Check the Roof before You Buy a House

Will you buy a new house with an old roof? That’s a very serious question with lots of traps. Why? Because if the roof hasn’t been replaced although it should, what else is neglected in the house? But let us be positive and just assume that the current homeowners have remodeled the whole house but didn’t change the roof, leaving that for the buyer (you). Don’t you want to be sure that the old roof hasn’t badly affected some parts of the interior? Start in the attic.

While buying a new home with an old roof is not out of question, the fact that the roof is old raises some concerns. It may not be a deal breaker but it shouldn’t be taken lightheartedly either.

That’s true even if the house you are thinking of buying has a relatively new roof. Wouldn’t you want to be absolutely certain of its sound condition?

For real now, it’s best to know from the start that the roof is 25 years old and so buy the house cheaper to invest in a new roof than taken by surprise by a so-called new roof! Don’t you agree?

The roof of the home is – along with the foundation – the most important structural element of the building. If it lacks integrity, durability, the strengths required to hold the load of snow, to shed water, to protect your home, family, and all contents, you need to know ahead – to either inquire about a new roof or say no to this particular home altogether. Right?

Roof_replacement_imageWhat should you do? Call a roofer, of course

Depending on the area, the roofing company, the roof itself, the inspection may be done on the roof or from the ground. When the inspection is done from the ground, the roofers check for some apparent damage or anything out of the ordinary to see if they must go up. What’s important is that before you shake hands with the current homeowner, you need to be sure a roofer has gone up and thoroughly checked every inch of the roof.

What should be the roof inspection checklist?

•   You need to know about obvious problems, like broken or missing shingles, damaged flashing, clogged gutters – anything that may cause water leakage – hence, damage.

•   The roofers also check for water stains on the roof deck – signs that indicate problems.

•   You also want to know details about the rain gutters. Are they okay or damaged? Are they clogged and if they are, why? Is it only a matter of gutter cleaning or a more serious problem?

•   You must also know about possible signs of roof damage due to impact. Hailstorms, thunderstorms, snowfalls and rainfalls are all enemies of roofs. Even winds are bad for the roof since the shingles may be damaged by flying objects & debris, or fly off themselves. So, you need to know about damaged shingles, missing shingles, dents, rust, cracks, chips, et cetera.

•   You also need to learn about the condition of all other components and features of the roof – valleys, downspouts, flashing, et cetera. Or, if there’s already some mold or algae and other roof enemies growing up there.

Don’t forget to check the roof from inside the house too. Although you can do that yourself, it’s good to have a roof contractor by your side. Only an expert can check the attic and see if there’s moisture or signs of water stains – things that indicate previous or current problems with the roof, the insulation, and the ventilation.

Reasons for checking the roof

Beyond the obvious – thus, checking the roof to be certain of the whole structure’s integrity, the avoidance of leaks, and the prevention of moisture problems, the main reasons to hire a roofer to inspect before you buy the house is to be prepared. To know if you need to change the roof in a couple of years. This is a considerable expense and quite a hassle. And you don’t want that when you just move in the house. Even if there’s a need for some roof repairs, this is an additional expense. And so, it’s best if you know how deep you should put the hand in your pocket – for the roof alone. And it’s even more important to be certain that you get a house with a (good) roof over your head.