Leaks & Service Repairs

757-399-3066 ext 3 (Leaks & Service Repairs)

Reroof Estimates & Inspections

757-399-3066 ext 1 (Reroof Estimates & Inspections)

Author: Andrews Roofing

Is Your Roof Ready for Summer Storm Season?

Summer storm season is upon us in Hampton Roads.

While plenty of attention is paid to hurricane season and tropical storms, there are other types of summer storms on the Eastern Seaboard that can cause their fair share of damage as well.

Tornados

According to the National Weather Service, tornado season spikes in Virginia from April to September. April has the highest number of tornadoes on record: between 1950 and 2021 Virginia saw 160 tornadoes in the month of April alone, 37 of which were (E)F2 or higher. While the vast majority of those tornadoes are (E)F0 or (E)F1, they can still cause plenty of exterior damage to property.

Derechos
In addition to tornadoes, summer storms often bring with them derechos. The national weather service defines these storms as “widespread, long-lived wind storms associated with bands of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms.” These storm systems can cause just as much damage with their straight-line winds as a tornado does with its cyclical wind.  On June 29, 2012, Virginia was hit with one of the most destructive derecho storms on record. Dominion Energy reported it as the third worst storm to hit Virginia, leaving one million people in the state without power.

Flooding

Flooding – from any type of storm system – is the most common and costly natural disaster, according to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. You can find out whether or not you live in a flood zone, and in exactly what area of a flood zone through the Virginia Flood Risk Information System. And as our region’s name implies, Tidewater is even more impacted by flooding due to high tides that coincide with heavy rain.

While these facts and figures can be scary, it’s best to understand the risk to your home and property in advance so that you can be as prepared as possible. Having a comprehensive home insurance policy and flood insurance where necessary is a great start. But to avoid having to make an insurance claim or out-of-pocket costly repairs, prevention is key.

Unfortunately, in the case of severe weather, your roof is often the most vulnerable part of your home due to its location and sheer surface area. And of course, roof damage isn’t ever just roof damage. Leaks and holes can cause interior water and property damage. Clogged, missing or damaged gutters can cause foundation issues. Even loose flashing or shingles can cause impact damage to other parts of your home.

So how can you prepare your home’s roof for summer storms?

First, give your roof a good visual inspection. Walk the entire perimeter of your property, paying attention to shingles, flashing, vents, and gutters. Remember to also check the roofs of any exterior buildings on your property such as sheds, pool houses or workshops. These structures also need regular roofing maintenance and, depending on their use, disrepair can lead to costly property damage.

If gutters are clogged, have them cleaned out. This can prevent overflow which can lead to foundation sagging and water damage or basement flooding. If you see any loose or missing shingles, call a qualified roofing company to make an immediate repair. Even one or two missing shingles make all the other shingles around it substantially more vulnerable to being blown away. Loose or missing flashing also calls for an immediate repair as these can become dangerous and destructive projectiles. Have all work done by a licensed, professional roofing contractor and keep all your paperwork on hand in case you need to make a warranty or insurance claim if damage does occur.

If your roof needs some preventative repairs or maintenance in preparation for this summer’s storm season, contact Andrews Roofing today. We have served the Tidewater area for years and know the unique needs and requirements of homes in this region.

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How to Protect Your Roofing Investment

A new roof may be one of the largest investments you make in your home.

So, once you’ve made that upgrade, it’s important to protect it. Most people don’t spend much time thinking about their roof – until something goes wrong. But some forethought and a little regular maintenance can extend its life and the value you get out of it. Here are a few tips on how to extend the life of this important home investment.

Keep those gutters clean

One of the most critical things you can do to help your roof remain healthy and stable is to keep your gutters clean and clear of debris. When gutters are clogged, water can push up under the shingles, causing rot and damage to the sheathing below. Clogged gutters can also cause excess water to fall off the edge of the gutter and right toward your home’s foundation. Over time, this can cause foundation cracks, moisture damage, termites, basement flooding and more.

While it’s critical to keep your gutters clean, it’s also important to stay safe. If you plan to clean your own gutters, always do so with another person who can stabilize the ladder while you clean. Otherwise, find a locally owned and operated company who provides professional gutter cleaning services and get on their schedule for regular seasonal or semi-annual maintenance.

Do a regular visual inspection

A simple visual inspection once a month, or right after large storms, can help identify potential trouble spots. Things to look for include cracked or curled shingles, missing flashing, loose shingles or flashing, or mold or mildew build up on shingles. Inside your home you can do regular visual inspections in your attic or crawl space. Check for damp areas, excessive drafts, and of course – obvious holes or water damage.

If you see any of these issues, give your roofing contractor a call. There may be warranties on your roofing materials that could help solve the issue. If there has been true damage to your roof or interior, it may also be time to call your insurance agent.

Keep your roof clean

In addition to being unsightly, areas of mold, mildew and algae on your roof can actually lead to more serious damage. Mildew can cause shingles to warp over time, losing their stability and protective purpose. It can also be indicative of worse water damage to your roof’s sheathing. We do not recommend cleaning your roof yourself, as this can be a dangerous activity. Find a qualified, professional cleaning service who can do this for you on an as-needed basis.

Trim your trees

One of the best ways to prevent damage to your roof is to keep the trees and landscaping around your roof trimmed and maintained. Trees with overhanging branches should be cut back by a professional tree service as should any nearby dead or dying trees. After any major storms, check the trees on your property to make sure no branches have broken and gotten caught up on lower limbs – these can become damaging flying debris in the next storm.

Keep an eye on your attic

Your attic is the foundation of a healthy roof. It provides two critical elements for a long roof life: ventilation and insulation. Proper ventilation in your roof, along with appropriate insulation, eliminates moisture build up that can combine to cause rafters and sheathing to rot, shingles to buckle, and insulation to lose its effectiveness. A licensed contractor can help if you think either of these two things may be lacking in your attic.

Call a professional roofing company

If your self-inspections reveal any of the issues mentioned above, it’s important to call a local, licensed roofing company. Roof repairs are too serious and potentially dangerous to be DIY. Protect the rest of your home by maintaining a healthy roof alongside a trusted roofing company.

If you’ve noticed any issues with your roof, or would like to have your roof inspected for damage and deterioration, contact Andrews Roofing today. We’d be happy to come out to your home and help determine what your next best steps are – whether that’s a roof repair or replacement.

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Are Rain Diverters or Gutters Right for Your House?

Did you know that Virginia Beach gets an average of 47” of rain per year? That’s 9” more than the national average.

Add to that the dampness and moisture issues that are common across all the cities of Hampton Roads due to low lying areas that have been developed, and wet weather can become a real problem for your home.

Because of this, most homes built in the Tidewater region should have gutters. Without gutters, rain sheets off of your roof straight onto the ground around your home’s foundation. This in turn can cause structural issues such as causing your foundation to sink or shift. It can also cause moisture damage to the foundation and crawl space of your house such as mold, mildew, and termites.

If you’re having these types of issues at your home, you may be looking into whether installing or replacing your gutters is the right thing to do or whether rain diverters can take care of the problem instead. The answer isn’t as cut and dry as you might think.

When Gutters Are Necessary

Gutters are really your home’s best first line of defense against water damage. We can’t recommend that anyone in Hampton Roads bypass this feature on their home. Some people avoid gutters because they don’t want to do the upkeep of cleaning and clearing them regularly. The problem with that logic is that the damage caused by sheeting water that isn’t managed with a gutter system will be much more severe and costly than putting a leaf guard on your gutter or paying a professional to clean them once a year. While gutters aren’t necessary in all parts of the country, we do believe that they are necessary for a healthy home in our region.

When Diverters are Necessary

Not every part of your home’s roofline may be compatible with a gutter system. It can be tricky to install gutters on areas such as a porticoed entryway or dormers. In these cases, a diverter may be used instead. Diverters essentially direct rainwater away from certain areas so that water isn’t sheeting off the roofline and onto the ground. They keep the water flowing and, ideally, redirect the water to a proper drainage site – a connected downspout or another area of the roofline that does have gutters. In this instance, rain diverters can be beneficial and sometimes necessary.

We would be remiss in not mentioning, however, that rain diverters can sometimes cause water to back up underneath shingles in the case of really heavy rain and downpours – something that isn’t uncommon in our area. It’s critical to monitor the area of your roof where diverters are being used to check for any signs of water damage or a failing structure, especially after a particularly heavy rain or storm. That being said, the reality is that both diverters and gutters require a certain amount of maintenance and monitoring.

Always Use a Professional Roofing Company

If you’re considering replacing or installing gutters or rain diverters on your home’s roof, talk to a licensed and experienced roofing contractor with knowledge of your specific area. If you live in the Hampton Roads region, Andrews Roofing would be happy to provide a quote for a replacement and installation of our Rapid Rain Gutter System™. This product uses technology that provides a large capacity system without being bulky or unsightly on your home. It’s available in a wide range of scratch resistant, designer colors to match your home’s style, and it comes with a limited lifetime guarantee. Contact us today to learn more.

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Why Critters in Your Attic May Mean It’s Time For a Roof Repair

If you’ve been hearing things going “bump” in the night lately, it’s safe to say it’s probably a critter in your attic rather than something paranormal.

In the cold, wet winter months, animals are more likely to try and take shelter in any warm, secluded area they can find. Often the place they’re most able to access and remain undisturbed is your attic. The problem (besides keeping you up at night) is that once they’ve taken up residence, they can cause a lot of damage to the interior and exterior of your home.

Common Attic Critters in Hampton Roads

One of the most common yet unwelcome attic residents in Hampton Roads homes are squirrels. Dexterous and able to climb and jump quite high, squirrels can find it easy to access your attic if certain precautions or repairs are not taken.

“Roof rats” are another common intruder – often looking to either make a nest or find materials for their nest elsewhere. Loose, blown-in insulation is paradise for a pack of roof rats looking for a warm, cozy place to wait out the winter.

It’s also not unheard of for raccoons to make their way into attics when homes are near large trees or wooded areas, as many in the Tidewater region are. Even birds have been known to enter attics through open vent holes or even ventilation fans.

How Are They Getting In?

In some homes, there may be small holes at roof eaves meant for ventilation, but also perfect for allowing in small vermin. Rats and even squirrels are capable of chewing at eave shingles to enlarge any opening they may find. Sometimes a vent cover can break, fail or fall out, creating easy access for any animal looking for a new residence. Persistent pests may even pull back loose flashing or fascia to enter a home.

All of these scenarios are more likely when a home has trees close to the roofline, however roof rats are capable of entering a home even by climbing up a brick exterior to an entry point, or traveling through the walls, so don’t assume that you’re in the clear if you’re not in a wooded area.

What to Look For

In addition to noises you may hear – especially at night when nocturnal animals are up and about, there are some physical signs you should keep an eye out for. Check your attic space for animal droppings on a regular basis. If you see any wires or ductwork that look chewed or damaged, an animal has likely found an entry point. From the exterior, look for loose flashing, missing vent covers, ventilation holes at eaves, missing fascia or shingles that look chewed up or damaged. Birds’ nests in your gutters or eaves are also a sign they may be getting inside.

Potential Damage

Unwanted critters in your attic can cause a wide variety of damage. The entry point at which they accessed the attic is likely damaged in some way – either by the animal forcing their way in, or by some other means which has then allowed them easier access. Wiring and ductwork can be chewed up and rendered useless. Insulation may be moved around so it is not acting as efficiently as it should, or it may be missing, have gaps or be damaged in some way from nesting. Shingles, fascia and even roof decking may be damaged if an animal forced their way in. And of course, any personal items you keep stored in your attic may be damaged or destroyed.

What You Can Do

If you do have any type of unwanted animal in your home, the first step is to get it out. There are many local companies who do humane animal removal and relocation. For roof rats and other vermin, a pest company may need to set baits and traps, and remove those before going forward. Any repair work you do before identifying and removing the cause of the damage will likely be in vain, as the animal may undo the work trying to chew their way back out.

Once the unwelcome guests are gone, then it’s time to identify how they have been accessing your home. Repairs and improvements to prevent their return can include adding wire mesh or metal over fascia or ventilation holes, repairing or replacing vent covers, replacing any damaged decking, shingles or flashing.

Having your roof maintained and inspected on an annual basis with a licensed roofing company is a great way to identify any possible issues and avoid potential damage caused by unwelcome critters. At Andrews Roofing, we provide roof maintenance services to clients all across the Hampton Roads region. Whether it’s storm damage or a pesky rodent, we can identify the issue before it becomes a major problem, saving you money and hassle down the line. Contact us today for your home’s roof inspection or repair.

 

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Does Your Home Need a Roof Evaluation or a Roof Inspection?

Whether you’re selling a house, buying a house or just want to know if it’s time to repair or replace the roof on your current home, you may be researching roof evaluations and inspections. So, what is the difference between the two, and which one makes the most sense for you? While we can’t speak to the terminology for every roofing company out there, here is how we at Andrews Roofing define and approach both services to meet your needs.

Roof Evaluations

A roof evaluation is the less complex and detailed of the two services. This service may be better for homeowners or buyers who simply want to know the life expectancy of a roof and what type of service may be needed down the road, but do not have a specific issue or damage to be addressed.

When we complete a roof evaluation, we schedule a time with you to come out to the house and walk the roof while taking photos from several different angles. Within one to two days, we will email you a letter with our company letterhead for your records. This report can be helpful alongside a home inspection, particularly if any notes were made about the condition of the roof in the inspection. We can address these issues with more expertise and advice on how to move forward.

It’s also not a bad idea to have a roof evaluation done prior to putting your home on the market. Having the roof evaluation letter is an excellent thing to provide potential buyers to put their minds at ease about the condition of the house. It also lets you know if there are potential issues you should address prior to listing your home. This service is easily scheduled, does not take up much of your time and only costs $99.

Roof Inspection

A roof inspection is more detailed and involved than an evaluation. Sometimes an inspection is required by an insurance company or can become a requirement for various reasons before a sale can go through on a home. A roof inspection can also be scheduled by a buyer or seller of a home to have peace of mind before purchasing or listing a property.

For this service, one of our technicians will schedule a time to go out to the house where they will walk the roof, take several detailed photos and within one to two days of inspection, provide a report that shows deficiencies and issues in specific detail. They may place arrows and captions on the photos they took to point out areas of concern. The report also details the life expectancy of the roof in addition to providing specific details on the sheathing, deck, chimney, penetrations, potential issues, current issues and recommendations for any repairs that may be needed. Because this report is more detailed and time consuming, the cost is $350.

Make informed decisions

When buying or selling a home, or when considering whether or not to make major home repairs and updates, knowledge is power – whether you use it as leverage at a closing table, or to ensure the longevity of your home. Whatever your comfort level and budget is, Andrews Roofing can provide you with more knowledge and peace of mind before moving forward on any major investment.

Which is best for you?

If you’re still not sure which service is best for you, please feel free to contact Andrews Roofing and one of our service representatives will be happy to talk to you about your specific situation and help you determine the best service for your needs.

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What You Need to Know About Ice Dams and Roof Damage

With all the recent winter weather Hampton Roads has been experiencing, you may be noticing new issues arising with your house that you don’t normally have to deal with. You’ve probably had to shovel snow from your driveway or walkways, and you may have needed to drip your faucets to avoid pipes freezing. But there’s also something you should be aware of with your roof during inclement winter weather, and it’s called “ice damming.”

What is Ice Damming?

You know the beautiful icicles that form along the edge of your roof after a winter storm? While they look charming, they are actually indicative of an ice dam.

Ice damming happens after a measurable snow event. Snow settles somewhat evenly on your roof, and provided it’s not a massive amount of snow that would cause weight bearing issues, your roof is perfectly capable of handling it. The problem occurs after the storm when heat starts to melt the snow. The heat may come from inside the attic due to insufficient insulation or other air leaks to the attic that allow warm air in, or it may come from the sun. In either case, snow starts to melt and water runs down the roof toward your gutters.  Again, if this happens gradually, and if your gutters are clear, and if the temperature does not drop precipitously, your home’s structure should manage all of this just fine.

Unfortunately those ideal circumstances don’t always happen. What often happens is that the snow starts to melt, and when it reaches the edge of the roofline it begins to freeze. This is because the edge of a roof is likely less warm – not having been heated from living or attic space underneath. Then as the sun goes down, and temperatures drop, the melted snow compiles, freezes and creates a dam at the edge of the roofline. This dam causes moisture to back up, and can also cause shingles to lift, allowing water to get underneath resulting in interior leaks. If this happens, you may notice damp spots on your ceiling or walls, peeling paint or mildew.

What should you do if it happens?

Trying to remove the ice buildup with household tools, shovels, etc. can damage your roof, not to mention be incredibly dangerous for you. Throwing salt on the roof can cause damage to any plants underneath and may not work quickly or effectively enough.

If the ice dam has caused a leak into your attic or scuttle space, you can point a box fan at it to freeze it and stop additional water damage until the snow is able to melt and drain away.

You can also use a roof rake which is a long-handled tool that you can use to rake snow off the roof while you stay safely on the ground. It may not remove existing ice dams, but if you use it right after a snow event, it can prevent ice dams from forming.

How can you prevent future ice dams?

It may surprise you to know that even if a leak occurs from an ice dam, it’s not necessarily because your roof was not installed properly or because of true roof damage. In fact, most ice dams are caused by issues inside the house, not the roof.

The main cause of ice dams is the difference in temperature between the center of the roof and the eaves. Maintaining an even temperature is the first step to avoiding the issue. You can help create an even temperature under your roof by increasing the ventilation in your attic, adding insulation and sealing any air leaks that may be allowing warm air into your attic or scuttle. You should discuss these options with a licensed contractor, as it is not advisable to DIY these important fixes.

How can we help?

If your roof has sustained damage from an ice dam during the winter weather we’ve been experiencing in the Hampton Roads region, contact Andrews Roofing today. We provide roof repair services in addition to full roof replacements to residents of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and other cities in the region, and we’d be happy to provide you with a free estimate.

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