Ice Damming On Roofs Can Cause Leaks

So, here in Hampton Roads we sure have seen some “different ” weather lately. The last snow left eight inches at my house and the very cold temperatures hung around for several days afterwards. I do not recall any storm like it around here in recent memory and I am not looking forward to anymore of it either. In fact, in 17 years of owning Andrews Roofing, I have not seen us this challenged with any weather event as far as scheduling work goes. We are missing many work days this winter because it has been either too cold or too “snowy” or “snow covered” to tear off a roof and put a new one on.

One roof problem this weather is causing more than usual is called “ice damming.” *See the graphic. Ice Dams_013114 This condition can cause some pretty serious leaks.

If your residential or commercial shingle, slate, shake, or tile roof eave overhangs your building in the form of a cornice , soffit, or “boxing” as some call it, you may especially be vulnerable to leaks caused by ice damming. This also happens in roof valleys.

All of your roof that is directly above heated space normally will thaw sooner than parts of the roof that are not. Yes, even though you have insulation in your attic, some heat escapes the living area and into the attic. The snow in this area melts before the snow lower down slope on the overhang eave, which is not above heated space. When the melted snow (water) runs down slope and hits that snow, it can’t escape because of the “ice dam” blocking it. The water backs up and causes leaks because these types of roofs shed water – the material is not water-tight like membrane roofs are. An added complication is when it stays below freezing for several days after snow and even until the next snow. Here we go again with more leaks.

There is a special roof underlayment material that we call ice and water shield. We put it in valleys and around all roof penetrations like chimneys and vents, etc. It provides added protection under the shingle roof in these crucial areas. Up north where snow occurs more often and is deeper, they use this underlayment on the eaves as well, and sometimes architects have us install it on eaves here. It helps to stop leaks caused by ice damming. The thing is that around here, its use on eaves is not very common because ice damming is just not that common of a problem.

If you need a roof soon, you may want to consider this. It will cost a little more, but the ice and water shield underlayment may help to avoid leaks caused by ice damming. The good news is that it may not snow like this again for several years so you may not leak again for several years because of this issue.

Call me with any questions about this or any other roof items. Thanks for reading.
P.S. A rain gutter at the eave can potentially cause ice damming too. Keeping your gutters clean may help.

Robert Andrews ll

Our Roofing People # 1: Bob Andrews, Vice President / Estimator


We want you to know who we are so that you can put a face with a name.
This can actually help you determine whom you would like to communicate with based
on your roofing needs.

Over the next several months we will blog about “Our Roofing People.” They are definitely our most valuable asset and it took quite a while to assemble this Andrews Roofing team. Once we find ’em, we keep ’em!

Bob Andrews, my father, is the most senior member of our staff. He has recently taken a part-time position with our company and estimates one shingle roof a day. Bob has been with us since 2003 right after Hurricane Isabel hit Hampton Roads and O.B.X., causing some serious damage on many roofs. I had been trying, unsuccessfully, to recruit him for several years and this storm really made me realize what an asset he could be to the team.

When I finally got him on board, we started growing at a more rapid pace due to his
construction expertise and because he is so well connected with many members of the community.  He has extensive knowledge in all types of construction, having built houses as a general contractor for twenty years.

Bob got his start working at a fertilizer plant for a couple years and then started pouring concrete on the side.  Soon he left his job and started building room additions, renovations, ground up homes and small commercial buildings. After twenty years he went to work at Philbrick Heating and Cooling as an H.V.A.C. estimator where he stayed for eleven years until 2003. He nailed his first roof on over forty years ago.

As I said earlier, he is part time now, and looks at one shingle roof a day. Because of his thorough knowledge of construction and roofing, he is an excellent consulting estimator for residential and commercial roofing customers who have a lot of questions. He will take as much time as you need to figure out what you need and want.

I couldn’t have asked for a better dad, mostly because of his very high level of integrity. He has instilled this same level of integrity in me. At a young age, I would often get dropped off  at job sites for the day to clean up and do whatever else was necessary. He made sure I was exposed to most of the construction trades early on and is a very large part of the reason I am where I am today. Long story short, he is the best man I know and has been an absolute blessing to Andrews Roofing and my family.

If you want him to come consult with you on your residential, commercial, industrial, church fiberglass asphalt shingle roof or flat roof, just call and request Bob. I’d be willing to bet that you’ll like him and trust him to lead you in the right roofing direction.

One last note…I remember when I was a kid going to bed,  he would be at the dining room table looking at blue prints and figuring jobs. He is a good detail guy. He’ll take care of you. see his photo here on our site.

~The Andrews family owned a grocery store in Port Norfolk from about 1900 to 1963.  This building is five blocks from our current office on Mt. Vernon Ave and Bob worked there as a kid where he was paid “a dollar a day and all he could eat.” He graduated from Wilson High School in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1969 and  married his high school sweetheart, Sheila Tordoff, my loving mother.  He has been married for some 40 years, has two sons, six grandkids and lives in Chesapeake.~

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.