Leaks & Service Repairs

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Reroof Estimates & Inspections

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Tag: nor-easter roof damage

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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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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