Leaks & Service Repairs

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

Reroof Estimates & Inspections

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

Category: Rapid Rain Gutter System

Leaks Don’t Always Start at the Roof

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Why Good Flashing Is Critical for Your Roof

When we talk about roofing repairs and replacements, people typically just think about shingles or other types of exterior roofing materials like metal, cedar shake or clay tile.

But there are many critical pieces that go into a good, solid roofing system, and one of them is flashing. Flashing is more important than people think, and improperly installed, damaged or missing flashing is one of the most common causes of roof leaks.

What is flashing?
When a roof plane meets a vertical surface, shingles and other roofing materials can’t be used to protect those parts of the roof. Instead, flashing is installed around vertical roof features to direct water away from these critical areas. Roof flashing is a thin metal material that comes in large sheets and is cut, molded and layered to fit where it is needed. It may also be made out of a plastic membrane for some applications or you may see PVC used at penetrations as pipe collars, sleeves and other fittings that function as flashing.

How does flashing work?
Without flashing, water could penetrate between the crevice of say, a shingle and a chimney. Flashing ensures that the water runs back over the roofing material, down the roof plane and off the house, hopefully into a clear and clean gutter. Other areas where flashing may be used includes vents, skylights, dormers, and sometimes even between the edge of the roofline and a gutter system.

What is flashing made of?
The materials used for flashing has changed over the years, from lead-coated materials to safer and more durable types of metals. This includes aluminum, copper and galvanized steel. Depending on the building codes where you live, a roofing contractor may have to use a specific material. While we typically use aluminum flashing on residential installs, the material itself is dependent on the specific roof and situation.

When should I replace or repair flashing?
If your home is experiencing a leak, and it does not appear to be from missing shingles, punctures or other damage, it may be time to check the flashing. Check the areas we discussed above to see if any of these issues have occurred:

  • Holes, dents or bending
  • Corrosion or rusting
  • Missing nails or loose nails
  • Loose or missing flashing

If you spot any of these issues, it’s time to call in a qualified roofing professional. Replacing flashing yourself is dangerous and if done incorrectly, can cause even more damage to your roof and ultimately the interior of your home.

When having your roof replaced, it’s a good idea to have the flashing replaced at the same time. Some areas may be able to be reused, but to ensure a watertight seal and a lifespan equivalent to your new roof material, full replacement is likely worth the minimal extra investment. Your existing roof flashing materials may also not be up to current code, in which case a roofing contractor will be obligated to replace it. Alternatively, it’s very possible that when you are experiencing a leak caused by flashing that only the flashing will need to be replaced, and that a full roof replacement is not necessary.

If you are having issues with your roof’s flashing, or have a leak you haven’t been able to identify the cause of, give Andrews Roofing a Call. We are experienced in the specific issues Hampton Roads homeowners encounter, especially during storm season. Contact us today.

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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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Are Rain Diverters or Gutters Right for Your House?

Did you know that Virginia Beach gets an average of 47” of rain per year? That’s 9” more than the national average.

Add to that the dampness and moisture issues that are common across all the cities of Hampton Roads due to low lying areas that have been developed, and wet weather can become a real problem for your home.

Because of this, most homes built in the Tidewater region should have gutters. Without gutters, rain sheets off of your roof straight onto the ground around your home’s foundation. This in turn can cause structural issues such as causing your foundation to sink or shift. It can also cause moisture damage to the foundation and crawl space of your house such as mold, mildew, and termites.

If you’re having these types of issues at your home, you may be looking into whether installing or replacing your gutters is the right thing to do or whether rain diverters can take care of the problem instead. The answer isn’t as cut and dry as you might think.

When Gutters Are Necessary

Gutters are really your home’s best first line of defense against water damage. We can’t recommend that anyone in Hampton Roads bypass this feature on their home. Some people avoid gutters because they don’t want to do the upkeep of cleaning and clearing them regularly. The problem with that logic is that the damage caused by sheeting water that isn’t managed with a gutter system will be much more severe and costly than putting a leaf guard on your gutter or paying a professional to clean them once a year. While gutters aren’t necessary in all parts of the country, we do believe that they are necessary for a healthy home in our region.

When Diverters are Necessary

Not every part of your home’s roofline may be compatible with a gutter system. It can be tricky to install gutters on areas such as a porticoed entryway or dormers. In these cases, a diverter may be used instead. Diverters essentially direct rainwater away from certain areas so that water isn’t sheeting off the roofline and onto the ground. They keep the water flowing and, ideally, redirect the water to a proper drainage site – a connected downspout or another area of the roofline that does have gutters. In this instance, rain diverters can be beneficial and sometimes necessary.

We would be remiss in not mentioning, however, that rain diverters can sometimes cause water to back up underneath shingles in the case of really heavy rain and downpours – something that isn’t uncommon in our area. It’s critical to monitor the area of your roof where diverters are being used to check for any signs of water damage or a failing structure, especially after a particularly heavy rain or storm. That being said, the reality is that both diverters and gutters require a certain amount of maintenance and monitoring.

Always Use a Professional Roofing Company

If you’re considering replacing or installing gutters or rain diverters on your home’s roof, talk to a licensed and experienced roofing contractor with knowledge of your specific area. If you live in the Hampton Roads region, Andrews Roofing would be happy to provide a quote for a replacement and installation of our Rapid Rain Gutter System™. This product uses technology that provides a large capacity system without being bulky or unsightly on your home. It’s available in a wide range of scratch resistant, designer colors to match your home’s style, and it comes with a limited lifetime guarantee. Contact us today to learn more.

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Are Gutters Necessary for Your Home?

Gutters do much more than create a nice, neat visual frame for your home’s roof.

Gutters play an important role in diverting water away from your home. Why does this matter? Because when gutters are not in place, and those typical southeastern Virginia pop-up storms happen, rain is sheeting off your roof and directly down to your home’s foundation. Of course, moisture and foundations are not a great combination. Over time, moisture pooling around your home’s foundation can cause serious issues. For homes built on a slab, the constant flux of moisture then dryness causes the concrete to expand and compress, which over time can cause cracks and shifting. That in turn can lead to plumbing issues, wall cracks, bowed floors and more. For homes with a crawl space, that area may become damp if not properly ventilated, which invites mold, rot and termites. For the rare homes in the Tidewater region with basements, not having gutters can cause flooding and moisture damage there as well.

Perhaps if you lived in a dry, arid environment where rain only happened occasionally, foregoing gutters may be OK. But in the cities of Hampton Roads, the rainfall average is just over 47 inches – that’s almost 10 inches over the national average. Homes in this area without functional gutters are bound to have costly issues over time.

However, just having gutters in place doesn’t automatically mean you’ve avoided this issue. If your gutters are not functioning properly, you could wind up in the same boat. Gutters can stop functioning because of dents, structural damage, and of course – clogs. In this region, gutters should be cleaned out at least twice a year – the spring and fall. But it’s also good practice to check on them and do any necessary cleaning after any big storm systems that may have caused additional debris to land in them.

It’s also important to remember that not all gutter systems are created equal. While it’s better to have some sort of gutter than none at all, if you’re building a home or replacing your gutter system, it may be time to look into a high-quality brand that can stand up to the storms and heavy rain in Coastal Virginia. Rapid Rain™  Gutter Systems is a new product that functions unlike any other previous gutter product. That’s because it provides a higher capacity, but without the bulky look. It’s designed with architectural styling in mind and is available in a wide variety of colors.

The Rapid Rain™ system is made from 18.5% heavier metal than standard gutters, and is therefore erected with heavy duty hangers for stability and durability. It is coated with a patented ScratchGuard™ paint finish, and is backed by a lifetime warranty. It has also received the Good Housekeeping® Seal of approval.

For homeowners who prefer not to climb up on a ladder to clean their gutters every year, the RapidRain™ system can also be fitted with a patented MicroGuard. This cover has over 48 perforations per square inch so that it keeps out even the smallest debris, while still allowing water to flow through at a high volume. MicroGuard is also virtually invisible from the curb, so the entire system helps beautify your home inside and out.

If you’re considering installing or replacing your gutters, contact Andrews Roofing. Our team of licensed and insured professionals will install your gutter system, and we stand behind it with our workmanship guarantee. We have a long-standing reputation in the Hampton Roads region for quality work and customer service. Don’t let rain destroy your house from the ground up – contact us today.

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