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Category: Andrews Roofing

Common Roofing Storm Damage

If you watch the local news or even just tune in for the weather forecast, you know that we’ve reached peak hurricane season and that the tropics have been very active thus far.

Fortunately, the Mid-Atlantic coast including Southeast Virginia and Hampton Roads have been spared from any direct hits. But there are still two more months of hurricane season, and now is the time to be prepared for anything that may come our way. Not to mention that as soon as hurricane season is over, nor’easter and winter storm season will be upon us.

When it comes to your home and your home’s roof, there are plenty of things you can do in advance to avoid certain types of damage during storm season. But there are some things you simply can’t prevent from happening, and being responsive after the fact is the best you can do. Here are a few common types of roof damage to keep an eye out for as we weather hurricane season this fall.

Tree Damage

Tree damage isn’t always as obvious as an entire tree crashing through your roof and into your home. Some tree damage can go unnoticed until it causes interior damage – days, weeks or even months later. A stray limb with enough wind and force behind it can cause shingles to fly off, roof sheathing and decking to be pierced and make your roof vulnerable to leaks.

Tree damage can even come from overhanging branches that simply rub along shingles and cause unwanted wear and tear. It’s always a good idea to keep low hanging or potentially destructive branches trimmed back from the roofline where possible.

After a storm, visually inspect your roof as well as you can from the ground to see if any limbs, branches or even leaf buildups can be seen. If so, they should be removed immediately and the roof should be inspected to ensure no damage was caused. If damage was caused, a roofing contractor will typically be able to do a repair confined to that area without a major overhaul of your roof.

Loose or Missing Shingles

Perhaps the most common damage after a storm is loose or missing shingles. While it may not seem like a big deal if one or two shingles come off, their absence makes the shingles all around that area more susceptible to blowing off, and jeopardizes the roof sheathing beneath. Depending on when and how your roof was installed, the material manufacturer or installer may have specific warranties to cover shingle replacement. In any case, the shingles should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Loose or Missing Flashing

Flashing is the metal sheets that are used in roofing around joints in a roofline and around other roof penetrations such as pipes, chimneys and vents. They play an important role in protecting your roof decking and if jeopardized, major interior damage can occur. Loose flashing can actually cause quite a bit of damage to the rest of your roof, tearing up or removing shingles around it, especially in a wind event.

Missing flashing can allow water intrusion and will also make it easier for nearby shingles to be blown away. Some flashing you may be able to visually inspect from the ground, but if you have reason to believe that flashing may be loose in spots that you’re not able to inspect from the ground, call in a qualified roofing contractor to inspect for you – don’t risk causing damage to yourself to find damage on your roof.

Clogged or Broken Gutters

Particularly if you live near a lot of trees, storms can cause debris to fly off of nearby vegetation that can eventually land right into your gutters. This debris will cause your gutters to work less effectively, which means water will build up and potentially seep up underneath your shingles and sheathing, causing damage to the roof decking below, often seen as dark water spots in the corners and along the top of the walls in your home. Ideally, have your gutters cleaned before storm season so that they are cleared and ready to carry all that stormwater away from your home. But it’s also a good idea to check on them after a storm and make sure nothing has caused any clogs or damage to the gutter itself.

Broken or loose gutters are also common after a storm, and if you see evidence of that, call in a licensed contractor to fix the problem before the next rain event occurs. Broken gutters can funnel water into places it should not go including near your home’s foundation and onto walls and windows, causing even more damage. If you don’t have gutters, or your home’s gutters need to be replaced, you may also want to consider installing a Rapid Rain ™ gutter system which is designed for high capacity that comes with living in a storm prone area.

Contact a Local Roofing Contractor

This hurricane season, if your roof sustains any damage during a storm, contact Andrews Roofing. We are locally owned and operated and we are highly experienced in the issues that are unique to the Tidewater region. We know what to look out for and how to best fix and repair an issue to withstand future weather events.

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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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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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