Leaks & Service Repairs

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Reroof Estimates & Inspections

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Tag: hampton roads roofing

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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What You Need to Know About Ice Dams and Roof Damage

With all the recent winter weather Hampton Roads has been experiencing, you may be noticing new issues arising with your house that you don’t normally have to deal with. You’ve probably had to shovel snow from your driveway or walkways, and you may have needed to drip your faucets to avoid pipes freezing. But there’s also something you should be aware of with your roof during inclement winter weather, and it’s called “ice damming.”

What is Ice Damming?

You know the beautiful icicles that form along the edge of your roof after a winter storm? While they look charming, they are actually indicative of an ice dam.

Ice damming happens after a measurable snow event. Snow settles somewhat evenly on your roof, and provided it’s not a massive amount of snow that would cause weight bearing issues, your roof is perfectly capable of handling it. The problem occurs after the storm when heat starts to melt the snow. The heat may come from inside the attic due to insufficient insulation or other air leaks to the attic that allow warm air in, or it may come from the sun. In either case, snow starts to melt and water runs down the roof toward your gutters.  Again, if this happens gradually, and if your gutters are clear, and if the temperature does not drop precipitously, your home’s structure should manage all of this just fine.

Unfortunately those ideal circumstances don’t always happen. What often happens is that the snow starts to melt, and when it reaches the edge of the roofline it begins to freeze. This is because the edge of a roof is likely less warm – not having been heated from living or attic space underneath. Then as the sun goes down, and temperatures drop, the melted snow compiles, freezes and creates a dam at the edge of the roofline. This dam causes moisture to back up, and can also cause shingles to lift, allowing water to get underneath resulting in interior leaks. If this happens, you may notice damp spots on your ceiling or walls, peeling paint or mildew.

What should you do if it happens?

Trying to remove the ice buildup with household tools, shovels, etc. can damage your roof, not to mention be incredibly dangerous for you. Throwing salt on the roof can cause damage to any plants underneath and may not work quickly or effectively enough.

If the ice dam has caused a leak into your attic or scuttle space, you can point a box fan at it to freeze it and stop additional water damage until the snow is able to melt and drain away.

You can also use a roof rake which is a long-handled tool that you can use to rake snow off the roof while you stay safely on the ground. It may not remove existing ice dams, but if you use it right after a snow event, it can prevent ice dams from forming.

How can you prevent future ice dams?

It may surprise you to know that even if a leak occurs from an ice dam, it’s not necessarily because your roof was not installed properly or because of true roof damage. In fact, most ice dams are caused by issues inside the house, not the roof.

The main cause of ice dams is the difference in temperature between the center of the roof and the eaves. Maintaining an even temperature is the first step to avoiding the issue. You can help create an even temperature under your roof by increasing the ventilation in your attic, adding insulation and sealing any air leaks that may be allowing warm air into your attic or scuttle. You should discuss these options with a licensed contractor, as it is not advisable to DIY these important fixes.

How can we help?

If your roof has sustained damage from an ice dam during the winter weather we’ve been experiencing in the Hampton Roads region, contact Andrews Roofing today. We provide roof repair services in addition to full roof replacements to residents of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and other cities in the region, and we’d be happy to provide you with a free estimate.

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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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Does a New Roof Increase the Value of Your Home?

A new roof is a major investment, and even if you’re getting ready to sell your home and move on to the next, it may still be worth considering.

That’s because a new roof can actually add quite a bit of market value to your home, increasing its likelihood of getting offers (or multiple offers in some real estate markets). The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) noted in their 2019 remodeling impact report that new roofs can provide a 109% return on investment. That same report states that 39% of realtors suggest that their sellers replace their roof before trying to sell their home, and 33% said that a new roof helped close a sale.

Even if a new roof does not give you a one-for-one return on investment, it can help with the marketing and quick sale of your home. New homeowners usually aren’t able to take on a major renovation right after spending money on the down payment and closing costs of their new home. For this reason, lots of new homebuyers are looking for a home that is “turn key” – in other words, one they can walk right into without having to do any work themselves.

When looking at two homes in the same price range, a home buyer is going to be more likely to make a generous offer on the one that has the most recent repairs and updates, because they know it will save them money in the long run. If they are looking at a house that clearly needs a new roof, buyers will mentally tack on thousands of dollars to the listing price.

Of course, if your roof is failing or has incurred damage, you will need to replace the roof before selling, regardless of the return on investment. In many states, it’s a legal requirement to disclose any damage or structural issues in a home to the buyer. Even if it’s not, if the buyer or mortgage lender requires a home inspection prior to closing, the issues will quickly be found and could dead-end a sale, wasting time and delaying your sale.

So how much should you invest in a new roof if you’re preparing your home to sell? This is a great conversation to have with your realtor, as they will know the market value of your home with and without a new roof, and guide you in how to choose materials that make the most sense for your budget. In most cases, installing a typical asphalt shingle roof is enough to make a buyer feel secure and good about the update. But some markets, neighborhoods or price ranges may require the homeowner to invest a bit more in architectural shingles, cedar shake, metal roofing, or a combination of materials for a higher-end look. Again, a realtor can help you make this decision based on comparable sales in your neighborhood and price range.

Even if you aren’t trying to sell your home, NARI’s research shows that 75% of homeowners report feeling “a major sense of accomplishment” after finishing a reroofing project and 49% say they have an increased sense of enjoyment when they’re at home. Your own happiness and comfort is definitely worth the investment.

If you’re preparing your home for the Hampton Roads real estate market and need a new roof, contact Andrews Roofing. We have decades of experience in the Tidewater region, and can help you choose the best materials and look for your budget, home design and style. We also offer a guarantee on our work and use materials with excellent transferable manufacturer warranties, to put your buyers’ minds even more at ease. Contact us today for a free estimate.

 

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