The Truth About Leaks

Leaking Roof Cartoon_091015

Our goal is to secure your first line of defense when it comes to the elements. Water, in whatever form, (rain, snow, sleet, or hail), has a way of penetrating any weaknesses in a roofing system. It is our goal to not only install roofs that will stand up to the wear and tear that the weather brings year after year, but to also assist when water intrusions occur.

While many roofs leaks are simple to repair, determining the source of the leak is often the more difficult task. When customers identify a drip in their ceiling, they often assume that the leak is originating above the leakage point, however, a leak can be traveling down a rafter or can even be the accumulation of condensation. For example, it is common for plumbing and AC leaks to be misdiagnosed as roof leaks.  They can be tricky.

Roof leaks can be caused by any number of things. Once you familiarize yourself with the potential causes of leaks, you may be able to determine the source through process of elimination. If not, you can always contact our office for assistance. Here are a few of the main sources of roof leaks:

Missing, cracked or loose shingles, tiles or seams
Damaged or deteriorated flashing, seals and caulking
Improper attic ventilation, which can cause moisture through a buildup of condensation
Improper installation of valleys, flashing, shingles, collars, etc.
Ice Dams, which prevent proper run off and force water to back up beneath shingles
Ponding water
Exposed nail heads
Skylight flashings
Wind driven rain
Built up debris, which can trap moisture and accelerate deterioration

Robert Andrews II
757-286-7400
robert@andrewsroofing.com

Warning Signs: How to Avoid a Roof Collapse

Having your roof collapse can be an unexpected nightmare.

A collapse can happen during any time of the year, but with the weight of heavy snowfall in recent years, it is best to make sure your roof is in good condition to withstand the elements.

Snow Covered Roof_011615

Snow-related collapses can be caused by heavy amounts of snow accumulation on any type of roofing. One cubic foot of dry snow weighs approximately 6 to 8 pounds, while packed snow and/or ice can weigh even more. Other forms of precipitation can compound the problem if moisture from rain or sleet has been absorbed into the roof.

Flat roofs and lower sloped roofs tend to be at greater risk because they will accumulate larger amounts of precipitation.

Major warning signs should be addressed immediately by contacting your local roofer. Those signs include:

  • Sagging sections of exterior shingles or interior ceiling.
  • Severe/repeated leakage
  • Cracks in the exterior masonry
  • Bends, ripples or deformities in the roof supports, framing or structure
  • Sprinkler heads that have dropped below ceiling tiles
  • Doors or windows that are difficult to open or pop open on their own
  • Bent or bowed utility pipes or conduits at ceiling

Should you notice any of these conditions, contact Andrews Roofing for a free consultation with one of our estimators. We have a 24 hour answering service that can receive emergency calls and allow us to dispatch repair teams.

Regular maintenance and inspection of your roof will help you identify any type of roof damage and prevent a collapse if fixed in a timely manner. Some preventative maintenance tips include:

  • Removing debris, mold and algae accumulation, which can hold moisture
  • Keep drains, gutters and downspouts clear of leaves, dirt and debris so that drains can flow freely
  • Have roof problems repaired when they are discovered to prevent any further damage.
  • Remove any excessive amounts of snow from the roof (consider hiring a professional).

Robert Andrews II
Office: 757-399-3066
Email: service@andrewsroofing.com

Flat / Low Slope Roof Overlay Replacement as an Option (Retro – Fit)

There are many ways to handle your roof replacement. A lot of commercial and residential flat roof owners know that you can install a new roof over top of an old one. Many old built-up roofs are still out there, and most even have rocks on them. These roofs can be expensive to tear off and dispose of, so for years roofers have been overlaying with “recovery” insulation board and single – ply roof systems such as TPO membrane, E.P.D.M., modified bitumen membrane, and P.V.C. membrane. These roof systems will last about 20 years and then you tear both roof layers off and start over.

Single-Ply roof systems are also roofed over. Building codes only allow for two layers of roofing and we agree with this code. Also, the insulation and roof deck on your existing roof must be dry and in such a certain condition to be roofed over. Some roofs cannot be left in place and roofed over for several reasons, so consult with a roofing professional to see if it is an option.

Special specifications are made by the industry when roofing over, so be sure you can trust and rely on your roofer to do the job correctly. Generally, it is better to tear off the old roof, but in many cases a roof over is a very acceptable option. In fact, based on my experience, the vast majority of one layer flat roofs get a retro-fit treatment.

Call or email me if you want to talk about it. Thanks for reading.

Robert Andrews, II
President/Estimator
Phone: 757-286-7400
Email: robert@andrewsroofing.com

Roof Coatings

Sometimes you can coat your roof instead of having to actually remove it and replace it with a new one. It can be much more cost effective, and in some cases, it can be better for your home, business or church roof.

Asphalt shingle roofs can’t be coated, but just about all other types of roofs are “coatable.” Of course, your roof must be in a “coatable” condition. We coat mainly metal and single – ply membrane flat or low slope roofs and it works very well on these surfaces. Examples of single – ply roofs are smooth modified bitumen membrane, TPO membrane , P.V.C. membrane, and E.P.D.M.

Coating a metal roof is usually more cost effective than replacing it because metal roofs are a premium roof system and, in some cases, are old with historic architectural designs that you may want to preserve. You can simply prep it and use a fibrated coating such as aluminum coating or asphalt coating to stop minor leaks and maintain the roof.  This application can also dress it up a bit for aesthetic reasons.  If you really want something nice, we can apply an acrylic / elastomeric coating system, which may or may not include fabric, and even get you a real warranty! This is like roof “membrane in a can.” They do come in colors, of course, and most localities do not require a building permit for coatings, which keeps costs down.

We can apply the same types of coatings to single – ply roofs. We make sure there is no moisture in the flat roof or standing on the surface (ponding water) in a case where a coating would be feasible.

Believe it or not, one can even use some coatings as, “stand alone roof systems,” where the coating is applied right over the plywood roof sheathing.  One advantage, under these circumstances, is that coatings do not blow off and they are extremely light weight, making it alright to overlay an old roof.

High end premium coatings come with 10 and 15 year water tight warranties from the manufacturer and are renewable in most cases. The manufacturer would come out, inspect the roof when it is near the end of its warranty period, tell you what to do to maintain the roof coating system, and renew it for another 10 years even!

If you are interested in coating your roof, ask a roofing professional if it will work for you.

Thanks for reading. Call or email with anytime with any questions because I have not included everything here. I’m really not that good of a writer so … just the facts!

Robert Andrews, II
Andrews Roofing Company, Inc.
757-286-7400
robert@andrewsroofing.com
www.andrewsroofing.com

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                                                        robert@andrewsroofing.com/757-286-7400

Your Home Is Not A Submarine

I have said it before; Your home is not a submarine…and even subs leak!

Fiberglass – asphalt and other types of roof shingles, such as tiles, shakes, slate, are not water proof. They are designed to shed water on a pitched or sloped surface. The steeper the better. Steeper surfaces shed water faster and dry faster.

You can’t put shingles on a pitch lower than 2 in 12″[roof rises 2″ in 12″] . We do not recommend it on slopes below a 4-12 pitch without special conditions. Roofs lower than a 2-12 need a roof system designed for “low slope roofs.” These are single – ply membrane roofs such as TPO , E.P.D.M. , P.V.C. , or modified bitumen . And just because shingles are on it now does not mean you should replace that roof area with the same thing. Even if it doesn’t leak now , it may in the future.

No responsible roofer would use the wrong type of material. A good roofer looks at every roof on a case by case basis. For example: A low pitch or low slope roof in a heavily populated suburban area not near large open spaces of land or water is not the same as one facing north on the river in Hampton Roads, Virginia cities such as Portsmouth, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Smithfield, York Town ,Hampton, or Newport News.

I might nail a shingle roof on a 3-12 pitch on the first roof described above, but not on the second. On the second I might recommend a low slope roof system or maybe install ice and water shield under the shingles in case wind driven rain forces itself in. And I might even use stainless steel roof nails so they won’t rust out by being wet too often for too long. #15 or #30 lb double layer asphalt saturated felt paper or “tar paper” roof underlayment might be an option as well.

Our roofers have been doing at this for a while so we have the ability to consult with you in these matters. We have seen all kinds of roof leaks and all kinds of roofs leak! We also listen to what the manufacturers say about how and where to install their roofing products . We are always sure to meet building codes.

We recommend the use of CertainTeed Landmark and other models of shingles made by CT because of their #1 rank on consumer reports and because of our experience over the years using all name brands. We took years to pick the horse we would race so you don’t have to worry about it!

So please remember: No matter how good the roofing material is, it must be installed in the right place and in the right manner to perform and do so for a long time. Ask the roofer and find out how much he knows before you hire him. The right decision in picking a roofing contractor or company is very important.

Thanks for reading!

Robert Andrews ll, President Andrews Roofing                                                                           757 Mount Vernon Ave, Portsmouth, VA 23707                                                                     757-286-7400  I  robert@andrewsroofing.com 

Roof Leak Repairs

Roofers are like auto mechanics. There are really good ones and some…..are not as good.

When you have a problem with your eyes, you don’t go to a general practitioner. You go to an optometrist, right? Similarly, if you have a roof leak, you need a good roofer who specializes in finding and fixing leaks.

Some roofers install roofs. There are many different types of roofs and many types of roofers install them. Some fix leaks. These are the most detail-oriented, patient, and experienced roofers of all, usually. They know how to sniff out a leak because they’ve seen a million of them. They have installation experience in a variety of roof types. Most are experts in shingle, flat, and metal roofs, slate, cedar shakes, synthetic tile roofs,etc. Flat roofs include built-up, tar and gravel, modified bitumen, single-ply (rubber, E.P.D.M., TPO , P.V.C.) membrane roofs, and ballasted roofs.

A good leak repair or service tech can find and fix leaks on all of these different roofing surfaces. So if you need a leak fixed, not just any roofer, roofing company or contractor will do. Find a company that has special leak experience. Find one that has a service department.

We have both the equipment and staff to address issues on all of these roofing surfaces.  We have moisture reading equipment and do water tests when necessary. We have a repair specialist  named Don who can see a leak in a membrane roof seam 20 ‘ away. I am serious. You want a guy like him who has 30 years of experience. He’s as good as they get because leaks can be very tricky. He and other techs like him are successful about 98% of the time. Sometimes it requires a second visit but they always get it then. Man, this is fun. Good luck!

Robert Andrews ll, Pres.                                                                                                  robert@andrewsroofing.com