Leaks & Service Repairs

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Reroof Estimates & Inspections

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

Category: Roof Maintenance

Four New Year’s Roofing Resolutions

It’s the beginning of a new year, and that means it’s time for resolutions.
Most New Year’s resolutions revolve around self-improvement, but the truth is, you’re great just the way you are. So instead, we suggest making some home-improvement resolutions that don’t require a scale, a short-lived gym membership, or eventual self-loathing. Here are a few that can improve not just your home, but your enjoyment of it as well.

Monthly Inspections
This resolution is easy to implement, only takes a few minutes and can help save your home from preventable damage. Once a month, do a visual inspection of the exterior of your home. Add it to your calendar, set a reminder on your phone, or whatever you use to keep track of recurring tasks.

From the outside of your house, walk the perimeter and look for any holes or damage to siding, loose flashing, loose or missing shingles, brittle or broken shingles, moisture around your foundation, debris that may have landed on your roof, mildew or algae buildup or anything else that seems out of place or damaged. From the inside, peek into your attic and make sure all the rafters and roof decking are dry, that the ventilation is working properly and that insulation is in place. Take a look out any windows that may give you a view of dormers or roofing valleys that aren’t visible from the ground.

If you spot any damage, take photos – especially if you believe the damage requires an insurance claim – and call in a licensed contractor to have a second look and give an estimate for repairs. Your visual inspection should only take a few minutes but could save you thousands of dollars and lots of headaches down the road. As they say in medicine, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Gutter Cleaning
Your monthly visual inspection may give you an idea of when your gutters need to be cleaned out, but you also may not be able to see all the debris in your gutters from the safety of the ground (which is the only place we recommend doing an inspection yourself). In Hampton Roads, the amount of foliage and storm debris increases the likelihood of needing a good gutter cleaning. While many websites and professionals will say cleaning your gutters twice a year is fine, we recommend once per season if you live in Southeast Virginia.

This year, resolve to have a professional gutter cleaning service come to your house every three months. You can schedule these cleanings in advance, so you don’t even have to think about it once you’ve made the initial call. The great thing about having a professional gutter cleaning is that it can reduce the likelihood of roof damage from water that builds up and pushes up under your roofing material when gutters are overfilled with debris. It also means there are professional eyes on your roof several times a year. A good cleaning company will alert you if they see any damage, debris or signs of aging that you should know about – all without you ever having to climb a ladder.

Make the Repairs
Maybe you already know your roof is in need of repairs. Perhaps you’ve seen the shingles fly off during a storm, or you can hear flashing or loose gutters banging around on a windy night. If so, then the new year is the perfect time to resolve to finally have it fixed.

Taking care of these types of repairs extends the life of your roof, saving you money and protecting your investment. A simple repair may have a small upfront cost, but in the long term it will be well worth it. Make sure to call in a professional, licensed roofing contractor to make the repairs. It may also be the case that the damage that needs to be repaired is under warranty, in which case you may not even have to pay out of pocket. If you think this is the case, find your original paperwork and reach out to the manufacturer or installer to make a claim.

New Year, New Roof
Lastly, if you know it’s time, then make this the year that you finally get that old roof replaced. Living under a roof that is past its recommended life span is just asking for trouble and interior damage that will not be covered by insurance. In the Tidewater region, the majority of residential roofs are asphalt shingles, which typically have a lifespan of 20-30 years. So, if your home was built before 1993 or if your home’s roof hasn’t been replaced since then, it’s likely time to make this a priority.

Roof replacements typically happen in the spring and fall, so if you know ahead of time that you will be needing a new roof this year, start vetting roofing companies now during the slower months. Gather several estimates and start researching your options for materials, colors, manufacturers, etc. Once you’ve made your decisions, get on your chosen roofing company’s installation schedule and get the materials ordered. Some materials are taking significantly longer to get in stock because of supply chain issues, so the sooner you can make your decisions and place orders, the better.

At Andrews Roofing we want to wish all of our Hampton Roads neighbors a beautiful, blessed 2023. If you find yourself in need of roofing repairs, replacements or inspections, we would be happy to help you determine the right course of action for your home so that you can enjoy it for many more years to come. Contact us today.

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Don’t Let Christmas Ruin Your Roof

The holidays are here and for many folks that means decorating their homes – inside and out. So many of the classic Christmas movies we all love to watch every year involve some sort of rooftop antics. Whether it’s Santa’s sleigh scraping across a gabled dormer or Clark Griswold stapling strand after strand of lights directly to his shingles, these scenes that fill most people with holiday cheer make roofing professionals cringe! That’s because Christmas and holiday decor can cause real, serious damage to your home’s exterior, and particularly your roof. We don’t mean to be a grinch, but while we love to get in the holiday spirit as much as anyone else, we have a few recommendations to help make sure that Christmas doesn’t ruin your roof (and your holiday cheer) this year.

Inspect Before You Decorate
Before putting any type of decorations directly onto your home’s exterior surfaces, give them a once over. Are any shingles peeling or missing? Are gutters loose anywhere? Are there gaps or holes in siding? Is there debris in any roofing valleys? All of these issues should be dealt with regardless of whether or not you’re decorating, but they can become especially problematic once you add things to them. Debris can blow around and destroy your decorations – especially anything inflatable. Loose shingles can be pulled off if weight is placed directly on them. Loose gutters could even fall off or become more damaged if strung with lights. If your inspection turns up any issues, call in a licensed roofing contractor to fix the issue before decking the halls.

Use Proper Lighting
It’s not uncommon to collect Christmas decor and use the same things for decades on end. But when it comes to exterior lighting, it’s best not to get nostalgic about anything. Outdated or worn string lights and electric decor can cause major damage to your home including fire damage. Additionally, any lighting that isn’t rated for outdoor use can become a liability. Make sure anything that you plug in is UL rated, which is typically listed on the product’s packaging or online description. The UL seal means that a product has been tested by the UL nationally recognized safety and sustainability standards and has been found to be free from a reasonably foreseeable risk of fire and electric shock.

Watch Your Weight
No, not your waistline, although we could probably all stand to keep an eye on that this time of year. We’re talking about weight you place on your roof which isn’t designed to withstand downward pressure and weight over long periods of time. Attaching heavy decorations to the top of your house can cause structural damage to your roof decking and eaves. You can check with a structural engineer or contractor to find out what your roof’s long-term weight bearing capacity is, but you can also use common sense – don’t plop a three-hundred-pound Santa and his sleigh up there and not expect for some issues to occur. Conversely, if you place lightweight decor on your roof, ensure that it is properly secured so it doesn’t come loose and cause damage to other areas of you or your neighbors’ homes.

Most Importantly: Use Proper Fasteners!
We cannot stress enough how much damage can be caused by stapling, nailing or screwing lights and decorations to your home’s roof. Shingles are not self-sealing. Any hole and penetration you put in them will only get bigger and cause more damage over time. If you must have lights along your roofline, there are great products out there that create a professional and clean design without penetrating any exterior materials. Gutter clips and shingle clips (or all-in-on-products) are great alternatives. They are easy to use and well worth the minimal investment, especially considering the cost of the damage nails and screws will eventually cause to your home.

We hope all of our neighbors in the Hampton Roads region are celebrating the season with good spirits and lots of safety. All of us at Andrews Roofing want to wish you a wonderful holiday season, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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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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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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How to Know When Your Roof Needs a Checkup

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care, but that doesn’t just apply to your physical health. The same could be said for anything you maintain, including your house and its major systems such as your roof. While there’s no getting around the fact that a roof will eventually need to be replaced, there are many things that can happen over the course of a roof’s lifespan that should be serviced, repaired and maintained. This is especially true in areas prone to severe weather such as the Hampton Roads region.

But how do you know when you should call in a professional roofing contractor? Here are a few things to keep an eye out for to help extend the lifespan of your roof.

Curling, cracking or buckling shingles are a tell-tale sign that your roof needs some attention. You may also notice asphalt granules in your gutters, which have deteriorated from damaged shingles. This doesn’t mean you need an entirely new roofing system! While this type of roof symptom can sometimes be a sign that a roof has reached the end of its serviceable life, it can also be an isolated incident that simply needs to be repaired or patched.

While it may not necessitate a total replacement, shingles that are damaged or worn should be a high priority on your home to-do list. Just a few curling shingles can allow water to penetrate your roof causing leaks, mildew and other interior damage.

Speaking of interior damage, dark spots on your ceiling or walls also signal that it’s time to have a roofing professional come out and inspect. Even if you don’t see a hole or missing or damaged shingles from the outside, the leak may still be the result of a failure in your roofing system such as loose or missing flashing, backed up gutters or damage that simply isn’t visible from the ground.

Dark spots indicate that moisture has penetrated your roof, the sheathing, decking, and potentially attic flooring. These are serious signs that should be attended to as soon as possible by a professional to ensure additional damage does not occur and that harmful mold and mildew do not start to grow.

Moisture in your attic may also be a sign of problems with your roof as well as your insulation. If you find that the insulation, wood, flooring, ductwork or other items in your attic seem damp, it may be caused by a lack of proper ventilation and/or unsatisfactory insulation. But these issues, over time, can also affect the health of your roof by causing water damage to decking from the underside. An ideal attic temperature is close to that of the temperature outside. This prevents condensation, which is often the cause of interior moisture damage. A licensed professional contractor will need to address these issues if you find them.

Of course, sometimes all of these things indicate that a roof has simply reached the end of its lifespan and needs to be replaced. Most modern asphalt shingle roofs have a lifespan of 20-30 years. In the cities of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake and across the Tidewater region, many homes and large neighborhoods were constructed in the 1990’s, making them the age now to need total replacement.

A qualified roofing company can provide you with a roofing checkup to help you determine whether a repair or total roof replacement makes the most sense for your home and budget. At Andrews Roofing, we provide professional evaluations, customized quotes and affordable financing options as well. Whether you think your roof needs an ounce of prevention or a pound of care, we can help. Contact Andrews Roofing today.

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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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