Why is there foam in my gutter??

Today I received a call from a homeowner who had a GAF roof installed about 5 months ago by another local company. Every time it’s rained since the roof was installed, he finds foamy water in his gutters. He was a little concerned as to why this is happening and whether it would hurt his plants, so he called the company that installed the roof and was simply told “this is normal”.

Unsatisfied with this answer, he started calling around and reached me. In the few years I’ve been here, I’ve never heard anyone mention this issue. I apologized that none of our roofers were here at the moment for me to ask, but suggested he contact GAF directly.

Since I prefer to give helpful answers rather than pacify clients with “it’s normal”, I couldn’t just leave this alone even though he was not our client. I also felt it was important for me to know the answer for anyone else who may ask, so after some unfruitful searching online, I decided to ask our rep at Owens Corning.

He replied that during the manufacturing process for all shingles, a soapy water is used to cool the shingles and prevent the bundles from sticking together. Sometimes too much is applied and it leaves a heavy residue. Then when it rains for the first time after installation, it foams up and looks like your shingles are being washed. This is nothing the homeowner has to be concerned about as it will not stain surfaces or harm plants, and should only happen the first or second time it rains. (The homeowner said this has happened during every rain for the last 5 months, but it’s been a relatively dry spring so it may just not have rained heavily enough to have washed it all away.) He also informed me that in very rare instances, the copper used in shingles to prevent algae can cause the water to foam.

I called the homeowner back to tell him what I’d learned. He had already contacted GAF who will be sending an inspector out, but he was very surprised and thankful that I’d taken the time to call him back with answers. I told him it was a new question for me so I wanted to know the answer, and wanted to make sure he got the answers he was seeking. He said he appreciated this and wished the people who installed the roof would have told him this.

It felt really good to have an opportunity to provide him with answers after his roofer couldn’t. I did not initially have the answers he needed, but was able to get them within minutes of asking our rep. I work with a knowledgeable, wonderful crew, and our company has formed great relationships with our vendors and manufacturers. I am surrounded by the best team I could ever ask for, which in turn helps me provide better service. It’s things like this that make me love working here.

-Shannon Gassaway, Office Manager


Best Roofer FIVE years in a row!

Best of 2014 celebrateWOW!  Thank you Nevada County for selecting us for the fifth year in a row as the Best Roofer in The Union’s “Best of Nevada County”.  It means a lot to have been able to have earned this honor, and we will continue to do all we can to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations!

Congratulations to all the winners!  Click below to see them all:  Click here to see all the winners!


Get peace of mind with an employee-owned company

I’ve been reflecting on the compliments we receive versus some of the negative feedback I hear about other roofers.  While I’m not one to speak ill of others in our industry, I’m grateful to know I’m part of a team that upholds a high standard.

Are you kidding me?!You wouldn’t believe how often people seem astounded that I returned their call, because none of the other contractors they called had replied.  I also hear various tales of unprofessional behavior, poor workmanship, etc.  I’ve seen a job where one of the workers had signed their name across the shingles with sealant, which was clearly visible from a second story window.  While I can’t fathom an adult thinking this is an acceptable thing to do, another story has since taken the cake for me.

A new client recently emailed me with concerns about her upcoming job.  Shortly after her Nails in the yardneighbors got a new roof, she discovered that the roofers had swept all the nails into HER yard where her horses are kept!  After a few days of picking nails out of her yard, our client was reasonably concerned about having to do this again when we do her roof.  I assured her that one of the most frequent comments I hear from clients is how impressed they are with our cleanup.

Gold Country Roofing is an employee owned company, so our crew has a vested interest in the integrity and quality of their work.  Unlike companies that have high employee turnover or hire unskilled or temp workers, our crew is experienced and dedicated to being here for years to come, and truly stand behind the lifetime workmanship guaranties we provide.

-Shannon Gassaway, Office Manager

Voted Nevada County’s BEST Roofer!

We’d like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone that voted us Nevada County’s BEST ROOFER for the third year in a row!
We understand there are several choices out there, and we truly appreciate all of our valued clients who chose us to assist with their roofing needs.  We have been helping Nevada County’s residents since 1980, and are determined to do our best to be worthy of your continued support.

We would also like to congratulate all the other winners and nominees of the 2012 Best of Nevada County – find them all here!

Are your expensive gutter guards failing you?

With so many styles of gutter guards to choose from, it can be hard to decide which will work best. There are several designs that, in THEORY, should be quite effective in allowing water to flow into the gutters without bringing debris in with it.  As popular as they seem to be in our area, we often find the solid surface gutter guards not living up to their reputation.

These are designed so water will flow off the roof, curve around the nose and into the gutter, while debris just falls off the front of the nose. During light to average rainfall, this theory holds up pretty well. But with a heavier downpour, the high volume of water tends to bounce off the solid surface and splatter to the ground, rather than flowing into the gutter as intended (thus negating the purpose of having gutters in the first place).

Some of the other design flaws we see are:

  • They have a higher profile than mesh screen style guards. This is fine if you WANT to look at your gutter guards, but we find most people would rather their gutter guards be more of a hidden protection system than a focal point of their home.
  • Smaller debris is light enough that it will still flow along with the water around the nose and into the gutter.
  • Depending on the bracket system, there can be inconsistencies in the size of the opening along a run, thus allowing a larger gap for debris to enter.
  • After a decent build-up of debris accumulates in the gutters, they can be very difficult to clean out.


If your current guards are proving to be rather ineffective, it may be time for some new Leaf Solution gutter guards.  This low-profile, micro mesh gutter guard doesn’t have gaps for debris to sneak into.  The design helps to slow the flow of water and direct it down into the gutters where it belongs, rather than letting it splash all over you whenever you walk by.  Unless, of course, you enjoy that sort of attention…


Call Gold Country Roofing today and let us help you end your gutter protector issues once and for all!


Overlay vs. Tear-Off

Thinking about a new composition shingle roof?  Wondering whether to opt for an overlay or a tear-off?  Although each roof must be evaluated individually, there are some general guidelines to help make an informed decision.

What is a Roof Overlay?

The new shingles are applied over the existing layer of shingles.  While overlays save on time, labor and disposal costs, they can only be done if certain conditions are met.

What is a Tear-Off?

First we remove all the old shingles from the roof.  Then we inspect your roofing deck (the wooden base over your rafters) and replace or seal it as needed.  We then completely re-cover your roof with new underlayment and shingles from top to bottom.

Which option is better for you?

If there are already two layers of shingles, an overlay is NOT an option, as Nevada County only allows up to two layers.

If you only have one layer, the existing roof is in good condition, lays flat (no bumps or rolls) and has no leaks or any problems with the underlying roof deck (soft spots), then an overlay may be the best option for you.

However, a tear-off will probably be necessary if:

  • The condition of the existing shingles is so rough and distorted that it would not be practical to flatten all raised areas enough for the new roof to lay flat.  Installing shingles over existing shingles that aren’t flat can make the new roof look bumpy and make it harder for the new layer of shingles to form a seal.

  • The roof structure shows signs of sag across the ridge or truss lines.  If the roof does not look straight and feel solid, there may be structural defects.  Shingles are heavy, and adding a new layer over an existing roof adds weight to the rafters and to the structure in general. Older roofs, sagging roofs or substandard rafters may not safely bear the additional weight.

  • If spongy areas are noticed when walking on a roof, or an inspection of the deck reveals rotted/warped wood or large gaps between the deck boards.  Any rotten or damaged boards must be replaced before applying the new shingles.  Deterioration can occur when there is delamination in the plywood due to glue failure.  Dry rot is wood rot caused by certain types of fungi and if it isn’t taken care of, it can spread. If there is any suspicion of bad decking, then a full tear-off should seriously be considered, as these conditions are not always evident until the roofing is removed.

Lastly, if you are considering the benefits of the Owens Corning Preferred Protection Limited Warranty, a tear-off is required to qualify for the warranty.

The experts at Gold Country Roofing have decades of experience installing quality roofs, both overlays and tear-offs.  Contact us today for your free roof estimate, and we will give you our recommendation based upon the condition of your current roof.

Maintain your composition shingle roof

Your home is your most valuable asset, and your roof protects the structure and interior of your entire home.  Like everything else, a roof can’t last forever, but you CAN take steps to make sure it lasts for decades.  Skimping on your roof’s maintenance can result in expensive repairs.  Protect your investment (and your wallet) with these simple steps:


Don’t let D.I.Y = “oops!”

We often get calls from clients who are experiencing a leak or some other concern, only to find the problem stems from their attempts to install or repair something themselves.  While we understand their desire to take matters into their own hands, we advise you to proceed with caution.  Read your roof warranty carefully before attempting any repairs or installing any item that could damage your roof and/or void the warranty.  Third party entities, (for example, heat & AC unit installers), can also cause damage and void your warranty.   Protect yourself and your investment from costly DIY or third party mistakes.


Not everything should “go green”

Dust, debris, algae, “presents” from area wildlife… over time, this build-up not only becomes unsightly, but may also encourage deterioration of your shingles.  Keeping your roof clean is important and so is the cleaning method you use.  Harsh chemicals or excessive scrubbing can remove the granules, damage the shingles and even void your roof’s warranty.  Periodically blowing off your roof is a good way to maintain overall cleanliness, but if the build-up has gotten out of hand, the spray nozzle on your garden hose can often do the trick.  IMPORTANT: DO NOT power wash, and avoid spraying your roof at an upward angle that will force water up underneath the shingles.

Avoid a pile-up

With Nevada County’s plentiful foliage it doesn’t take long to accumulate a solid layer of debris on the roof.  Roof shingles are designed to shed water rapidly downward and off the roof, so when debris is allowed to collect, the shingles are not able to drain and dry properly.  Standing water leads to premature rotting of the shingles and growth of algae, and water tends to wick upward, finding its way up underneath the shingles and into your home.  NOTE:  When cleaning out your gutters, watch for any roof granules that have accumulated.  Excessive granule loss is a warning sign that your shingles may be reaching the end of their life.

Know what to look for

It’s not always easy to spot a problem until it’s become a big and costly one.  Sometimes leaks can be difficult to diagnose even for seasoned professionals.  However, anyone can keep an eye out for signs that their roof is in need of maintenance, repair or replacement, and take action now to avoid more expensive problems later.



Ceiling or Wall Stains, Mold or Mildew

Leaking shingles, skylights, flashing, water pipes or siding; inadequate roof drainage (improperly installed gutters or gutter guards, collection of debris, etc.); inadequate attic ventilation

Cracked, curled or buckling shingles

Inadequate attic ventilation; improper shingle fastening or felt application; movement in roof decking; indication that shingles are at the end of their life

Dark areas on shingles

Environmental (pollutants, vegetation, dirt, algae growth, etc.), or may be a sign that shingles have excessive granule loss

Decay of shingles or siding near roof; exterior paint near roof is blistered, cracked or peeling

Leaks; inadequate attic ventilation

Gold Country Roofing – Voted Nevada County’s Best Roofing Company!

A HUGE and heartfelt “thank-you” to everyone who voted us Nevada County’s Best Roofing Company!!  We’re so happy to have provided our valued clients with the quality service to have earned this honor.

See a list of all the winners in The Union’s Nevada County’s Best publication.

Gold Country Roofing Named Western Nevada County’s ONLY Owens Corning Preferred Roofing Contractor!

Grass Valley, CA, 4/19/11 – Gold Country Roofing has been named a Preferred Roofing Contractor by Owens Corning, America’s most recognized brand of roofing shingles. As an Owens Corning Preferred Roofing Contractor, Gold Country Roofing has demonstrated a commitment to adhere to industry best practices and standards and is an established business within the communities it serves.

“We strive to provide the best possible products and service to our customers, so we’re very excited to be able to offer the unprecedented Lifetime Warranty that Owens Corning now provides,” said Stan Smith, Owner of Gold Country Roofing.  “What does this mean for our customers?  We can now essentially provide them with the last roof they will ever need, making their new Owens Corning roof one of the smartest home improvement options out there.”

Gold Country Roofing provides roofing services in Nevada County, CA, and offers several lines of Owens Corning shingles. All Owens Corning Preferred Roofing Contractors have a minimum of three years experience, a clean profile with the Better Business Bureau and all required state and local licenses.   Gold Country Roofing is the ONLY Owens Corning Preferred Contractor in Western Nevada County.

“The Preferred program takes the guess work out of finding a contractor,” says Jeff Carpenter, Owens Corning Contractor Development Leader. “Preferred Roofing Contractors have a demonstrated track record of dependable, quality workmanship and they are backed by one of the most trusted names in roofing.”

About Gold Country Roofing

Gold Country Roofing has been serving Nevada County since 1980, specializing in residential, commercial and industrial roofing applications.  Their quality services come with a 10 year limited workmanship warranty, and include year-round  re-roofing & tear-offs, shingle, metal & thermoplastic membrane installation, seamless gutter installation, leaf guard systems and deck waterproofing.  Repairs, maintenance and free estimates are offered as well.  When your roof is installed by the seasoned professionals at Gold Country Roofing, you will experience better energy efficiency in your home or business.  Visit them online at www.goldroof.com.

About Owens Corning

Owens Corning (NYSE: OC) is a leading global producer of residential and commercial building materials, glass fiber reinforcements and engineered materials for composite systems.  A Fortune 500 Company for 55 consecutive years, Owens Corning is committed to driving sustainability through delivering solutions, transforming markets and enhancing lives.  Founded in 1938, Owens Corning is a market-leading innovator of glass-fiber technology with sales of $6 billion in 2008 and about 16,500 employees in 30 countries on five continents.  Additional information is available at www.owenscorning.com.