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Reroof Estimates & Inspections

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Category: Flat Roof

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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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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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.

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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.

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

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

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

Common Attic Critters in Hampton Roads

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

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

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

How Are They Getting In?

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

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

What to Look For

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

Potential Damage

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

What You Can Do

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

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

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

 

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Manufacturer Spotlight: Sentriclad Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has been used on homes for centuries, but has had a resurgence in popularity over the past several years.

There are many reasons for that, one of which is the durability of metal roofs, especially as manufacturers improve the materials and design. A metal roof can be expected to have a lifespan of 50 year or longer, if properly installed and maintained. This is 20-30 years longer, at minimum, than a traditional asphalt roof.

Another reason it has grown in popularity is because it works well with many different styles of houses. You might think of metal roofs traditionally on farmhouses, barns or industrial buildings, but with the improvements in aesthetic and functional design, metal roofs are now a popular option for modern homes, new craftsman style homes and as accents on transitional style homes.

As with most roofing materials, using a high quality product is key. At Andrews Roofing, we use the Sentrigard Metal Roofing System made by N. B. Handy, which has been a market leader in architectural sheet metal products and machinery for more than 100 years. Their extensive experience in this industry has allowed them to make major improvements in the design, construction and installation of metal roofing.

Sentigard produces architectural, structural and commercial roofing systems for a variety of building designs. Their system is flexible and allows us to adjust panels as needed on-site. This means if a small issue arises, we can avoid a major delay waiting for new materials to arrive. The ability to produce panels on site also means that panels of extreme length can be made on the spot as opposed to shipping larger panels, which is generally not practical or cost effective.

The Sentrigard Metal Roofing Systems uses their own Sentriclad™ Architectural Metals, and of the biggest benefits of this product is that it comes in 31 colors. This material is made from durable alloys of Galvalume® and aluminum, and are available with Kynar 500 finish. For homeowners, this simply means – there are many options, and you can be assured that their durability and color will last. The system panels meet stringent testing requirements and ensure long-term performance, which is critical in storm-prone areas like Hampton Roads.

If you’re considering reroofing your home with metal, contact Andrews Roofing today. We have extensive experience installing architectural metal roofing for homes all over the Hampton Roads region. We guarantee our work, and only use the highest quality materials with manufacturer warranties that you can trust. Contact us today.

 

 

 

 

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