Leaks & Service Repairs

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Reroof Estimates & Inspections

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Tag: roof mold

Three Key Things to Consider when Finishing Off an Attic

Finishing off an attic is a popular way to squeeze more livable square footage out of an existing home. There are challenges to this type of renovation, however, and a lot of systems within the house should be considered, not the least of which is your roof. Since attics abut your roofing system, it is the most susceptible to poorly designed or constructed finished attics, so always make sure to use an experienced, licensed contractor. While we recommend having a professional do all the associated work for this type of project, here are a few things to consider ahead of time or to make sure your contractor addresses.

Ventilation
The number one most important thing to ensure during a finished attic project is maintaining proper ventilation. When an attic is unfinished, the system has space to breathe, while well-installed insulation and vents keep temperatures optimal to avoid condensation. But when drywall is put up, insulation is moved around and vents are covered, this can affect how the roof reacts to temperature changes. If not done correctly, this can cause condensation to build up between the roof and drywall, causing rot and mold to both surfaces.

If insulation is being reinstalled between the rafters behind the drywall, it’s important that air space is left between the insulation and the roof sheathing. There are special foam baffles that are made specifically for this purpose that should be used. There should also be a plenum (or connected air space) built into the design. You may notice that most finished attic rooms have a flat portion of the ceiling at the top (as opposed to an A-frame ceiling). That area above the flat ceiling is the plenum – it allows air from between rafters to move laterally as necessary in order to reach the roof vents.

If these design details are not incorporated into your project, rot will occur on your roof sheathing, drywall or both. The problem is that once an attic is finished off, it’s very hard to know these issues are happening until it’s too late and rot, mold and mildew have appeared. So be aware and discuss these details with your contractor ahead of time.

HVAC
For many homes, much of the HVAC system’s ductwork lives in their unfinished attic. Whether mounted to the rafters or lying across the floor of the attic (or both), all of it will need to be repositioned and worked around. This may require some creative designing to allow space for ductwork to go above and behind the drywall with enough space for insulation and air flow. This means you may need to call in an HVAC company in addition to your general contractor.

If your new finished space is going to tap into your central air system, then the ductwork will need to be reconfigured by an HVAC specialist. It would be wise to work in access panels for key parts of the HVAC unit so repairs can be done without having to rip out drywall. If you don’t plan on tapping into the main system, consider something like a mini split AC unit that is efficient, can be used when needed, and can help with maintaining reasonable temperatures in the space to help decrease any chance of condensation.

Plumbing
Although less likely, there is a chance that some key plumbing elements are housed in your attic that will also need to be worked around or reconfigured by a licensed plumber. The most common issue arises with homes that have hot water heaters in the attic. Space will need to be carved out for housing it, typically in a small closet so there is still easy access for repairs and replacement.

If you do decide to finish your attic space, discuss all of these concerns with your contractor, and also keep a close eye on your finished room after it’s complete. Check for mold or mildew on drywall and address it as soon as you see it. Make sure the room stays a reasonable temperature and investigate any damp or dank smells that may occur. If you have any concerns that a finished attic space may have caused damage to your roof, please contact Andrews Roofing immediately and we will send an experienced, licensed and insured professional to your home for an inspection and estimate before the issue gets worse.

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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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Where is That Roof Leak Coming From?

If your roof is not well-maintained, there is a whole list of issues that could occur, including structural damage and unhealthy mold growth. If you have noticed water stains or actual water coming from the ceiling, you might have a leak. Immediately repairing leaks is essential to keeping your roof in the best condition, but how do you know where the leak is coming from? The following are some common problem areas you can check to find your residential roof leak.

Shingles and Other Materials

The actual shingles or other roofing materials on your roof could have damage that is allowing moisture into your home. Damaged shingles will be buckled, corroded, cracked, or missing all together. You could also look for granules on the ground surrounding your home or nails that are missing or backing out. If you have trees that hang over the roof, be sure to check those areas, as a swaying branch could easily wear out your roofing.

Flashing

The point of flashing is to guide water in another direction when it wants to seep down into a seam on the roof. Flashing is located around chimneys, vents, and other areas where there’s an intersection or an angle in the roof. When flashing is not properly installed or sealed, water will begin to flow underneath and damage your home. Look for loose flashing, ripped pieces, or missing areas.

Skylights and Chimneys

The more extra features you have on your roof, the more chances water has to get in. Skylights and chimneys can be both functional and aesthetically appealing, but without proper installation, it’s easy for water to penetrate the roofing materials surrounding them. You should have a professional look at the seams and the installation to make sure it is all sealed correctly.

Hiring the Professionals

If you’re worried about a leaky residential roof, it’s important you contact the professionals for an inspection. Contact Andrews Roofing today by calling 757-296-0553 or sending us an email to learn more.

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4 Reasons to Be Thankful You Have a Roof Over Your Head

You’ve probably heard people express how they’re thankful to have a roof over their heads, and perhaps you’ve just considered it a figure of speech. In reality, there are a lot of reasons you should be thankful for that roof over your head. It doesn’t just signify the fact you live in a home. The following are four additional reasons to be thankful for your roof.

  1. Home Value

Did you know the appearance of a new roof makes the entire home look newer? Those fresh shingles and the comfort of knowing a new home buyer won’t have to replace the roof any time soon can make the value of your home rise. Whether you’re looking to sell or just want to increase the value of your home, a new roof can help you out.

  1. Protection Against Weather

When your roof is properly repaired and maintained, it serves as protection against the weather. It keeps the cold air out during winter and blocks the heat from penetrating during summer. It acts as a barrier between your furnishings and the rain and stops the sun from fading everything inside.

  1. Energy Efficiency

Depending on the type of roof you have installed, maintenance costs can be cut, and energy costs can be reduced. A properly insulated roof will help ensure the perfect temperatures inside your home don’t literally go through the roof, causing your HVAC system to work overtime. Instead, the roof can help your home stay at a comfortable temperature with minimal effort by the HVAC system.

  1. Prevention of Mold and Mildew

Roofs need to be properly ventilated so moisture cannot thrive inside your home. Condensation that builds up will typically turn into mold and mildew, which are both common causes of a variety of health issues. Your roof ventilation system can help to avoid such issues.

Contact the Professionals

There are a lot of reasons to be thankful this year, and having a roof over your head gives you many reasons to express that thankfulness. Whether you need a roof installed or repaired, contact Andrews Roofing by calling 757-296-0553 or emailing us today!

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How Warm Weather Affects Flat Roofs

Your building relies on the structural integrity of your roof. When it comes to roof damage, most building owners worry about extreme storm systems or snowy winters. Few regard summer as a problem to their roofing, which is a mistake. Hot summer days can negatively affect your flat roof. Here is what you need to know about warm weather and the affects it has on your roof.

Thermal Cycle Problems

In the summer, the temperatures rotate between hot and cold throughout the day and night. Flat style roofs expand and contract in these conditions. This usually leads to water penetrating the roof. You may need breathable PVC material to withstand the condensation and the thermal cycles.

Blistering Issues

When water penetrates through the roof, this is a problem on its own. It only gets worse when you add the summer heat into the mix. When you heat the moisture under the sun all day, it can lift the felt from the roof. This will lead to bubbles or blisters in the roof. If you catch these blisters as soon as possible, then you can replace the damaged sections. However, as time goes on and more blisters develop, you would need to replace the entire roof.

Moisture Damage

When moisture builds up, mold and fungus might grow. When you add sunlight into the mix, the high temperatures can help increase the rate of mold growth. This fungus may damage flashing. If you have damaged flashing, this compromises your draining capacity.

Older roofs and those that endure high temperatures should have regular inspections. When you have a roofing issue, you never want to wait around on it. Most roofing problems get worse with time, whereas maintenance may be simple and quick. With a call to Andrews Roofing today, you can avoid turning those minor problems into major problems. Call 757-296-0553 or email us today!

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