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

Leaks Don’t Always Start at the Roof

When you see water spots on your ceiling or water starts trickling down a wall, it’s common to assume that the cause is a defect or damage to your roof. But just because water is coming from somewhere above you, doesn’t necessarily mean your roof is to blame. Unfortunately, there can be many reasons for water leaks, so before you panic and assume you need a whole new roof, investigate some of these other alternative sources.

HVAC Systems
If you have an air handler system that resides in your attic, take a look at this first. There are myriad reasons why an HVAC unit may be leaking, so don’t dismiss it if it’s not obvious at first glance. First, check your unit’s drain pan. This is a metal pan that collects water and filters it to a drain, removing it from the house. Over time, the exposure to moisture can cause drain pans to rust and degrade, allowing water to leak out of the unit.

Another common cause of HVAC leaks is a clogged condensation drain. Over time, as water flows through this drain line, mold and mildew can build up, causing backups of condensation. If this is the cause of the leak, you will need to have an HVAC professional snake the drain, remove the obstruction and clean the line. Leaks can also be caused by faulty drain pumps or low refrigerant. If your HVAC is older or hasn’t been functioning properly, give this a look first and if you spot any issues, call in an HVAC maintenance company to inspect and repair the unit.

Hot Water Heaters
In an area like Hampton Roads where basements are few and far between, it’s not uncommon for builders to put hot water heaters in an attic. Yes, it means it’s out of the way and isn’t a daily eye sore, but it can become a big problem when (not if) it springs a leak. Hot water heaters are not meant to last forever, and they will eventually fail in one way or another.

If you have a hot water heater in your attic and have detected water spots, mold or mildew on the ceiling or in corners, check it immediately. Even a very small leak can cause major damage to joists, ceilings, insulation, and personal belongings. A licensed plumber will need to be contacted to safely remove and reinstall a new hot water heater if this is the case. You may also want to discuss with them the possibility of moving the hot water heater to a better location or switching to a tankless hot water heater.

Mortar Leaks
Mortar leaks can still cause damage to interior walls and corners as well as foundations, basements and along the length of an interior wall. Mortar joints in cinder block, stone or brick walls can deteriorate over time, allowing water to penetrate either through paths left by mortar gaps or directly through the stone. If your home is older and is brick or stone, take a look around the exterior of your house and see if you can spot any damp spots or visible gaps or missing mortar – especially around the areas where you’ve seen water damage inside. If so, you should contact a licensed contractor or mason to do the necessary repairs before the interior damage becomes worse and causes structural and foundational issues.

Siding leaks
Likewise, if you see stains like the ones described above, but your home is sided with vinyl or aluminum, there could be a similar issue. Openings at the lap joints of vinyl siding, as well as drain openings along the bottom edge of most vinyl siding products, allow the system to breathe and drain off any wind-blown rain that may enter behind the siding. If the house wrap or door or window flashing behind the siding is not properly installed or has sustained damage, the water that should be draining can enter the structure instead. These types of leaks can be slow to show up on the interior and by the time they do, they may have caused extensive wood rot, mold, and insect damage. To avoid this, do regular visual inspections of your home’s siding, looking for any gaps between planks or holes that may have been caused by storm damage or animals.

Burst Pipes
Any plumbing that runs through your walls, ceilings or attic may be the cause of water damage you spot inside your home. Particularly if your home is older and has not had any plumbing material upgrades done to it, deterioration may be occurring. Since most plumbing is hidden away behind walls, many people first detect a plumbing leak by spikes in their water bill. If your bill is suddenly significantly more than usual, it may be time to start a visual inspection of the pipes you are able to see or listen for areas where you may hear trickling or dripping. This is particularly common when you have a bathroom upstairs – toilets, sinks and bathtubs can easily spring slow leaks that over time create large, ugly water stains on the ceiling below. If this is the case, call in a professional plumber as soon as possible to fix the issue.

Window leaks
Old windows or improperly installed windows are common sources of leaks. If the casing around a window has rotted or was installed incorrectly, rainstorms can easily penetrate the exterior of your home. Often you will be able to see water coming in from the window casing, but other times the water collects between the wall and drywall, creating damp spots, mold and mildew. This can mimic the siding and mortar leaks we discussed above, so if you’re not sure what the cause is, call in a licensed contractor to help you determine the best way forward.

Gutters and fascia
Fascia is technically a part of your roof that covers the eaves above your gutter system. However, leaks in these areas are not always caused by the roof itself, but by clogged gutters. When a gutter system is full of debris, water can’t drain properly and will build up, pushing up against the fascia and causing rot. Over time this rot can allow that water buildup into the house, causing leaks that look very much like a true roof leak, with water coming down the sides of the wall or causing wet spots in corners. To avoid this, have your gutters cleaned regularly and the fascia board inspected and replaced if any rot has occurred.

If you investigate these other potential causes and still can’t find the source of the leak, it may be time to call in a qualified roofing professional. At Andrews Roofing, we provide roof inspections and repairs for all types of commercial and residential structures and on any type of roofing material. Don’t let a leak cause additional costly damage to your home. Contact us today.

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How Copper Prevents Dirt & Mold

On this commercial PVC membrane, notice the clean side is downhill and dirty side is uphill. When water runs across the copper cable it actually picks up tiny particles that distribute across the roof to prevent mold and algae growth, also inhibiting dirt accumulation. But these cables are actually a series of lightning rods, so if lightning strikes the building, its purpose would be to absorb the electrical charge and direct it to a grounding source to minimize damage to the building. This is relative to shingle roofing because the granules are designed with a copper core, which allows shingles to have an algae resistant quality.

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Does Your New Roof Have a Warranty?

When you invest your hard-earned money into your home, especially a sizable investment for something like a new roof, you want to know that you’re protected.

It’s important to understand, when pricing out a new roof and receiving quotes from roofing contractors, what the elements of a roof warranty include. There are a few different things to consider and questions to ask of anyone you’re considering hiring.

Roofing Material Warranties

Most roofing materials come with their own manufacturer warranty. For asphalt shingles, it’s common for manufacturers to provide a 25–30-year warranty, although some do offer longer or “lifetime” warranties. Many metal roofing materials are covered for up to 50 years or longer. The important thing to remember here is that their warranty only covers the material, not labor and not the cost of disposal. Some companies offer enhanced coverage you can purchase that will pay for a full replacement including workmanship for a certain period of time, but those warranties can be costly and require additional certifications and documentation by the contractor.

When receiving quotes on a new roof, ask questions about the materials and manufacturers each contractor uses, and what the warranties look like for each. A good roofing company will know their chosen manufacturer warranties inside and out and have insights about what will be best for your situation, home and location. Manufacturers will only honor warranties on their materials if they have been installed correctly and by a licensed contractor, so make sure you go with a reputable company.

Roofing Contractor Warranties

The other side of roofing warranties is the coverage that your roofing contractor provides to cover their own workmanship. These can vary widely from company to company. Because of that, it’s a good idea to get all of your quotes in writing along with a printed copy of their warranty coverage details. A workmanship warranty will typically cover damage that is caused by improper installation. Make sure the company also covers any materials that may be needed to fix the damage incurred.

At Andrews Roofing we provide a 10-year workmanship warranty on all of our shingle installs, provided we are the primary contractor to the client. This is longer than the industry norm for workmanship warranties. In addition to covering our work on new roof installations, we also warranty any repair work we do on a roof that we installed. We’ve been working in the Hampton Roads region for years, and our reputation in the community illustrates how we stand behind our work. Make sure that whoever you end up hiring has a good standing and reputation in your own community. Check online reviews and ask around with your neighbors. You can even contact the Better Business Bureau or licensing board of your state to make sure the company is in good standing.

Protecting Your Roof Warranty

It’s critical that you understand the requirements of your warranty to avoid rejected claims. If a leak or other damage is incurred, it should be promptly reported to the warranty department so corrective measures can be made as soon as possible. If you do have damage or issues, go back to your original roofing company. Unless they have proven themselves to be completely untrustworthy, it’s best to have continuity in the warranties and work. And finally, do not forget to register your warranty with the manufacturer after the work is completed if it is required. Some warranties do not require formal registration and some do, so it’s important to review your warranty package carefully when you receive it. For enhanced and upgraded warranties, the contractor may have to submit paperwork on your behalf with additional documentation.

We Stand Behind Our Work

We stand behind the work and the materials we use at Andrews Roofing. We’ve been in the business long enough to know which manufacturers do the same, and that’s who we use and recommend to our clients. Our exceptional workmanship warranty and reputation in the Tidewater Region can help you have confidence in your home investment for many years to come. Contact us today for a quote on your new roof.

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Metal or Shingle Roof: What’s Right for Your Home?

Metal roofs have become increasingly popular in residential structures in recent years, whereas asphalt shingles have been the de facto material of choice for decades. There are plenty of good reasons to consider metal roofing, but is it right for your own home?

Here are a few things to consider before replacing your roof with metal.

Durability and Lifespan

Metal roofs have a lifespan of 50 or more years – twice the length of a traditional asphalt roof. In addition to lasting much longer, they are also more durable. If installed properly by a licensed roofing contractor, some metal roofs can sustain up to 140 mile per hour winds. This is a serious benefit in a hurricane and storm-prone area like Hampton Roads. For homes in areas prone to wildfires, metal roof systems are less likely to ignite or catch fire from a spark or rouge flame.

Sustainability

When replacing your roofing system, there are some things to consider about the environmental friendliness of your choices. One is the material itself. In the case of metal roofs, the material is usually 25-95% recycled content, and metal roofs are themselves 100% recyclable. There’s also the energy efficiency of your roof. Metal roofs reflect UV rays, which can reduce the temperature of the surface and can result in a 10-25% reduction in cooling costs for your home, saving energy and fossil fuels.

Affordability

While there are great benefits to metal roofs, and while their popularity has increased, they are still significantly more expensive than traditional asphalt shingles. Depending on the exact type of metal materials used, it may cost two to three times more than an architectural shingle replacement. Metal roofs can save you money over time for the reasons mentioned above, but you should consider how long you plan to live in your home and whether you will be there long enough to get a return on your investment.

Sound

While modern building methods do offer metal roofs a bit more insulation from sound than in the old days, they are still louder than a traditional roof. Some people love the sound of rain on a metal roof, while others may find it bothersome over time. There is nothing definitively good or bad about this aspect of metal roofs, but it is something to keep in mind when making the decision.

 Snow

For areas where snow is common or in commercial situations, metal roofs will typically need snow guards. These little metal semi-circles or horizontal strips of metal keep snow from falling off in large clumps onto someone or something below. Even if you’re not in a snow prone area, you will need snow guards on steeply pitched roofs such as front porches and porticos. A qualified roofing contractor who is experienced with this material and installation will know the best way and the best places to install snow guards on your metal roof.

 Style

Manufacturers of metal roof systems have made major advances in the style and color range of metal roofing. In some cases, metal roofs can even look like traditional shingles from a distance. For the most part, though, metal roofs have a distinctive look and style which may or may not compliment your home. Some manufacturers have tools on their websites where you can visualize what different roof materials and colors would look like on a home similar to yours. Or you may just want to take some time to search the internet for photos of homes with different types of metal roofs.

An experienced roofing contractor can also assist you in visualizing and choosing the appropriate material. At Andrews Roofing, we’ve completed many homes with metal roofing, and one of the approaches that has become popular with our clients is to mix roofing materials. The primary roof of the home may be architectural asphalt shingles, with small overhangs, porches or dormers using a complimentary metal material. This look works great on Craftsman style homes and more modern designs. It also gives the home the unique and high-end look of metal without as much of a cost increase.

If you are considering replacing your roof with a new metal roof, or if you just have questions about what roofing material is right for your reroofing project, contact Andrews Roofing. We’ve worked with clients in the Tidewater region for decades, and know the best materials, approach and application for all types of roofing systems.

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How to Know When Your Roof Needs a Checkup

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care, but that doesn’t just apply to your physical health. The same could be said for anything you maintain, including your house and its major systems such as your roof. While there’s no getting around the fact that a roof will eventually need to be replaced, there are many things that can happen over the course of a roof’s lifespan that should be serviced, repaired and maintained. This is especially true in areas prone to severe weather such as the Hampton Roads region.

But how do you know when you should call in a professional roofing contractor? Here are a few things to keep an eye out for to help extend the lifespan of your roof.

Curling, cracking or buckling shingles are a tell-tale sign that your roof needs some attention. You may also notice asphalt granules in your gutters, which have deteriorated from damaged shingles. This doesn’t mean you need an entirely new roofing system! While this type of roof symptom can sometimes be a sign that a roof has reached the end of its serviceable life, it can also be an isolated incident that simply needs to be repaired or patched.

While it may not necessitate a total replacement, shingles that are damaged or worn should be a high priority on your home to-do list. Just a few curling shingles can allow water to penetrate your roof causing leaks, mildew and other interior damage.

Speaking of interior damage, dark spots on your ceiling or walls also signal that it’s time to have a roofing professional come out and inspect. Even if you don’t see a hole or missing or damaged shingles from the outside, the leak may still be the result of a failure in your roofing system such as loose or missing flashing, backed up gutters or damage that simply isn’t visible from the ground.

Dark spots indicate that moisture has penetrated your roof, the sheathing, decking, and potentially attic flooring. These are serious signs that should be attended to as soon as possible by a professional to ensure additional damage does not occur and that harmful mold and mildew do not start to grow.

Moisture in your attic may also be a sign of problems with your roof as well as your insulation. If you find that the insulation, wood, flooring, ductwork or other items in your attic seem damp, it may be caused by a lack of proper ventilation and/or unsatisfactory insulation. But these issues, over time, can also affect the health of your roof by causing water damage to decking from the underside. An ideal attic temperature is close to that of the temperature outside. This prevents condensation, which is often the cause of interior moisture damage. A licensed professional contractor will need to address these issues if you find them.

Of course, sometimes all of these things indicate that a roof has simply reached the end of its lifespan and needs to be replaced. Most modern asphalt shingle roofs have a lifespan of 20-30 years. In the cities of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake and across the Tidewater region, many homes and large neighborhoods were constructed in the 1990’s, making them the age now to need total replacement.

A qualified roofing company can provide you with a roofing checkup to help you determine whether a repair or total roof replacement makes the most sense for your home and budget. At Andrews Roofing, we provide professional evaluations, customized quotes and affordable financing options as well. Whether you think your roof needs an ounce of prevention or a pound of care, we can help. Contact Andrews Roofing today.

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Why Architectural Shingles Are So Popular 

If you are researching having your roof replaced and are becoming confused or overwhelmed by all the different options, you’re not alone.
There are a myriad materials and styles available, but living in a beachside region like Hampton Roads creates an additional requirement of roofing materials being storm and weather resistant. If you’ve done any research, you’ve no doubt run across asphalt shingles and “architectural shingles” as popular options. But what is the difference, and which is right for your home? Let’s start from the beginning.

What are asphalt shingles?
Asphalt shingles refer to a large category of roofing materials that have been used for steep-slope structures for over 100 years. This category of material is the most popular type of residential roofing because it is the most cost effective, easiest to install and easiest to repair or replace. Most asphalt shingles are made up of a fiberglass mat, top and bottom layers of asphalt and mineral granules that protect them from weather and UV damage. From there, asphalt shingles start to differentiate themselves based on how they’re manufactured, installed and therefore the final look.

Asphalt “3-tab” shingles refer to the three cutouts or tabs along the lower edge of the shingle that make it appear to be three different pieces when installed. It is the most cost-effective asphalt option and it provides a flat, uniform look. This style has been popular with homeowners for decades and is therefore available in a wide variety of colors and by many different manufacturers.

Architectural shingles are a variation of this 3-tab design and are manufactured in multiple layers. They were designed to mimic wood shake or slate roofing, so that rather than lying flat in a single layer, their variations of thickness create a more natural, contoured look. Because they have become increasingly popular, they are also now available in many different colors by many different manufacturers.

How durable are architectural shingles?
The contoured look of architectural shingles isn’t just aesthetic. The variable thickness actually increases their durability and wind resistance as well as their long-term life cycle. Because of this, architectural shingles usually have extended manufacturer warranties and longer lifespans.

On average, traditional 3-tab asphalt shingles have 20, 25 or 30 year warranties at most. Architectural shingles generally have a minimum warranty of 30 years and can be expected to last beyond that time frame – up to twice as long as traditional asphalt shingles. Architectural shingles can tolerate up to 130 mph wind gusts, 3-tab shingles are only rated for up to 60 mph gusts.

The long-term durability of architectural shingles means that even though the initial investment only slightly more than 3-tab, their value over time is much higher resulting in a bigger bang for your buck. This is particularly true in hurricane and storm ridden areas such as Tidewater, since they provide higher wind resistance.

One added benefit of asphalt shingles – regardless of the type – is that they are recyclable. According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, millions of recycled asphalt shingles are used to pave roads across the country every year. So if you’re looking to replace your aging asphalt shingles, you can feel good about the waste from the project not going into a landfill, but maybe into a pothole!

Andrews Roofing Can Help
If you’re considering replacing your old asphalt roof and aren’t sure which material or style is best for you, your home and your budget, Andrews Roofing can help. We’ve been repairing and replacing roofs in the Hampton Roads region for decades, and we know what works best for homes in this area and what has stood the test of time. Contact us today to schedule your estimate and learn more about your roofing options.

You can find many examples in our residential roofing section. Here are some links as well:

 

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