Leaks & Service Repairs

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

Reroof Estimates & Inspections

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

Category: Residential Roofing

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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Why Roof Ventilation Is So Important

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Does Your Home Need a Roof Evaluation or a Roof Inspection?

Whether you’re selling a house, buying a house or just want to know if it’s time to repair or replace the roof on your current home, you may be researching roof evaluations and inspections. So, what is the difference between the two, and which one makes the most sense for you? While we can’t speak to the terminology for every roofing company out there, here is how we at Andrews Roofing define and approach both services to meet your needs.

Roof Evaluations

A roof evaluation is the less complex and detailed of the two services. This service may be better for homeowners or buyers who simply want to know the life expectancy of a roof and what type of service may be needed down the road, but do not have a specific issue or damage to be addressed.

When we complete a roof evaluation, we schedule a time with you to come out to the house and walk the roof while taking photos from several different angles. Within one to two days, we will email you a letter with our company letterhead for your records. This report can be helpful alongside a home inspection, particularly if any notes were made about the condition of the roof in the inspection. We can address these issues with more expertise and advice on how to move forward.

It’s also not a bad idea to have a roof evaluation done prior to putting your home on the market. Having the roof evaluation letter is an excellent thing to provide potential buyers to put their minds at ease about the condition of the house. It also lets you know if there are potential issues you should address prior to listing your home. This service is easily scheduled, does not take up much of your time and only costs $99.

Roof Inspection

A roof inspection is more detailed and involved than an evaluation. Sometimes an inspection is required by an insurance company or can become a requirement for various reasons before a sale can go through on a home. A roof inspection can also be scheduled by a buyer or seller of a home to have peace of mind before purchasing or listing a property.

For this service, one of our technicians will schedule a time to go out to the house where they will walk the roof, take several detailed photos and within one to two days of inspection, provide a report that shows deficiencies and issues in specific detail. They may place arrows and captions on the photos they took to point out areas of concern. The report also details the life expectancy of the roof in addition to providing specific details on the sheathing, deck, chimney, penetrations, potential issues, current issues and recommendations for any repairs that may be needed. Because this report is more detailed and time consuming, the cost is $350.

Make informed decisions

When buying or selling a home, or when considering whether or not to make major home repairs and updates, knowledge is power – whether you use it as leverage at a closing table, or to ensure the longevity of your home. Whatever your comfort level and budget is, Andrews Roofing can provide you with more knowledge and peace of mind before moving forward on any major investment.

Which is best for you?

If you’re still not sure which service is best for you, please feel free to contact Andrews Roofing and one of our service representatives will be happy to talk to you about your specific situation and help you determine the best service for your needs.

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