Leaks & Service Repairs

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

Reroof Estimates & Inspections

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

Category: Roof Maintenance

Anatomy of a Roof Leak

No one wants to hear that dreaded “drip drip drip” that means you’ve got a roof leak. Or looking up and suddenly seeing a big dark spot on the ceiling. But when you do, your first thoughts are probably “how did this happen?” and “where exactly is this coming from?” Understanding the answers to these two questions is the key to getting your roof leak fixed quickly and efficiently and also to possibly avoiding them in the first place.

How do roof leaks start?

Typically, a leak will start one of two ways: damage or deterioration. However, there are many different types of both damage and deterioration that may have occurred and that might not be immediately obvious. Here are several that are common for homes in the Hampton Roads area.

Storm Damage

This likely is the most obvious source of a roof leak and also one of the most common in the Tidewater region. Thanks to hurricanes, nor’easters, snow storms and torrential rains, there are myriad ways a Hampton Roads roof can be damaged. But storm damage isn’t always as obvious as a giant tree falling through your roof. Sometimes damage can occur that isn’t noticeable right away. Hurricane force winds can blow flashing off a house, which can eventually lead to water damage and leaks. Winter storms can cause limbs heavy with snow or ice to drop onto a roof and cause a hole that you aren’t able to see or hear right away. Torrential rain can cause gutters to overflow and damage roof decking.

Your homeowners insurance may cover this type of damage, but you have to identify it and file your claim in a timely manner. This means that after each major storm, you should visually inspect your property for any damage on both the inside and outside of your roof. If you believe any damage may have occurred, you should call a licensed roofing company to come and physically inspect and provide any estimates needed for insurance purposes.

Clogged Gutters

Clogged gutters are a common cause of roof leaks, but they are also one of the most preventable. When gutters are clogged, water can build up on the roof, getting under the shingles and causing water damage that could eventually lead to a leak. If you notice dark spots on your ceiling near the outer edges of the house, this may be a gutter issue. Cleaning your gutters (or having them cleaned by a professional) 3-4 times a year is the best way to avoid this issue altogether.

Condensation

Believe it or not, a leak can start inside your home, without the exterior of your roof being damaged at all. That’s because condensation build up in an attic can cause interior leaks. This happens when there is not proper ventilation or proper insulation that would prevent extreme temperature changes – something that is not uncommon here in southeast Virginia. In addition to causing leaks, this condensation build up can also be the source of mold and mildew. Ensuring proper ventilation and insulation is installed in your attic and along your roof line is critical to avoid this type of leak.

Missing or Damaged Flashing

Flashing is just as critical to the integrity of your roof as shingles. Flashing is the metal that covers joints and seams on a roof, and when it is not installed and sealed properly, water can enter and damage the roof decking. If flashing isn’t well attached, it can move or get blown away during a storm. It also ages just like shingles, so corrosion or cracks in the metal could also allow water to enter your home. If some of your flashing is visible from the ground, inspect it after every major storm. However, some flashing may be difficult to see or access and in those cases, a licensed roofing contractor can inspect those areas if you believe there is an issue.

Deterioration

If your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, it may be deteriorating and causing leaks. Every roof has a lifespan, although that number can vary greatly depending on the material used. For traditional asphalt shingles, 20 years is usually the lifespan. Fiber cement shingles can last closer to 30 and metal roofing can last for 50 or more years. As roofing materials age, they can become brittle and shingles may crack or warp, allowing water to get underneath. They may also fall off more easily – even during a less than severe storm. If you know your roof is nearing the end of its life, it’s better to replace it before a leak causes interior damage, requiring you to repair multiple areas of your home.

What to do when your roof starts leaking

When a leak occurs, it’s time to bring in the professionals. Roof repair can be dangerous for the average DIY’er and if not done properly, can cause more damage or void material warranties. Instead, research your local roofing contractors and find one with a good reputation in your community. The sooner you contact them, the less damage the leak can cause, so don’t put this task off.

At Andrews Roofing, we’ve been helping homeowners in Hampton Roads repair or replace their roofs for decades. We have experience with the specific types of damage and leaks common in this area, and we have the knowledge, skills and experience to make it right, right away. Contact us today.

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Prepping for Common Hurricane Roof Damage

Here in southeast Virginia we are solidly inside of hurricane season, and while we have been lucky not to be hit with a direct storm recently, the impact of some kind of tropical system is inevitable.

As most of us know all too well, with storms comes storm damage. Thanks to Hampton Roads’ proximity to the coast, we often feel storm surge and hurricane force winds the worst. There are things you can do to be personally prepared for a storm, as well as things you can do to help secure and protect your home, including your roof. But there are also things that you simply can’t protect your home against, and instead need to be rigorous about post-storm inspection of your property to identify any damage as soon as possible. Let’s talk about how you can play both defense and offense to protect your home from long-term storm damage.

Pre-Storm Preparation
While you can’t control or prevent all possible damage, there are things you can do to prepare your roof for a storm. Here’s a quick checklist you can use to offensively protect your roof from the next hurricane or tropical storm.

  • Check for any loose flashing. If any flashing is loose or missing, repair it before a storm comes to avoid any water damage and possible leaks. Loose flashing can also become a hazard if blown off your home during wind gusts.
  • Check your gutters. Clean gutters will keep water away from your roof when those torrential rains start. You should also check to ensure gutters are well secured to avoid them becoming projectiles during strong winds.
  • Repair and replace missing shingles. It may seem counterintuitive to replace missing shingles or repair damaged ones before a storm, but the reality is that one missing shingle makes the rest of the shingles around it vulnerable to winds. If one or more shingles are missing or damaged in such a way that they are more likely to blow off, then the rest of your roof is at risk. Replacing a few shingles now can prevent the need for dozens of replacements after the storm.
  • Inspect your roof from the inside. Take some time to inspect your roof from inside your attic, paying careful attention to where any rooflines join up, looking especially for any wet or dark spots that may indicate an existing leak. If there is an existing leak, even one that has not been problematic before, it will only get worse during a storm, and could cause major interior damage. Repair a small leak now before it becomes a major leak in the middle of a “shelter in place.”

Post-Storm Inspection
After a storm, doing an inspection of your property will help you identify issues quicker, making it easier to fix them before they become a major problem as well as being able to file for any necessary homeowners insurance claims. Here’s a quick post-storm roof inspection list of things to look for:

  • Missing shingles
  • Loose or clogged gutters
  • Loose or missing flashing
  • Debris that may still be on the roof
  • Visible leaks or holes from inside your attic
  • Damaged or warped shingles
  • Dents in metal roofing
  • Broken slate tiles

What to do if there is damage
If you find any of these items during your inspection, contact a roofing company right away. If possible, get familiar with roofing companies in your area before a storm rolls through so you know who to call if needed. Do research online and read client reviews, websites and get neighbors’ opinions. Only call companies that are licensed and insured and have a good reputation in the community.

Getting a professional opinion and estimate will be critical when filing any necessary homeowners insurance claims. Remember that after a major storm, roofing companies will be swamped with calls, so getting in touch early is the best way to get your issues taken care of as quickly as possible. Do not attempt to fix these issues yourself as roof repair work is potentially dangerous, not to mention any repairs you make yourself may not be covered by your insurance and may void warranties on your roofing materials.

Andrews Roofing Can Help
Whether it’s before a storm or after, if you have concerns about your roof, please contact Andrews Roofing. We’ve worked in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News and Hampton for decades and we have an excellent reputation in the Hampton Roads community for quality workmanship and customer service. We understand the unique roofing issues that homeowners encounter in the Tidewater region, and we can help you make the best decision for your home.

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Four Common Roofing Issues for Homeowners in Hampton Roads

If you own a home in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk or any of the other surrounding cities of Hampton Roads, there are specific roofing issues you can expect to arise, but being prepared for them is the best way to minimize their impact.

Missing Shingles

Thanks to our coastal location, hurricanes, tropical storms, nor’easters and plain old summer thunderstorms are a constant concern for homeowners. Especially during hurricane season, it is important to keep a close eye on the condition of your roof. The most common problem you’ll experience during one of these storms is missing shingles. While a few missing shingles may not seem like such a big deal, they can lead to much bigger and much more expensive problems. Replacing these shingles as soon as possible will reduce the risk of having water damage done to your roof deck or experiencing a leak down the road. It is even a good idea to have some extra shingles in storage, so that if and when one blows off, it can be easily patched.

If multiple shingles are missing, or large patches have been blown away by a storm, then it is time to contact a professional roofing company to make the repair. Roofing repairs may seem like a simple job, but can be very dangerous for the average DIY-er to tackle. Protect yourself and your home by using a professional.

Humidity and Moisture Damage

The Tidewater region has its fair share of humidity and moisture, both of which can affect the longevity of a roof if it has not been installed properly. Moisture issues in roofs often start inside the home’s attic, where if enough ventilation isn’t present, condensation can occur. This issue can often be identified from inside the home before exterior damage is noticeable. If you see water dripping from the inside of the ceiling or beams in your attic, there may not be enough ventilation present, in which case additional attic ventilation may be needed. If the damage has already been done, a new roof system with proper venting installed beneath the roofing layer will help dissipate heat and prevent condensation from forming on the interior of the home.

Aging Homes

Hampton Roads has always been a steadily growing area, but it did experience a real housing boom in the 90’s when many large “track” neighborhoods were constructed. These homes are now rounding the 30 year mark, which is just about as long as a roof with asphalt shingles – the most common roofing material used in these homes – is going to last. So when issues start to arise in homes of this age, it’s often better to go ahead and reroof the home than to make repair after repair.

For owners of these homes who are doing a full reroof, there are many more options now than when their home was built. Asphalt shingles are still the most popular choice, but they now come in a wide variety of colors. There are also architectural shingles that have a little longer lifespan and lots of color options. Metal roofs have also become more popular both because of the farmhouse style look as well as their durability and longevity. An experienced and knowledgeable roofing company can help you decide which material is best for your home, location and budget.

Salt Water Exposure

Salt is highly corrosive, so when a home is exposed to salt spray from the water or in the air, you can expect just about any of the exterior materials to decay quicker than they would in a different environment. Of course homes right on the ocean or bay in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Hampton, the Eastern Shore and the Outer Banks will experience this the worst, but even homes that aren’t directly on the water can be affected by the salinity in the air. If you live near the water and your shingles are deteriorating, it may be because of salt damage, which may warrant a new roofing system.

While asphalt shingles are still common in waterfront areas, there are other options that may hold up to that environment better such as metal, slate or even cedar. There are also new roofing products on the market that mimic the look of cedar shake shingles, but which are made with recycled and sustainable materials that have excellent durability and lifespan. This is an excellent choice for the beach house aesthetic.

Find a Roofing Expert

If you are experiencing any of these common Hampton Roads roofing issues, your next step should be contacting a roofing professional. Andrews Roofing has been providing the Hampton Roads region with excellence in new roof and reroofing services for over 20 years. We’ve seen, repaired and replaced every one of these issues, and we can work with you to come up with a solution that meets your needs and budget. Contact us today.

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Hurricane Season is Coming: Does Your Home Need a New Roof?

Hurricane season starts June 1st, and Hampton Roads residents know that the key to surviving hurricane season is preparation. If you’re a new homeowner in the Tidewater region, don’t assume that Virginia Beach residents are the only ones who need to be concerned about potential storm damage. Homes in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, Newport News and even as far west as Suffolk and Isle of Wight are all susceptible to hurricane force winds, storm surge and torrential rain.

Just as you would put together a hurricane preparedness plan and kit, you should prepare your home for the inevitable storms as well. The time to find out you need a new roof is not in the middle of gale-force winds and power outages. Fortunately relatively simple inspections and research can help you determine whether your roof is as hurricane ready as you are.

Research Roof Materials and Age

If you didn’t have your home built or if you haven’t had the roof replaced yourself, you may need to do a bit of detective work to determine its age and the materials that were used. If the previous homeowners didn’t leave any records, ask around the neighborhood and see if anyone knows the last time it was replaced. If the home is less than 20 years old, you can likely assume the roof is original. Regardless of its age, the materials and workmanship behind them is probably the biggest factor when it comes to whether reroofing is needed. Here are some rules of thumb when it comes to the lifespan of residential roofing materials:

  • Asphalt Shingles: the most common residential roofing material used on about 80% of homes generally lasts 15-30 years.
  • Architectural Shingles: a specific type of thicker, premium asphalt shingle that usually lasts 25 to 30 years.
  • Wood or Cedar Shake Shingles: less common, but sometimes used on beach homes, these roofs can last up to 30 years, but only if they are annually maintained and split shingles are repaired.
  • Clay Tile Roofing: a fairly uncommon material in Hampton Roads, these tiles can last as long as 50 years or more, which is good since they can be very expensive to replace and repair.
  • Metal Roofs: their lifespan depends on the gauge of the metal used. The higher the gauge, the thinner the metal. So a high-end 22-24 gauge metal roof can easily last more than 50 years, while a thinner gauge (26-29) can have a lifespan of 20-25 years.

Inspect Your Roof’s Condition

A visual inspection can also help you determine if an expert roofer needs to be brought in. If you’re concerned about the safety of doing this, call a licensed roofing contractor to inspect for you. Here are the most common red flags to look out for.

  • Shingle Deterioration: Do you see any shingles that are curled, split, or that seem to be crumbling away? These are signs of old shingles that need to be replaced. This kind of deterioration can cause structural rot and interior damage and will only get worse with time.
  • Flashing Deterioration: Leaks are often caused not by the roof itself, but by the flashing around it. Flashing should be strong and tight around chimneys, vents, skylights, and roof junctions, or water can enter, causing damage to walls, ceiling, insulation and even electrical wiring. A great time to inspect your flashing is when you’re cleaning the gutters. Make sure everything is secure and no pieces are missing.
  • Missing Shingles: Coverage is key. Wherever a shingle is missing, the effectiveness of the entire roof is compromised. The problem is also likely to spread – once one shingle is gone, the others around it are more vulnerable to wind. And while those missing shingles may not necessarily mean you need a whole new roof, they should be repaired and replaced as soon as possible.

Call a Professional

If you identify any of these issues, or are able to pinpoint the last time your roof was replaced and are concerned about its age, it’s time to call in a professional. Roofing repairs are not a safe DIY project, and the consequences of doing it incorrectly can be dire to both you and your home’s well being. Research roofers thoroughly and find a licensed and insured certified contractor. If they are a trustworthy, quality company, they will have these licenses and certifications in place and will provide a free estimate of the repair or replacement.

If you live in the Hampton Roads region and need an expert to help you determine if you need a new roof or roof repair, call Andrews Roofing. We have been serving Southeast Virginia for over two decades and have worked on hundreds of residential and commercial roofs. We are experienced in the exact types of roofing damage common in the Tidewater region and can give expert advice on the best materials and approach to providing a long-lasting, beautiful new roof for your home.

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Know Your Roof

Your roof is a key feature of your home that prevents water damage and other hazards. There are a number of materials and layers that make up your roof. Understanding how these materials are used will make you better equipped to notice signs of damage that may require a roofing repair service.

Shingles or Metal Sheeting

Most residential and many commercial roofs use either asphalt shingles or metal sheets as the exterior layer. This layer is the most prone to damage, so it’s a good idea to perform a visual inspection periodically to ensure there are no missing shingles, signs of rust on metal, or other hazards. Typically, asphalt shingles last around 15-20 years and metal roofing lasts as long as 50-75 years.

Underlayment and Decking

The main structure of your roof is decking. This is typically plywood or OSB, but some commercial roofs use a decking of concrete or metal. Underlayment is laid between the decking and asphalt shingles to improve water resistance. This layer shouldn’t have any issues or signs of wear unless water has leaked past your shingles or metal.

Insulation and Support

The bones of your roof are wood or metal joists. This support structure keeps your roof firm even during high winds or other weather-related issues. Joists can be angled or flat, depending on the type and size of building. Between the joists is insulation. There are a number of types of insulation, with fiberglass being the most common. This traps hot or cold air in your home or building and improves the energy efficiency of your structure.

Invest in Professional Roof Installation or Repair Services

Learn how to spot the signs of roof damage by contacting Andrews Roofing today. A qualified roofing contractor can inspect your roof and offer affordable repair or installation services if you have a compromised roof. Protect your property by investing in expert repairs and long-lasting materials on a new roofing project. Call 757-296-0553 or email us today to learn more!

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4 Tips for Extending Your Commercial Roof Life

One of the best ways to ensure you don’t have to replace your commercial roof anytime soon is to take good care of it in the meantime. Replacing a roof can get expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, there are some things you can do that will extend the life of your commercial roof.

  1. Frequent Inspections

You won’t know what to repair if you don’t take a look every now and again. While inspecting the roof, you should look for cracks, holes, and other similar damage. Sunken areas, whether pooling water or not, also indicate damage. During your inspection, check for clogged drains and clean the debris out of gutters. If your roof has other debris and branches on it, clean that off as well.

  1. Prompt Repairs

Whether you’ve noticed the need during an inspection, or you’ve found a leak inside, it’s important to promptly repair any problem areas. By taking care of them now, you could save yourself money, time, and the hassle of a complete roof repair in the future.

  1. Hiring Professionals

It might be tempting to save a few bucks and just take care of your roof inspection and repairs on your own, but there are some benefits of having the professionals do it.

  • The professionals know what to look for. Something that may not seem concerning to you could indicate a problem that needs fixing.
  • The professionals have the right materials. Some business owners try to fix their roofs using the wrong materials, which doesn’t typically go well.
  • The professionals have experience. Hiring professional roofers could save you time because they have enough experience to get the job done right the first time.
  1. Maintenance Programs

If you’d really like to extend the life of your roof, work with an experienced roofer to get on a maintenance schedule. This takes care of everything mentioned above, in addition to other services, to ensure your commercial roof lasts a while.

Getting Started

To get started with all the roofing services you need, contact a professional roofer. Contact Andrews Roofing by calling 757-296-0553 or emailing us today.

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