Leaks & Service Repairs

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Reroof Estimates & Inspections

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Category: Roof Installation

Roof Maintenance Tips for Stand-Alone Structures

When you think about roof maintenance, your mind probably goes right to the largest roof you have to deal with – the one over your home.

But if you have any exterior stand-alone structures on your property, their roofs need to be inspected and maintained just like your home’s. This may include garages, sheds, pool houses, barns or workshops. It’s particularly important to keep an eye on these structures if they store expensive equipment or other important items to avoid any type of damage.

The roof on an outbuilding can experience additional challenges that your home’s roof may not have, and there are additional ways to inspect and maintain these structures. Here are a few of our tips for maintaining and extending the life of your stand-alone structure’s roof.

Regular Visual Inspections

Like your home’s roof, you should inspect the roofs of these structures on a regular basis and especially after storm events. Depending on the size of these structures, it may be a little easier to visually inspect their condition from the ground. Look for the same telltale signs that you would on your home’s roof: missing shingles, warped or algae covered shingles, loose or missing flashing, clogged or damaged gutters and of course – holes or other damage. Check the eaves for nests of any kind – birds, bees, wasps, squirrels or any other type of animal nest can cause serious damage.

Safely Clean Them from the Ground

Again, the roof line of these structures may be a bit lower which may make it possible to safely clean them off yourself. A buildup of leaves, moss, or a few sticks and branches may seem benign, but they can cause damage if left alone for too long. Moss and algae – which are common in the Hampton Roads region – can collect on areas of the roof that do not get much direct sunlight. If they aren’t dealt with, they can weaken your roof over time.

If the roof is low enough and you have a strong enough hose, the first cleaning approach may be to simply spray it down to remove debris and build up. If that doesn’t do the trick, you can invest in a soft bristled roof rake which can be used from the ground to rake off debris and even some mildew and algae. Make sure not to scrub too hard to avoid damaging any roofing materials.

Remove Potential Hazards

Make sure to keep any nearby trees or bushes trimmed back. Limbs and branches that lean or hang over your outbuilding could cause extensive damage over time from friction or in an instant during one of our regular southeastern Virginia pop-up storms. If the vegetation around the building is small and light enough, you can take care of it yourself, but if there are any substantial trees or branches that should be removed, always call a professional.

Check Inside for Pests

It’s important to check the interior of these structures regularly. Some roofing issues can’t be seen from the outside. So even if your barn or shed is full to the rafters, make it a point to inspect the interior at least twice a year and after major storm events. The most critical interior areas of these structures may be the corners where animals are most likely to have built nests or created pathways to access the inside. Birds, insects and rats or squirrels can wreak havoc on a roof, chewing through materials or causing damage to rafters and sheathing. If you find anything, get in touch with a professional pest control company or animal control.

Whatever type of outbuilding you may have on your property, it’s likely that it houses something important enough for you to protect. Make sure the roofing on these structures is doing its job as best as possible with regular inspections and maintenance. If you see any signs of damage and believe your structure needs roofing repair or replacement, contact Andrews Roofing today. We are experienced in the types of environmental issues that structures in the Tidewater Region experience and know the best types of materials and methods to prevent further damage.

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Is Your Roof Ready for Summer Storm Season?

Summer storm season is upon us in Hampton Roads.

While plenty of attention is paid to hurricane season and tropical storms, there are other types of summer storms on the Eastern Seaboard that can cause their fair share of damage as well.

Tornados

According to the National Weather Service, tornado season spikes in Virginia from April to September. April has the highest number of tornadoes on record: between 1950 and 2021 Virginia saw 160 tornadoes in the month of April alone, 37 of which were (E)F2 or higher. While the vast majority of those tornadoes are (E)F0 or (E)F1, they can still cause plenty of exterior damage to property.

Derechos
In addition to tornadoes, summer storms often bring with them derechos. The national weather service defines these storms as “widespread, long-lived wind storms associated with bands of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms.” These storm systems can cause just as much damage with their straight-line winds as a tornado does with its cyclical wind.  On June 29, 2012, Virginia was hit with one of the most destructive derecho storms on record. Dominion Energy reported it as the third worst storm to hit Virginia, leaving one million people in the state without power.

Flooding

Flooding – from any type of storm system – is the most common and costly natural disaster, according to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. You can find out whether or not you live in a flood zone, and in exactly what area of a flood zone through the Virginia Flood Risk Information System. And as our region’s name implies, Tidewater is even more impacted by flooding due to high tides that coincide with heavy rain.

While these facts and figures can be scary, it’s best to understand the risk to your home and property in advance so that you can be as prepared as possible. Having a comprehensive home insurance policy and flood insurance where necessary is a great start. But to avoid having to make an insurance claim or out-of-pocket costly repairs, prevention is key.

Unfortunately, in the case of severe weather, your roof is often the most vulnerable part of your home due to its location and sheer surface area. And of course, roof damage isn’t ever just roof damage. Leaks and holes can cause interior water and property damage. Clogged, missing or damaged gutters can cause foundation issues. Even loose flashing or shingles can cause impact damage to other parts of your home.

So how can you prepare your home’s roof for summer storms?

First, give your roof a good visual inspection. Walk the entire perimeter of your property, paying attention to shingles, flashing, vents, and gutters. Remember to also check the roofs of any exterior buildings on your property such as sheds, pool houses or workshops. These structures also need regular roofing maintenance and, depending on their use, disrepair can lead to costly property damage.

If gutters are clogged, have them cleaned out. This can prevent overflow which can lead to foundation sagging and water damage or basement flooding. If you see any loose or missing shingles, call a qualified roofing company to make an immediate repair. Even one or two missing shingles make all the other shingles around it substantially more vulnerable to being blown away. Loose or missing flashing also calls for an immediate repair as these can become dangerous and destructive projectiles. Have all work done by a licensed, professional roofing contractor and keep all your paperwork on hand in case you need to make a warranty or insurance claim if damage does occur.

If your roof needs some preventative repairs or maintenance in preparation for this summer’s storm season, contact Andrews Roofing today. We have served the Tidewater area for years and know the unique needs and requirements of homes in this region.

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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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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 You Should Replace Rather than Roof Over Your Existing Roof

If you’ve been in the market for a new roof for your home, you have probably run across the option of roofing over top of your existing roof.

“Roofing over” is a method that leaves the current shingles and roof deck in place, and installs new shingles right over top of the existing ones. Alternatively, reroofing requires removing all existing shingles, doing any necessary repairs or replacement of the roof deck, membrane, and supporting structures beneath, before replacing the shingles with new ones.

Roofing over your roof requires that all the existing shingles are perfectly flat without any curling, that your roof deck be in perfect condition, that there are no leaks or ventilation issues that need addressing, and that the current roofing structure is able to withstand the additional weight of a second layer of shingles. However, if all of these things are true, you may not need a new roof at all. And even if those conditions are in place, a roof over existing roof can appear wavy and uneven. In most cases, a roof over does not make long term sense for homeowners, which is why we do not recommend this to our clients and do not guarantee this type of work.

We should note here that it is possible to roof over certain materials, like membranes that are in decent condition. This is done more often on commercial roofs depending on the core sample, decking, condition of insulation, etc. This type of project is only performed after careful inspection of the flat roof and an analysis and assessment of the materials and decking beneath the membrane.

Roofing over an existing roof is sold to homeowners as a cheaper alternative to replacing their roof. Often times, though, roofing over does not really solve the underlying issues the structure may have and can end up being a more costly option.  If you’re looking into replacing your roof, it’s likely because you’ve noticed leaks here and there, there’s damage to the shingles, shingles are missing or deteriorated or you’re noticing your energy bill is soaring. Putting new shingles overtop of existing ones doesn’t address any of these critical issues on the inside, which means damage may continue to occur. Putting another layer of shingles on top of existing ones that have issues also means it will take more time, money and material to get to and diagnose the problem, and more labor to repair the underlying issues.

Replacing your roof may cost more up front, but the return on investment is higher.

Over the long term, a new roof will look better, last longer, and protect your home better. When you allow a licensed roofing contractor to remove the existing shingles, they can properly assess any other repairs that need to be done to the roof decking, membrane, flashing, structural beams or ventilation systems. Having these issues addressed at that point means the overall lifespan of the roof will be longer. It’s also important to note that some roofing material manufacturers will not warranty a product that is put over existing shingles rather than onto a clean roof deck. While roofing over a roof may be cheaper upfront, the costs of uncovered warranty claims and an overall shorter lifespan don’t pan out in the long run.

Your roof is a major part of your home that you want to look good and function well. When you’re considering your roofing project, consider that your roof literally protects everything in your home beneath it. It’s not the place to cut corners. Before reroofing your home, research roofing contractors in your area, read up on their online reviews and ask around your neighborhood for recommendations. Get quotes from at least two to three reputable companies and research the materials they work with to ensure they are high quality and guaranteed with a manufacturer warranty.

If you live in the Hampton Roads region and your home needs a new roof, contact Andrews Roofing. We’d love to be one of the companies to provide you with an estimate. Our work is always guaranteed, we use some of the best products on the market, and we’ve been providing excellent customer service to Tidewater residents for years.

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How to Pick the Right Color for Your Roof

Picking a roof color is an important decision. Your roof is a major investment, and once the materials have been ordered, and especially once they’ve been installed, there’s usually no going back. Unlike a poorly chosen paint color, you can’t just buy another color and cover it up. So, before you make any final decisions when replacing your roof, take some time to consider your options. You will hopefully only need to reroof your house once, maybe twice, depending on how long you live there, so here are our tips for making sure your choice is one you’ll love for decades.

Don’t default to your current color.

There’s no rule (except perhaps in the case of a stringent HOA) that you have to replace your roof with the exact same color or material that’s currently there. This is your chance to spruce up your home’s curb appeal or modernize its look. Metal roofing, composite shake, or architectural shingles are all options you may want to consider, even if they’re not what your home currently has. Since you’ll likely only do this once, let yourself think outside the box for a bit.

Consider the architectural style of your home and neighborhood.

While you should definitely give yourself the opportunity to think outside the box, it is important to keep in mind the style of your home and neighborhood. It’s your home and you can certainly do whatever you’d like, but you will probably be happier with a material that compliments, rather than contrasts or competes with your home’s style. For instance, a brick colonial home likely won’t be done any favors with a modern, shiny metal roof. Conversely a sleek contemporary home probably isn’t going to look great with cedar shake shingles. An architect and even your roofing contractor can help you determine styles and materials to consider that will make your home look its best.

Consider your other exterior material colors.

If you’re not planning on replacing the exterior materials of your home, then you will certainly want to consider a roof color that compliments them. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few options, ask your roofing company for large format samples. When you get them, take them outside at different times of the day and in different lighting scenarios (a cloudy versus a sunshiny day) and see how they look against the other materials. Look at the samples against your house up close, but also from the curb or across the street.

How something looks in a brochure or on a different house doesn’t necessarily reflect how it will look on your home. You may love the sand-colored shingles on the brick home you saw in a brochure, but against your tan vinyl siding, they may look bland and dated. Also, remember that there are exterior elements that you may be able to change to coordinate better with your preferred roofing material. Painting your home’s trim to coordinate with your roof can help a lot without undergoing a major expense like replacing siding. Replacing or painting doors – including garage doors – can also help incorporate a roofing color that you like.

Use an online design tool.

There are several good online design tools that allow you to play around with the exterior materials and colors on different pictures of homes. We recommend our clients use CertainTeed’s free ColorView program, which allows you to change the roof color on a stock image of a home, as well as the siding, trim, doors and other materials. If you’d like to use this tool on a picture of your own home, they offer custom design services for a $15 fee. They’ll prepare a photo of your home within 3-5 business days, then provide you with a link to your photo that you can use in their visualizer. From there, you can play around with different roofing materials and colors that correspond to actual products they manufacture before choosing one. We think this cost is well worth the opportunity to truly visualize your home with a wide variety of options.

Need Help?

We have been installing and repairing roofs for homeowners in Hampton Roads for decades, and our team of dedicated professionals know what looks great on all the different styles of homes you’ll find in the Tidewater Region. Want to see what we’ve done or want to see a specific shingle color or type? We can show you installations done for our happy customers. You can also see completed projects here. If you’re ready to give your home a new look while improving its structure and value, contact Andrews Roofing today. We’d be happy to give you an estimate, provide samples and recommendations on products that will make your house look its best.

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