Leaks & Service Repairs

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Reroof Estimates & Inspections

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Tag: hurricane roof damage

What You Need to Know About Roof Damage and Insurance Claims

If you’ve had some damage to your roof, you may be wondering if you should make an insurance claim.

The first thing to note is that every insurance company and every policy is different. The key is hiring a roofing contractor who can work with you through the process regardless of what it looks like.

At Andrews Roofing, we are experienced in working with clients and insurance companies for roof damage that has been caused by the frequent storms we get in Hampton Roads. Not all roofing companies work the same way, but here’s a bit of insight into how we help our clients work through the damage, insurance claim and repair or replacement process.

Roof Repairs

Depending on the extent of your repair needs, we may send an estimator out to take a look first. If it’s a few blown off shingles or nail pops, we can likely give you an idea of the cost over the phone and then schedule a repair at that time. From there, you can file a claim with your insurance company. We will provide you with a detailed and professional invoice to submit with other required insurance paperwork.

If a repair is major or requires partial replacement, we may send an estimator out to take a look first. Armed with a written estimate, you can reach out to your insurance company first to see what may be covered under your policy. Although we generally do not need to get involved first-hand with your insurance representative, we are happy to do so if it helps with the process.

Roof Replacements

If it is clear that your roof needs to be replaced, we will send an estimator out before providing any quotes on work or pricing. Our sales department will schedule an appointment with you to inspect the inside and outside of your roof. They will discuss options and budget before providing a written estimate for you to review. At this point, we highly recommend reviewing this estimate with your insurance representative. Some companies may only pay for a one-for-one roof replacement. This means that if you choose a different material, it may not be covered. It’s also critical to know whether the insurance company will cover any portion of the replacement if your roof is older and beyond its predicted lifespan. They may determine that the roof failed due to its age, rather than damage that is otherwise covered.

Roof Warranty Claims

If your roof is fairly new and has sustained damage, it’s possible that you have a manufacturer warranty on the materials. Ideally your roofing contractor will have talked to you about the warranty of the materials you chose and provided you with information on making a claim. For instance, one of the products we offer to our clients are CertainTeed shingles, which carry a wind warranty of 110 to 130 mph. As long as they are installed property per the manufacturer specs, clients shouldn’t need to worry about paying for any storm damage out of pocket. Keep in mind, you may first need to reach out to the warranty provider, then contact your roofing contractor to perform the warranty or replacement.

The Bottom Line

Before you ever need repairs made to your roof, make sure you understand your homeowners insurance. Talk to your rep to ensure your roof will be covered in the case of a storm or other natural disaster. Understand what their claims process looks like. When damage does happen, reach out to your insurance company as soon as possible and document everything. And, of course, only use a licensed, insured roofing contractor who is experienced in both roof repair and replacement and who can provide a professional written estimate, manufacturer warranty information and great service.

If you’ve had damage to your roof and you live in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk or any of the other surrounding Hampton Roads cities, Andrews Roofing can help. Contact us today and we’ll help you determine the best course of action for getting your roof back in working order.

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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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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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New Shingles or New Roof? 

How to know if your roof needs to be repaired or replaced?

Nobody wants to spend more money on a home improvement or repair project than they need to. So if you’re experiencing issues with your home’s roof, you may be exploring the options of repair versus replacement. There are plenty of situations where a simple roof repair is a safe and good option. But keeping long-term costs, appearance and durability in mind is also important in making the best decision. 

How Do You Know if Your Roof Needs Work?

The first step to determining whether your roof needs any sort of work done is by being aware and vigilant about its condition. Particularly in hurricane and storm-prone areas like the Hampton Roads region, it’s important to keep an eye on any possible issues with your roof so that they don’t turn into much bigger issues in the middle of the next big storm. You can do this simply by visually inspecting it on a regular basis. If you clean your own gutters, that’s a perfect time to take a closer look at what’s going on with your shingles, flashing, and sheathing. Otherwise, grab a pair of binoculars and take a peek at your roof every month or so. The other place to inspect regularly is inside your attic. Don’t wait until there’s an actual leak in your home and damage done to your ceilings and walls. Identifying small issues early is the best way to make easy repairs and save money. 

You may need a roof repair or replacement if you identify any of these issues during your inspection: 

  • There are obvious leaks or dark water spots on your ceilings or walls 
  • You are finding water or ice buildup in your attic after a heavy rain or snow
  • You’ve noticed that some shingles look warped or have started curling
  • Shingles are mildewed and/or deteriorating 
  • Shingles are missing from your roof 
  • Flashing is loose or missing

Should You Repair an Older Roof?

The first thing to consider is the age of your roof. Different types of roofing materials are rated for different lifespans. If your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, it may make more financial sense to have it replaced rather than repaired. Much of the labor cost of roofing goes into the setup – scaffolding, equipment, hauling materials up and down, disposal of old materials – doing that several times over for small repairs can add up to the cost of a new roof fast. 

If your roof is not within a few years of its lifespan, it may make more sense to consider a repair, depending on the size and impact of the damage. Replacing missing shingles or flashing or small roof deck repairs could do the job for a whole lot less. Keep in mind, however, that when replacing shingles, it may be hard or impossible for a roofing contractor to acquire the exact same material, so there may be slight color discrepancies in the new shingles. 

When is the Damage too Big to Repair?

If the damage done to your roof is major, it is probably time for a replacement – regardless of the age of your roof. In the Tidewater Region we see this most often after major storm events. A tree going through a roof, widespread shingle loss and major water damage to roof decking all constitute a full roof replacement. Perhaps the one upside to situations like this is that they may be covered under a homeowners’ insurance policy, which means you should take the greatest advantage of your policy by having as much work done as is covered. 

How Do You Choose a Residential Roofing Contractor?

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a roofing contractor, but start by getting quotes from two or more companies. If multiple companies agree about whether a roof should be repaired or replaced you will be able to put your mind more at ease about your decision. If two companies disagree about the solution, bring in a third or fourth estimate for a consensus. Regardless of how many companies you call, make sure every one of them is licensed and insured. Read their reviews online and research their listing on the Better Business Bureau. Do your homework, ask around your neighborhood and see which companies have the best reputations. The cheapest option is not always the best and often in roofing, you get what you pay for. 

How Andrews Roofing Can Help

Andrews Roofing has been working in the Hampton Roads area for decades. We are experts at roofing issues that are specific to this region. Our expertise means we can give you an honest, accurate assessment of whether or not your roof can continue to protect your home after experiencing damage. We take on jobs large and small and never pressure customers into more work than is needed. We are licensed, insured and proud of the reputation our work has earned. We’d be happy to provide you with an estimate for any repair or replacement your roof may need, so 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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