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Tag: roof inspection

Common Roofing Storm Damage

If you watch the local news or even just tune in for the weather forecast, you know that we’ve reached peak hurricane season and that the tropics have been very active thus far.

Fortunately, the Mid-Atlantic coast including Southeast Virginia and Hampton Roads have been spared from any direct hits. But there are still two more months of hurricane season, and now is the time to be prepared for anything that may come our way. Not to mention that as soon as hurricane season is over, nor’easter and winter storm season will be upon us.

When it comes to your home and your home’s roof, there are plenty of things you can do in advance to avoid certain types of damage during storm season. But there are some things you simply can’t prevent from happening, and being responsive after the fact is the best you can do. Here are a few common types of roof damage to keep an eye out for as we weather hurricane season this fall.

Tree Damage

Tree damage isn’t always as obvious as an entire tree crashing through your roof and into your home. Some tree damage can go unnoticed until it causes interior damage – days, weeks or even months later. A stray limb with enough wind and force behind it can cause shingles to fly off, roof sheathing and decking to be pierced and make your roof vulnerable to leaks.

Tree damage can even come from overhanging branches that simply rub along shingles and cause unwanted wear and tear. It’s always a good idea to keep low hanging or potentially destructive branches trimmed back from the roofline where possible.

After a storm, visually inspect your roof as well as you can from the ground to see if any limbs, branches or even leaf buildups can be seen. If so, they should be removed immediately and the roof should be inspected to ensure no damage was caused. If damage was caused, a roofing contractor will typically be able to do a repair confined to that area without a major overhaul of your roof.

Loose or Missing Shingles

Perhaps the most common damage after a storm is loose or missing shingles. While it may not seem like a big deal if one or two shingles come off, their absence makes the shingles all around that area more susceptible to blowing off, and jeopardizes the roof sheathing beneath. Depending on when and how your roof was installed, the material manufacturer or installer may have specific warranties to cover shingle replacement. In any case, the shingles should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Loose or Missing Flashing

Flashing is the metal sheets that are used in roofing around joints in a roofline and around other roof penetrations such as pipes, chimneys and vents. They play an important role in protecting your roof decking and if jeopardized, major interior damage can occur. Loose flashing can actually cause quite a bit of damage to the rest of your roof, tearing up or removing shingles around it, especially in a wind event.

Missing flashing can allow water intrusion and will also make it easier for nearby shingles to be blown away. Some flashing you may be able to visually inspect from the ground, but if you have reason to believe that flashing may be loose in spots that you’re not able to inspect from the ground, call in a qualified roofing contractor to inspect for you – don’t risk causing damage to yourself to find damage on your roof.

Clogged or Broken Gutters

Particularly if you live near a lot of trees, storms can cause debris to fly off of nearby vegetation that can eventually land right into your gutters. This debris will cause your gutters to work less effectively, which means water will build up and potentially seep up underneath your shingles and sheathing, causing damage to the roof decking below, often seen as dark water spots in the corners and along the top of the walls in your home. Ideally, have your gutters cleaned before storm season so that they are cleared and ready to carry all that stormwater away from your home. But it’s also a good idea to check on them after a storm and make sure nothing has caused any clogs or damage to the gutter itself.

Broken or loose gutters are also common after a storm, and if you see evidence of that, call in a licensed contractor to fix the problem before the next rain event occurs. Broken gutters can funnel water into places it should not go including near your home’s foundation and onto walls and windows, causing even more damage. If you don’t have gutters, or your home’s gutters need to be replaced, you may also want to consider installing a Rapid Rain ™ gutter system which is designed for high capacity that comes with living in a storm prone area.

Contact a Local Roofing Contractor

This hurricane season, if your roof sustains any damage during a storm, contact Andrews Roofing. We are locally owned and operated and we are highly experienced in the issues that are unique to the Tidewater region. We know what to look out for and how to best fix and repair an issue to withstand future weather events.

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Roof Maintenance Tips for Stand-Alone Structures

When you think about roof maintenance, your mind probably goes right to the largest roof you have to deal with – the one over your home.

But if you have any exterior stand-alone structures on your property, their roofs need to be inspected and maintained just like your home’s. This may include garages, sheds, pool houses, barns or workshops. It’s particularly important to keep an eye on these structures if they store expensive equipment or other important items to avoid any type of damage.

The roof on an outbuilding can experience additional challenges that your home’s roof may not have, and there are additional ways to inspect and maintain these structures. Here are a few of our tips for maintaining and extending the life of your stand-alone structure’s roof.

Regular Visual Inspections

Like your home’s roof, you should inspect the roofs of these structures on a regular basis and especially after storm events. Depending on the size of these structures, it may be a little easier to visually inspect their condition from the ground. Look for the same telltale signs that you would on your home’s roof: missing shingles, warped or algae covered shingles, loose or missing flashing, clogged or damaged gutters and of course – holes or other damage. Check the eaves for nests of any kind – birds, bees, wasps, squirrels or any other type of animal nest can cause serious damage.

Safely Clean Them from the Ground

Again, the roof line of these structures may be a bit lower which may make it possible to safely clean them off yourself. A buildup of leaves, moss, or a few sticks and branches may seem benign, but they can cause damage if left alone for too long. Moss and algae – which are common in the Hampton Roads region – can collect on areas of the roof that do not get much direct sunlight. If they aren’t dealt with, they can weaken your roof over time.

If the roof is low enough and you have a strong enough hose, the first cleaning approach may be to simply spray it down to remove debris and build up. If that doesn’t do the trick, you can invest in a soft bristled roof rake which can be used from the ground to rake off debris and even some mildew and algae. Make sure not to scrub too hard to avoid damaging any roofing materials.

Remove Potential Hazards

Make sure to keep any nearby trees or bushes trimmed back. Limbs and branches that lean or hang over your outbuilding could cause extensive damage over time from friction or in an instant during one of our regular southeastern Virginia pop-up storms. If the vegetation around the building is small and light enough, you can take care of it yourself, but if there are any substantial trees or branches that should be removed, always call a professional.

Check Inside for Pests

It’s important to check the interior of these structures regularly. Some roofing issues can’t be seen from the outside. So even if your barn or shed is full to the rafters, make it a point to inspect the interior at least twice a year and after major storm events. The most critical interior areas of these structures may be the corners where animals are most likely to have built nests or created pathways to access the inside. Birds, insects and rats or squirrels can wreak havoc on a roof, chewing through materials or causing damage to rafters and sheathing. If you find anything, get in touch with a professional pest control company or animal control.

Whatever type of outbuilding you may have on your property, it’s likely that it houses something important enough for you to protect. Make sure the roofing on these structures is doing its job as best as possible with regular inspections and maintenance. If you see any signs of damage and believe your structure needs roofing repair or replacement, contact Andrews Roofing today. We are experienced in the types of environmental issues that structures in the Tidewater Region experience and know the best types of materials and methods to prevent further damage.

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How to Protect Your Roofing Investment

A new roof may be one of the largest investments you make in your home.

So, once you’ve made that upgrade, it’s important to protect it. Most people don’t spend much time thinking about their roof – until something goes wrong. But some forethought and a little regular maintenance can extend its life and the value you get out of it. Here are a few tips on how to extend the life of this important home investment.

Keep those gutters clean

One of the most critical things you can do to help your roof remain healthy and stable is to keep your gutters clean and clear of debris. When gutters are clogged, water can push up under the shingles, causing rot and damage to the sheathing below. Clogged gutters can also cause excess water to fall off the edge of the gutter and right toward your home’s foundation. Over time, this can cause foundation cracks, moisture damage, termites, basement flooding and more.

While it’s critical to keep your gutters clean, it’s also important to stay safe. If you plan to clean your own gutters, always do so with another person who can stabilize the ladder while you clean. Otherwise, find a locally owned and operated company who provides professional gutter cleaning services and get on their schedule for regular seasonal or semi-annual maintenance.

Do a regular visual inspection

A simple visual inspection once a month, or right after large storms, can help identify potential trouble spots. Things to look for include cracked or curled shingles, missing flashing, loose shingles or flashing, or mold or mildew build up on shingles. Inside your home you can do regular visual inspections in your attic or crawl space. Check for damp areas, excessive drafts, and of course – obvious holes or water damage.

If you see any of these issues, give your roofing contractor a call. There may be warranties on your roofing materials that could help solve the issue. If there has been true damage to your roof or interior, it may also be time to call your insurance agent.

Keep your roof clean

In addition to being unsightly, areas of mold, mildew and algae on your roof can actually lead to more serious damage. Mildew can cause shingles to warp over time, losing their stability and protective purpose. It can also be indicative of worse water damage to your roof’s sheathing. We do not recommend cleaning your roof yourself, as this can be a dangerous activity. Find a qualified, professional cleaning service who can do this for you on an as-needed basis.

Trim your trees

One of the best ways to prevent damage to your roof is to keep the trees and landscaping around your roof trimmed and maintained. Trees with overhanging branches should be cut back by a professional tree service as should any nearby dead or dying trees. After any major storms, check the trees on your property to make sure no branches have broken and gotten caught up on lower limbs – these can become damaging flying debris in the next storm.

Keep an eye on your attic

Your attic is the foundation of a healthy roof. It provides two critical elements for a long roof life: ventilation and insulation. Proper ventilation in your roof, along with appropriate insulation, eliminates moisture build up that can combine to cause rafters and sheathing to rot, shingles to buckle, and insulation to lose its effectiveness. A licensed contractor can help if you think either of these two things may be lacking in your attic.

Call a professional roofing company

If your self-inspections reveal any of the issues mentioned above, it’s important to call a local, licensed roofing company. Roof repairs are too serious and potentially dangerous to be DIY. Protect the rest of your home by maintaining a healthy roof alongside a trusted roofing company.

If you’ve noticed any issues with your roof, or would like to have your roof inspected for damage and deterioration, contact Andrews Roofing today. We’d be happy to come out to your home and help determine what your next best steps are – whether that’s a roof repair or replacement.

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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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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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