or claw down with a bulging center, signifying a loss of durability and increased susceptibility to wind uplift.  Cracked and broken shingles don’t shed water well and can lead to moisture damage.  Shingles can buckle up in a line upwards along the roof.  Harsh weather can tear these shingles off easily, and buckling often signifies improper underlayment installation.  Misaligned shingles can appear as if they popped up above the flat roof surface and can mean the roof is not ventilating effectively.

5. Excessive granule loss

Granules protect shingles from sun exposure. Loss of granules shows up in gutters, as bald spots on shingles, or as inconsistent coloration of the roof.  As shingles lose their granules, the rate of deterioration of the shingles increases and can result in more extensive damage to the house.  Some granule loss is normal, and older shingles lose granules more quickly.

6. Compromised roof valleys

Roof valleys are integral to a properly functioning roof because they receive the greatest impact from harsh weather, and improper valley installation is not uncommon.  Distorted shingles or worse in roof valleys means that leaks may already have developed or are likely to soon.

7. Damaged, decayed, or missing flashing

Flashing plays the essential role of preventing moisture from entering the joints in the roofing system.  Damaged, decayed, or missing flashing can be a sign that your roof is at heightened risk of water damage and that repairs now can save a lot of trouble later.

8. Excessive ice damming

An ice dam forms when snow on an upper portion of your roof melts and the resultant liquid water flows to the eaves and refreezes.  As this happens multiple times, the accumulation of ice pushes water under the roof shingles, where it melts again and begins to leak into the house.  However, if a roofing system is properly ventilated and heat doesn’t form in the attic, ice damming can be prevented.  If your roof experiences excessive ice damming, it may be an indication of inadequate ventilation and related water damage.

9. Excessive moss growth

Moss growth may seem harmless on a roof, but over time it can cause serious damage.  Moss absorbs rainwater and grows into any space between shingles that it can.  Substantial enough moss growth, especially on an already compromised roofing system, can saturate the roof sheathing, from there causing significant decay.

10. Animal infestation

If you find small animals, like squirrels or birds, living in your attic, it may mean a part of your roof is missing.  Animals can damage your roof without the help of harsh weather, yet often damage from weather provides them an easy opportunity to tear through your roof.  Once a hole is formed, water has easy access to cause further damage.


Your roof is one of the most important components of your home, protecting it from just about anything the weather throws at it.  Roof replacement can be costly, but not replacing until it’s too late is even more costly.  The 10 easy to see signs your roof may need replacement or repairs are age, evidence of leaks, attic moisture or visible daylight, decayed shingles, excessive granule loss, compromised roof valleys, damaged flashing, excessive ice damming, excessive moss growth, or animal infestation.

What do you think are other signs that a roof is in need of replacement or repair?  Tell us in the comments.

Gaf Timberline before and after

Do any of these apply to your roof?  Call us today for your free estimate at 253-445-8950 or fill out our quick estimate formCHASE CONSTRUCTION NORTH WEST, INC. has been MASTER ELITE® with GAF since 2011, and we would love to help solve any issues you may be having!

Roofing Blog

Why is there a Construction Labor Shortage?

The construction industry has not fully recovered from the economic losses created by the Great Recession, even though many other industries have.  Today, total U.S. nonfarm employment is approximately 6.8 percent higher than its previous peak in January 2008:all employees 2004-2018, chase construction north westYet construction employment is approximately 8.8 percent lower than its previous peak in April employees 2004-2018, Chase Construction North West

Is the demand for new housing low?

Sluggish growth in construction employment could result from a depressed market demand for new housing.  However, given that existing home prices today are higher than they were during the 2006 peak, low demand for new houses may not be an issue.

Rudy Gutierrez of Roofers Coffee Shop thinks there’s a shortage of skilled construction laborers and that extending deferred action to undocumented immigrants could allow them to apply for work permits.  The market demand for new construction may be high, yet a shortage of labor may mean the desired construction isn’t built.

Gutierrez’s analysis may be correct given that the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) finds that immigrants account for 30 percent of construction labor (45 percent for roofers).  Since such a large proportion of construction workers are immigrants, it makes sense how a labor shortage could arise from policy that negatively impacts immigration.

Why is the proportion of immigrant labor in construction high?

An additional study from the NAHB suggests an answer to this question.  Only 3 percent of respondents, aged 18-25, want to work in the construction trades.

In response to this finding, economist Scott Sumner discusses possible reasons for a construction labor shortage.  Millennials grew up with indoor activities and have less physical labor experience. In addition, the Great Recession may have framed construction trades as less reliable, and laborers may have increased difficulties of relocation.

GAF’s Hire a Hero Roofing Academy can help!

Allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for work permits is not the only available technique to increase the supply of construction labor. With its Hire a Hero program, GAF and its partner, ProTrain, are doing everything they can to train veterans for the roofing industry.  The program is a success in the Pacific Northwest and has a great deal of room to grow.  Bringing more veterans into the roofing industry by guiding, training, and certifying them is an innovative way to lessen a construction labor shortage.


Since their peaks before the Great Recession, total employment has increased at a quicker pace than construction employment, leaving construction employment in a depressed state.  Existing home prices are higher than their previous peak as well, suggesting that demand for housing might be high and that there could instead be a supply issue.

Immigrants make up a large minority of construction workers, and extending deferred action for undocumented immigrants could alleviate this possible supply issue by allowing undocumented immigrants to acquire work permits.

Hire a Hero is an innovative way to help veterans as well as to bring more labor to the construction industry.

What other factors do you think could be negatively impacting construction employment? Tell us in the comments!

Is your roof getting old and worn out?   Chase Construction North West, Inc. has been installing new roofs for 16 years, and we’re very proud to be a Master Elite® roofing contractor with GAF for 8 years and counting.  Contact us today by filling out our free estimate form or calling us at 253-445-8950.