Leaks & Service Repairs

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

Reroof Estimates & Inspections

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

Author: bc-admin

Roof Maintenance Tips for Stand-Alone Structures

When you think about roof maintenance, your mind probably goes right to the largest roof you have to deal with – the one over your home.

But if you have any exterior stand-alone structures on your property, their roofs need to be inspected and maintained just like your home’s. This may include garages, sheds, pool houses, barns or workshops. It’s particularly important to keep an eye on these structures if they store expensive equipment or other important items to avoid any type of damage.

The roof on an outbuilding can experience additional challenges that your home’s roof may not have, and there are additional ways to inspect and maintain these structures. Here are a few of our tips for maintaining and extending the life of your stand-alone structure’s roof.

Regular Visual Inspections

Like your home’s roof, you should inspect the roofs of these structures on a regular basis and especially after storm events. Depending on the size of these structures, it may be a little easier to visually inspect their condition from the ground. Look for the same telltale signs that you would on your home’s roof: missing shingles, warped or algae covered shingles, loose or missing flashing, clogged or damaged gutters and of course – holes or other damage. Check the eaves for nests of any kind – birds, bees, wasps, squirrels or any other type of animal nest can cause serious damage.

Safely Clean Them from the Ground

Again, the roof line of these structures may be a bit lower which may make it possible to safely clean them off yourself. A buildup of leaves, moss, or a few sticks and branches may seem benign, but they can cause damage if left alone for too long. Moss and algae – which are common in the Hampton Roads region – can collect on areas of the roof that do not get much direct sunlight. If they aren’t dealt with, they can weaken your roof over time.

If the roof is low enough and you have a strong enough hose, the first cleaning approach may be to simply spray it down to remove debris and build up. If that doesn’t do the trick, you can invest in a soft bristled roof rake which can be used from the ground to rake off debris and even some mildew and algae. Make sure not to scrub too hard to avoid damaging any roofing materials.

Remove Potential Hazards

Make sure to keep any nearby trees or bushes trimmed back. Limbs and branches that lean or hang over your outbuilding could cause extensive damage over time from friction or in an instant during one of our regular southeastern Virginia pop-up storms. If the vegetation around the building is small and light enough, you can take care of it yourself, but if there are any substantial trees or branches that should be removed, always call a professional.

Check Inside for Pests

It’s important to check the interior of these structures regularly. Some roofing issues can’t be seen from the outside. So even if your barn or shed is full to the rafters, make it a point to inspect the interior at least twice a year and after major storm events. The most critical interior areas of these structures may be the corners where animals are most likely to have built nests or created pathways to access the inside. Birds, insects and rats or squirrels can wreak havoc on a roof, chewing through materials or causing damage to rafters and sheathing. If you find anything, get in touch with a professional pest control company or animal control.

Whatever type of outbuilding you may have on your property, it’s likely that it houses something important enough for you to protect. Make sure the roofing on these structures is doing its job as best as possible with regular inspections and maintenance. If you see any signs of damage and believe your structure needs roofing repair or replacement, contact Andrews Roofing today. We are experienced in the types of environmental issues that structures in the Tidewater Region experience and know the best types of materials and methods to prevent further damage.

read more

Why Roof Ventilation Is So Important

As the weather changes from cold to mild to hot in Hampton Roads, you may find yourself fiddling with the thermostat more than usual. The dramatic changes in temperature that the spring season brings to southeast Virginia can affect a lot of systems around your house, and your roof is no exception.

Your roof is highly susceptible to temperature changes both inside and outside of your home due to the sheer surface area and exposure to the elements. This is why proper ventilation is critical. In fact, ventilation may be the most important factor in roof durability. It’s easy to focus on the durability factors of your roofing materials – the lifespan of metal versus asphalt shingles versus composite materials and so on. But no matter how well made a roofing material is, if it’s installed over an unventilated roof, it’s bound to fail.

When the temperature swings from cold to hot and back again, especially with the level of humidity that’s standard for the Tidewater region, condensation can form in your attic, causing rafters to rot, shingles to buckle and insulation to deteriorate and lose its efficacy. While the code requirements for attic ventilation can vary greatly from state to state, a general ventilation formula is based on the length and width of the attic space beneath it. There should always be a minimum of one square foot of free vent area for each 150 square feet of attic floor. Vents should be placed proportionately at the eaves and at or near the ridge.

Because of their importance to your roof’s overall health, it’s important to never block off sources of roof ventilation such as louvers, ridge vents or soffit vents – even in the winter! You may think you want to keep the cold winter air out of your attic, but maintaining an even temperature between the surface of the roof and the space beneath it is actually helpful in preventing moisture build up and damage.

In addition to this free flow of air, insulation can play a key role in proper attic ventilation. Ideally an attic will have a gap-free layer of insulation on the attic floor to protect the house below from heat gain or loss. It will also have a vapor retarder under the insulation and next to the ceiling to stop moisture from rising up from the home into the attic space. Then there should be enough vented spaces to let air in and out, and finally, there should be a minimum of one inch between the insulation and the roof sheathing. With these systems in place, your attic and roof are likely to stand the test of time.

The best way to ensure that all of the proper ventilation measures have been taken to extend the life of your roof is to work with a qualified, licensed roofing contractor. At Andrews Roofing, we’ve been providing Hampton Roads homeowners with high quality roofing services for years, and we are experienced with the unique seasonal and meteorological issues that homes in this area face. If you’re concerned about your roof receiving ideal ventilation or if you need your roof system repaired or replaced, contact Andrews Roofing Today for more information and to schedule your estimate.

read more

Create More Usable Space with Roofing Pavers

Flat roofs often go completely unnoticed when in reality they can be excellent usable space.

In fact, walkable roofing surfaces allow flat roofs and decks to become not just usable, but more energy efficient and sustainable in many cases.

What is a Walkable Roof?
A walkable roof surface must be flat, strong enough to bear the appropriate amount of weight, and must meet the local building codes for safety regarding railings or walls around the exterior of the walkable space. In many cases, industrial buildings have flat roofs that are walkable, but are often just used for maintenance and HVAC access needs. In residential homes, walkable roof surfaces may be porches or balconies as well as flat rooftops. Locally around the Virginia Beach area we also see cupolas, widows’ walks, crows nests, sun decks and more.

What types of materials work for walkable roofs?
For high traffic roofs, composite roofing pavers are a durable and attractive option. Roofing pavers are generally made of rubber, and in many cases they are made almost entirely from recycled materials. This makes them an ecologically friendly option. Their lifespan also makes them a sustainable option, as they can last up to 50 years, further reducing waste.

How do rubber pavers work?
If you’re interested in creating a walkable roof with rubber pavers, it’s critical to use a roofing contractor experienced in this material. They will be able to talk to you about whether or not the roof surface in question is indeed up to code and weight bearing. They will also know how best to lay the foundation for these pavers so that proper drainage is achieved. Generally, a roof consists of wood sheathing which is then covered by a thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) membrane roofing material, then a roof drain mat and then the pavers are placed on top.

How are rubber pavers eco-friendly?
The TPO material used as the base of most walkable roofs is usually white, which reflects light and heat, making the roofing structure highly efficient. On top of that, the rubber pavers are only 35% the weight of regular concrete pavers, and our brand of choice, Firestone Sky Pavers, are made of 95% recycled tires. These pavers also come in five different colors to match your needs and aesthetic and come with a 20 year warranty. For many businesses and homeowners, walkable roof surfaces with well draining roof pavers are an excellent place to create a rooftop garden. With full sunlight, plants can thrive in this scenario without the concern of weeds or using precious yard space. Not to mention the additional outdoor living space a walkable roof can create.

Can rubber pavers be used for decks and balconies?
Many of the installations we do with rubber roofing pavers are for second floor balconies and decks. This material is a great option for these areas as they are lighter than other material options such as concrete and are more durable than wood decking. They also reflect heat and are comfortable to walk on. Thanks to the color variations they also look attractive enough to be used in spaces that are directly attached to the exterior of a home.

Who should install walkable roof surfaces?
As with all roofing jobs, walkable rubber roofing pavers should be installed by a qualified and experienced licensed roofing contractor. Do the research to find a company who has experience with this material as its implementation and installation are unique. At Andrews Roofing, we have experience with these specific roofing materials, especially for oceanfront homes and homes looking to take advantage of the beautiful water views in the Hampton Roads area. If you’ve been thinking about making the most of your flat roofing or decking surface, please give us a call. We’d be happy to talk to you more about the feasibility and benefits of these roofing materials.

read more

What’s the Difference Between a Shingle and Membrane Roof?

If you’ve been researching roofing repairs or replacements, you’ve probably come across several different roofing materials. The type of materials used for a roof depends on a lot of factors including the structure of the building, the building’s purpose and use, location, budget and local building codes. Two large categories of roofing materials are shingles and membranes. Both of these categories are made up of many different types of products and materials that are used for different purposes, so let’s dive in.

Steep Slope vs. Low Slope

The first factor in determining which of these two roofing methods will be used is whether the roof in question has a steep or low slope. Shingles are typically used on steep slope roofs, while membranes are used in flat or low slope roof situations. For the most part, membrane roofs are seen on industrial and commercial buildings, but can be found on residential properties as well, often as decks, over side and rear adjoining roofs. On residential properties, they are often found over sunrooms, utility rooms, or porches and can be used under decks and other walkable surfaces materials like pavers. Membrane roofs are quite common at waterfront properties and on new construction in the Hampton Roads/Tidewater area.

Types of Membrane Roofs

There are many different roofing membrane products on the market today, each with their own purposes and benefits. Below are four common flat and low slope roof membrane materials.

Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO)

In the Mid-Atlantic region, TPO is becoming the low slope roofing standard. Because TPO is white, it is highly reflective, which means it’s efficient in keeping buildings cool. In fact, TPO roofs generally exceed the current energy efficiency standards and are a US Department of Energy, Energy Star rated roofing system, which some commercial structures may need to meet. TPO is also very durable thanks to its heat welded seams, and can last 20 to 30 years, making it a budget-conscious choice for businesses.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM)

EPDM is also a single ply membrane, but it is made of a rubber compound, rather than plastic like TPO. This material has been in commercial use for longer than TPO and has a strong reputation for durability. When properly installed, EPDM can easily last 30 years or more. However, if installed incorrectly or without proper maintenance, the adhesive treated seams can become vulnerable over the long term. Although EPDM roofs are usually black in color, meaning they are not as energy efficient as TPO, the material is 100% recyclable. There are also EPDM products that come in white, doubling their environmentally-friendly factor.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

PVC is a single ply membrane that is similar in appearance to TPO and is usually white, giving it similar energy efficient qualities. Other environmentally friendly aspects of PVC include its low petroleum content compared to TPO and EPDM. It’s also a recyclable material, even post-consumer, meaning it stays out of landfills. A PVC roofing system requires a slightly greater investment than that of a TPO roof, but it is also very durable and has a similar lifespan if installed and maintained correctly.

Modified Bitumen

The previous materials are almost exclusively used in industrial and commercial structures, but modified bitumen is perhaps the most common material for residential low slope roofs. It consists of five layers of asphalt that has had modifiers added to it to give it plastic or rubber-like properties. It is installed in large rolls and adhered with heat or with a factory applied self-adhesive. Modified Bitumen is designed to withstand very harsh environmental conditions, which makes it a good option for storm and heat prone areas of the Mid-Atlantic such as southeast Virginia.

Types of Shingle Roofs

Shingle roofs are seen on both commercial and residential structures, as long as the roof has a steep slope. There is a wide variety of shingle materials on the market designed for different purposes, styles and locations.

Asphalt Shingles

This is the most popular type of residential roofing material today. It’s also the most cost effective. Asphalt shingles consist of a fiberglass mat, top and bottom layers of asphalt, and mineral granules. There are three-tab shingles and architectural shingles, the latter being more costly but also more durable. Asphalt shingles are produced in a wide variety of colors to match myriad home styles and designs.

Synthetic Roofing

Whether they’re made to look like cedar shake, slate or any other type of upscale material, synthetic shingles are made with recycled materials and have a lower impact on the environment in part because of their lifespan which can be 40-60 years. These premium roofing systems should only be installed by roofing contractors who are experienced with these materials. They can be expensive, but their extended lifespan makes up for some of the upfront cost.

Wood Shingles & Shakes

Made from cedar, redwood, southern pine and other woods, these shingles are machine sawn or hand hewn. Some local building codes limit the use of wood shingles and shakes because of concerns about fire resistance, but there are certain wood shingle products that incorporate a factory-applied, fire-resistant treatment. These shingles are not often installed on a new structure or total roof replacement, but because of the age of some homes in the Tidewater region, wood shingles are often needed for repairs of older roofs or to maintain the design of a historic home.

Find an Expert

Whatever type of material you choose for your roof replacement, Andrews Roofing has experience with nearly all of them. If you’re not sure what the best material for your project is, please contact us to set up an appointment with one of our knowledgeable cost estimators. We can help you determine the most appropriate, durable and cost-effective roofing solution for your needs.

read more