Leaks & Service Repairs

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Reroof Estimates & Inspections

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Tag: damaged roof flashing

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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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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