Ventilation Requirements for Your Roof

When you install a new roof on your existing home or business or when you are building a new structure, (which will have a roof on it), it’s a good time to brush up on ventilation requirements.

Over the years ventilation knowledge and technology have changed. I have been in old buildings and residential homes which have no vents at all. I have also seen 10 year old homes with improper or insufficient ventilation.  Proper ventilation will provide you with an attic that is not too hot or moist which can cause problems. Bad ventilation can allow mold, condensation, wood rot, shortened shingle roof life, higher energy bills, etc. I have been in attics that are completely wet to the touch and by sight on the bottom side of the roof sheathing because of lack of vents. We vented it and it dried right up. When getting roof consultations or estimates, ask the contractor if your vents are ok for your home. He should know much about it.

A proper ventilation system is balanced. The intake at the eave should be equal to the exhaust at the ridge. This makes for an even flow of air to keep the attic and roof deck in ship shape. Different climates have different air volume requirements.

Make sure you do not have conflicting types of vents on your roof like a power fan beside a slant back gravity vent , for example.These are both exhaust vents and that fan will probably pull air into that slant back vent making it an intake vent. This is like a short circuit in electrical systems.

This is just basic and general info about roof and attic vents. Your roofing contractor should be able to evaluate your home and either replace your vents with new ones, if your system is good,  or change the way your house vents all together. It will pay off in the short and long runs if you handle it at new roof time.

Bad ventilation will void your shingle warranty and shorten the life of your roof. This is true in asphalt or wood shingles or shakes. We like to use AIRVENT products because of their quality, availability, variety, customer service, and training.


Many architectural or dimensional asphalt shingle roofs are now made with limited lifetime material  warranties if installed and vented properly. Our favorite type of exhaust roof vent is ridge vent because it is at the ridge and is continuous ventilation which leaves no “hot spots” under the roof deck.

Thanks and have a good day!

Robert Andrews II

New Roof, No Mess!

That is right. During your roof job, it looks like maybe you are having minor  work  done because 99% of the old roof coming off never hits the ground!  We now have a new piece of equipment known as “The Equipter.” There are less than 500 of them in existence today.

the EquipterThe Equipter is a medium size dump trailer that goes up in the air to receive trash. It is self propelled and has big, wide  wheels that won’t damage your yard or  beds. The job site stays much cleaner and safer and the job takes less time to complete because the trash never hits the ground. We only touch it once instead of a second time picking it up in your yard.

When a residential shingle roof is replaced, tons of trash are removed and tons of new roofing are put back on. The average home has about 8,000 lbs. of shingles to remove and dispose of. A big part of the job is to manage this trash and keep it from damaging property.  This Equipter makes it much easier and faster to complete your roof job. It is especially appropriate if you have a well-maintained yard. A 1.25 day roof now only takes 1 day!

It is also a pretty cool thing to watch in your yard. Anyway, Thanks and have a good day!

Robert Andrews II, President

Quality Roof Installation and Roof Repairs: Picking the Right Roofer or Roofing Contractor

There are all types of roofing and several manufacturers make them. The different main types of roofs are flat roofs, low slope roofs, and steep roofs.

An example to use here is steep roofing material. Asphalt shingles are a practical and cost effective way to roof a building, house, business or church that has a 4/12 pitch and goes up to almost a vertical slope. Asphalt shingles are made by 4 or 5 major manufacturers that I am familiar with. We like CertainTeed the best because of many reasons, but the other 3 or 4 guys’ products are at least acceptable as well. The point is that you do not have many manufacturers of asphalt shingles to choose from, but you do have MANY roofing contractors or roofers or roofing companies to choose from just in your local area. These roofers are all over the chart as far as quality installation is concerned. One can install a shingle roof incorrectly that has to be replaced because of roof leaks or other problems in as little a time as a month. Yes, this is true. We are expert witnesses in cases like this. But the big surprise is that a roof can be installed “good enough” and perform for 10 years or be installed very well and last 30 plus years. This is for real.

A good roofer has been doing it for a while of course, but he also must know what the manufacturer says about installing their product.  Conventional roofing industry wisdom is good but we must follow manufacturer specifications to make the roof its best and to make warranties count. A manufacturer in most cases is not responsible for the quality of the installation. They won’t stand behind it if it is not on right.

You do not want to be stuck with no warranty left after a few years because your roof wasn’t installed just right. The shingle makers spend big $ on engineering designs and testing to make sure their product stands up to elements such as wind, rain, and beating sun.

Think about it – that roof is the building’s first defense against these forces and it must do well for a long time. If they build that shingle, they know how to put it on for best performance and duration of service. Ex. Put the proper # of roofing nails in the proper spots. Use the right galvanized roofing nail and it must be the designated length. Do not drive the nail crooked or too deep and damage the shingle. These are just a few items to know about just the nails. This is the “tip of the iceberg.”

Trust me and take time to pick the roofer who will install a roof SYSTEM – not just a roof. The roofing crew needs real  roof mechanics, quality supervision, and a thorough post job inspection. The inspection should be done by a manager of some sort, preferably one who doesn’t work on the crew. He must get on the roof and look it over closely before you pay. Here are pointers for getting the right man for the job. He must be….

1. licensed and insured
2. certified by the manufacturer
3. in business [same entity] for a while
4. able to provide references of people with roofs like yours
5. able to give you addresses of buildings he has installed roofs on like yours
6. not the lowest price by too much,especially REALLY low
7. not financially challenged , if he is he may not be able to finish
the job or honor the labor warranty down the road
8. in possession of good equipment [ride by an ongoing job to see]

I could continue but I have probably said enough for now .  I am very
grateful that you read this.
Please contact me for guidance if you need it.
I really like this roofing stuff.

Robert Andrews, II, President                                              

Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Well, these aren’t for every building or every building owner, but they
are one of the most high quality roof systems you can install. Also,
they are becoming more popular partly because of the rising cost of
petroleum causing fiberglass asphalt shingle roof prices to climb over
the last several years. A standing seam metal roof can seriously
enhance the structural integrity and look of your home or business.
It comes in steel, aluminum, copper, and stainless steel, to name a

All of these are at least a 50 year roof and are to be considered
a lifetime roof system. Why? Because they are made of metal, for one
thing. Metal of course is rigid and strong so it does not damage
easily and can give you a very high wind rating. In most cases it is
screwed down with hidden fasteners so the elements never get to these
screws and cause corrosion. You can use as many screws as you want to
make it very wind worthy.

The technicians are metal roof mechanics and sheet metal mechanics who are highly specialized so they know how to custom fabricate and install every roof as per the particular building design. They are among the most technical workers in all of construction, and aren’t scared of heights either.

Coil metal or flat sheets are run through a roof panel machine for different lengths, widths, and profiles custom to the shape and measurements of the building. Then they are installed. Some standing seam metal roofs [copper mostly] are hand crafted without a machine  for historic buildings. These roofs don’t leak if put on right.  Not just anyone can do it either, so please be sure you pick a roofing contractor who has the men, equipment in their sheet metal shop, and knowledge for the job. Most roofers don’t even do standing seam metal roofs. It is too complicated. See the roofs they have done and see their equipment too.

Although standing seam metal roofs are put on many commercial and residential buildings, as the main roof system they are also used to accent other types of roofs like shingles, tile, shakes, and slate roofs. Many times, bay windows, return roofs and bird walk roofs have metal on them. Some shopping centers have them on the front canopy to draw the eye of tenants and customers. Beach houses and cottages use them for wind resistance and high end aesthetics. High rise buildings and church steeples have them because their owners never want to replace their roofs after original construction. They are too high! There are many 16 ounce copper roofs way up in the air that are rarely seen or touched in Hampton Roads.  Downtown Portsmouth and Norfolk, Suffolk, and Williamsburg are full of them. The old tin roofs we remove are usually 100 plus years of age and today’s metal is better.

The main thing is that if you put a metal roof on your home or business, it will perform very well and will be the last one you ever install, no matter how old you are.

Robert Andrews ll                                                                                                       

How to Begin Thinking About Your Roof

Hi! If you have a building, you have a roof and at some point you will have to repair, maintain or replace it…or even all three!

I am talking about your residential home roof or the one on your commercial office, church, etc. Whether your roof is residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, shingle, flat, metal, slate, cedar shake, tile, or synthetic, there is a proper and specific way to maintain or replace it.

There are options for every roof. Since a new roof is a 20+ year commitment, you might as well take your time and choose the best one. The internet may help, but nothing is better than consulting with a real, live roof estimator, consultant or salesman.

A good roofing expert has years of experience in the industry. He can help you figure out what kind of roof or roof repair you need, which will perform and look the best, and which will last the longest. He can even help you with colors. These guys are pros. So contact a reputable roofing company and ask them to send him out, especially if you have leaks, have an old roof, have a damaged roof, or if your roof just looks bad. Looking bad can mean it is one or all of the above.

Robert Andrews ll , President                                                                          

Roofing Employment Hampton Roads WANTED. NOW HIRING

If you are very skilled technically in various types of roofing, Andrews Roofing wants you. We need men with skills in all types of roofing. At our company you must be able to handle any roofing situation-not just one or two. You must be a roofer who knows shingles, flat, metal, shakes, tile, slate, single-ply, modified bitumen, built-up, tar and gravel, roof coating, steep, etc. or at least be well versed in several of these.  We do residential and commercial, E.p.d.m., TPO, CertainTeed asphalt shingles, Englert standing seam, 24 gauge steel panels, Enviroshake, Ecostar, Aluminum,  slate, tearoffs, retro-fit roofs, and Firestone work.

We service the following areas: Portsmouth, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Smithfield, The Peninsula, Newport News, Hampton, Richmond, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Outer Banks, for North Carolina and Virginia.

Our Scope of work includes: new work, roofing, roof replacements, repairs, inspections, roof consultations, reroofs, industrial, safety, OSHA, VOSH, steeple, church roofs, office buildings, shopping centers, roof curbs, pitch pockets, and flashing.
Robert Andrews ll , president

You must also have a good driving record. Safety and equipment and technical certifications help too. We do a lot of white TPO membrane and are an authorized Firestone installer, so we have a high standard of workmanship. We do all work as per manufacturers’ specifications. We do shingles, flat and metal roofs every day and many roofing and leak repairs in addition to service and maintenance. We get our 40+ hours and have great benefits and pay.

If you are very qualified and need a good, long term career please contact us at:

Robert Andrews:  or 757-286-7400

A resume helps. We will pay you what you’re worth. We especially need responsible leaders, foremen and mechanics who own their job.  You take care of us and we take care of you.

The Best Warranty: Single-ply Membrane Roof Warranty

The best warranty in the construction industry is a single-ply membrane roof warranty (TPO or thermopolyolefin  , E.P.D.M., P.V.C., Modified Bitumen).

Firestone Building Products is leading in this area with their “edge to edge” roof warranty which covers all the roofing accessory products installed (membrane, roof insulation such as poly – iso board, fasteners, flashings, metal drip edge or coping or gravel stop, etc. These are on commercial flat or low slope roofs with positive drainage.

Of course one can get just a material or a membrane only warranty, ( residential or commercial) accompanied by the roofing contractor’s labor warranty, but I am speaking of a workmanship (labor) and material warranty by a multi-billion dollar company. Firestone even inspects the roof to be sure it is installed as per their specifications. A contractor must be certified by them to obtain one of these warranties which means you are sure you have picked a good roofer.  Any roofer can get a material warranty.  Only the best are Firestone certified.

These warranties are non pro-rated, have a no dollar limit, and are available in duration of 5, 10, 15. 20, 25 and 30 year increments. Yes, they can guaranty a roof against leaks and other defects for 30 years! They do this because they know their roof system will perform and last.

You know what non pro-rated means. No dollar limit means that 29 years from now, on a 30 year roof, inflation doesn’t matter. If a repair costs 20 times more than it does now, they still have to provide material and labor to do it. And most of the time these warranty repairs are made in just a few days because we make them for Firestone and Genflex Roofing Systems and they pay us to do so.

I would say that these roof system warranties may even be the best in any industry and not just in roofing or construction. Can you get one like it on a car or a microwave oven? Nope. I don’t think so.

Robert Andrews ll , President Andrews Roofing                                                    

Installing a Walkable Vinyl Membrane Roof System

Do you have a flat or low slope roof you would like to cook out on? People used to build wood decks on top of built-up roofs, E.P.D.M. (rubber) roofs, TPO membrane roofs, modified bitumen roofs, and even shingle roofs. These methods do work but are expensive and are difficult to deal with in cases where leaks pop up after installation.

To find and repair a leak, one must remove parts of the wood deck. This takes time and money. Also, puddles, moisture, and ponding water under the deck on top of the roof can cause fungus and vegetation growth which can damage the roof and deck. Never trap moisture!

An alternative to this old method is to install a walkable vinyl membrane roof system. The brand I recommend and have used for many years is Dec-k-ing. It serves as a waterproofing system, a roof, and a roof top patio. It is designed to handle regular abuse of people and pet traffic, furniture, grills, etc. It looks good too – coming in a variety of colors with a slip resistant textured surface.

Because of hot air welded seams, I have never seen one leak. If a vinyl membrane roof is damaged or cut, it is easy to repair by installing a patch which blends in pretty nicely for aesthetics. It can be installed on plywood or concrete smooth surfaces. This Dec-k-ing traffic roof membrane system should last 20 years. After that, a new membrane can be fully adhered right on top of it – no new disposal of old roofing will be necessary.

Make sure you hire a qualified roofer to install it. The technicians must be very skilled and able to not only put on a roof, but to install a vinyl floor as well. It must go down on a properly prepared surface so that characteristics of the substrate don’t telegraph through it, giving it a rough appearance. Substrate must have a slope to run water off. A one in twelve inch fall is fine. It comes in 40 and 60 mil thicknesses and is considered a fully adhered  single – ply membrane roof system.

Visit for more info.
I like this stuff. I really do.

Robert Andrews II, President/Andrews Roofing                                                    

Roofing Work Safety

Most work related deaths are caused by falls or being run over or hit by heavy equipment, as per an O.S.H.A. inspector I talked to last month. The rule is that when working six feet or above the ground one must have fall protection. So, this would include pretty much all roofers all the time. The most common type used is a full body harness. Any good roofing contracting company will have a written safety program which thoroughly covers fall protection. Think about it, even a 1 story residential shingle roof has a 12-14 feet high eave. At the ridge it may be 25 feet or more. A fall from these heights would do some serious damage to the body. There are times when fall protection is not required. One could work on a flat or low slope roof even 50 feet high without it if the parapet wall is 42 inches tall for example.

Bottom line is this: whether a contractor is going to do shingles, metal, flat, single-ply membrane, built-up, commercial, residential,  industrial, roofing replacement or roof repairs for you, make sure they have a written safety program and they have workers’ compensation insurance in case something does happen.

Just about every other year I hear of a local roofer falling to his death. It happens. Be sure it doesn’t happen on your property.

Robert Andrews ll, President                                                                                     

What to Expect From Your Roof During Heavy Heavy Rain – Hurricane Sandy

Your house or commercial building is not a boat or a submarine and even they take on water.

When Hurricane Sandy like rains come, many roofs may leak and never leak again. This type of abuse only happens every few years or so. Ernesto was a named storm in late summer 2006 that dumped 10″ of rain in approx 3-4 hrs in Hampton Roads , VA. I was on a low slope TPO single-ply membrane roof in downtown Portsmouth, Virginia in that rain and there was an 1-2 inches of running water from up slope to the interior roof drains. This water covered the entire roof surface. If those drains wouldn’t have performed properly, that roof would have folded under the water weight and leaked badly or even collapsed. Water weight temporarily sags the roof structure and can cause seams and flashings to fail by pulling them loose. Keep your interior roof drains, suppers, conductor heads, gutters and downspouts clear of debris so water runs off and does not back up causing leaks. Also remember that fiber glass asphalt shingles, shake, slate, tile, metal roofs are lapped for water shedding – not for water proofing. There is a big difference. Too much rain water just can’t shed fast enough and your roof may leak even though you don’t know it. Keep it maintained regularly and draining well and the first most important thing is to put the right product in the right place. For example, you would not install a shingle on a slope lesser than 2″ in 12″. It will leak if you do.

Do not let debris like pinestraw pile up in roof valleys, behind chimneys, etc. because heavy rain will make the roof leak and this lack of attention also shortens the life of the roof system.

With the appropriate product for the application and with excellent workmanship and maintenance your roof will handle most of the even “perfect storm” rain scenarios.

Robert Andrews ll , President Andrews Roofing