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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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Roofing 101: Steep Slope vs. Low Slope

All roofs can be divided into two categories: steep and low slope. Low slope roofs have become increasingly popular on residential structures thanks to their clean, modern design and their ability to accommodate patios, gardens and more.

It’s important to understand the difference between the two when determining what type of structure to install, replace or repair or when choosing appropriate roofing materials.

Steep Slope
Steep slope roofs are technically any roof with a slope of 25% or more. They consist of five basic components:

  1. Roof covering – this could be shingles, tile, slate, cedar shake, or metal, as well as the underlayment that sits beneath them to protect the sheathing from weather.
  2. Sheathing – this is the board or sheet materials that are directly attached to the roof rafters that make up the roofline. This material must be covered by an underlayment material and roofing material (above) in order to remain structurally sound.
  3. Roof structure refers to the rafters and trusses that are structurally supporting the roof sheathing. This is the framing of the roofline which is a part of the skeleton of the house.
  4. Flashing is usually sheet metal that is installed at any point on a roof where there are joints, valleys, vents or chimneys. They function to prevent water seepage at these vulnerable spots.
  5. Drainage is a critical component of the overall roof design. It ensures that water is shed from the roof in a way that doesn’t compromise the structure at any point. Drainage has to be considered when designing the layout, shape and slope of any roof structure.

Low Slope
For all intents and purposes, a “low slope” roof is usually flat, but technically it refers to any roof that is between 0% and 24% sloped. They also consist of the same five basic elements, but the details differ somewhat.

  1. Roof covering for low slope roofs often consist of a single-ply membrane such as TPO, E.P.D.M., Modified Bitumen, or PVC. It is also common to see what are called “built up systems” which are composed of multiple layers of sheet materials and asphalt, often covered with a gravel coating. Other material options include spray foam or metal. All materials require an underlayment between them and the roof sheathing.
  2. Sheathing for low slope roofs can differ quite a bit from steep slopes. There are some structures with basic wood boards like a residential structure, but you may also see metal, concrete, gypsum, tectum and other fibrous materials.
  3. Roof structures of a low slope roof are conceptually the same – rafters, trusses and joists that support the sheathing, but the materials here may differ as well and could be steel, wood, or concrete.
  4. Flashing does not differ much from a steep slope installation and serves the same purpose to prevent water seepage at vulnerable spots.
  5. Drainage for a low slope roof is critical since the basic design of it does not shed water the way a steep slope roof does. For low slope roofs with any sort of incline, gutters, internal drains and downspouts can be effective. For truly flat roofs, special design considerations need to be made, and options like stepped slope insulation may be a safer bet.

Either roof can have its challenges. Obviously steeper slopes are more difficult to access and for shingled steep roofs, they will have a harder time fighting gravity over time. Mansard shingled roofs, for example, sometimes have nails tear through the shingles as they age. On the other hand lower slopes that are “walkable” and shingled, but still have a slope that falls within the shingle manufacturer’s specifications for shingle installation, can present greater challenges with wind-driven rain getting under the shingles, debris accumulation, needing additional barriers for protection such as ice & water shield, etc.

Any solid roofing solution – whether it’s for a home or commercial building – should balance all five of these components. At Andrews Roofing, we address each of these components equally when consulting with clients and assessing roofing needs. While the roof covering may have the most visual impact, we understand that everything below that is just as critical. If you have questions about what type of roof is ideal for your structure, or if you need a steep or low slope roof repaired or replaced, contact Andrews Roofing. We have decades of experience in both commercial roofing and residential roofing construction in Hampton Roads and we’d be happy to come out and give you an estimate and professional recommendation.

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Common Roofing Issues from Solar Panels

As energy costs increase, many homeowners are looking for alternative energy solutions for their own homes, but these solutions can often cause more problems than they’re worth.

For many homeowners, the most practical alternative energy solution is solar panels, which are usually installed on roofs in order to be exposed to the most sunlight and to be out of the way. The problem is that most roofs are not designed to be energy conductors, and without proper planning and installation, this investment may end up costing a whole lot more than you bargained for. If you’re considering solar panels, here are several things to keep in mind.

Roof Leaks

Solar panels, by nature, disrupt the flow of water along your roof, which can create leakage issues over time. If panels are installed incorrectly, leakage can also occur around the areas where the panels were bolted in and attached to the roof. Even if they are installed correctly, adding multiple panels to your roof necessitates more penetrative points, all of which create more susceptibility to leaking. This means more frequent inspections of your roof and more maintenance over time to prevent those connection points from becoming compromised.

Roof Age

Roofs do not last forever, and neither do solar panels. The current solar panel products on the market have an estimated lifespan of 25 to 30 years. This is a similar lifespan to traditional architectural shingles. If your roof is already a few years old, putting solar panels on top of it means that somewhere down the line the roof is going to need replacing before the solar panels will. Having the panels removed and reinstalled on top of the cost of a new roof may negate any energy savings. If you’re set on solar panels, the best time to install them is shortly after replacing your roof.

Roof Strength

Solar panels weigh about 40 lbs each, and that does not include the weight of the metal brackets used to attach them. Add all of this up and that’s a heavy additional load for your roof to be bearing. Most roofs are not designed to bear this type of additional weight, so reinforcement or replacement may be necessary before installing. A structural engineer and licensed contractor can consult on the viability of your current roof hosting solar panels. Most legitimate solar panel installation companies will not install on roofs that do not meet the structural requirements.

Roof Nests

Solar panels create the perfect living conditions for animals looking to nest safely away from ground predators, but in a weather proof environment. The space between the bottom of a solar panel and the top of your roof is prime real estate for birds, bugs and squirrels. These nests can cause damage to both the roofing material and the solar panels and reduce their performance. If you do install solar panels, it will be critical to visually inspect them regularly to ensure you don’t have any unwanted tenants. If you do spot a nest, you’ll need to call a pest or wildlife removal company. Do not attempt to remove these yourself.

Roof Warranties

One of the most important things to research before having solar panels installed is whether their installation will void any warranties your current roof may have. Often your roof has two warranties: a labor warranty from the company who installed the roof and then a manufacturer warranty from the company who made the roofing materials used. Check with both companies to see what their policy is for adding solar panels to your roof before voiding a valuable warranty that could cost you thousands in repair costs down the line.

Solar panels can be a good option for energy savings for some homeowners, but it’s not a decision to make lightly and without research. Weigh all the options before moving forward, speak to a licensed roofing contractor if you have specific questions and talk to other homeowners who have had them installed. Andrews Roofing has been providing roof repairs and replacements to the Hampton Roads region for decades, and we’ve seen first-hand the wide variety of issues that can arise from roof installations such as solar panels, satellite dishes and more. Contact us today with your roofing needs and questions.

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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.

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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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Andrews Roofing

Family owned and operated, Andrews Roofing provides reliable commercial, residential and industrial roofing services. We serve the Hampton Roads area including: Portsmouth, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton, Smithfield VA and the NC Outer Banks. We don’t just roof buildings, we shelter lives. Andrews Roofing Company was founded by Robert Andrews II. His father, Bob Andrews, is vice president and has over 35 years of residential and commercial construction experience. Because we are an owner-operated business, we believe in working with each client to ensure that they are treated like “part of our family.” We handle each job as if it were our own. You work directly with us each step along the way. The desired result, like family, we want you to be happy and we want you to come back.
Andrews Roofing
Andrews Roofing
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.

https://andrewsroofing.com/why-architectural-shingles-are-so-popular/