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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

How to Assess Roofs While House Hunting

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 02 January 2018 19:58

Purchasing a home is one of the most important investments most people will make during their lifetime. While there are several things you will need to assess while house hunting, the roof of a home is one of the most important components of a house that can lead to a serious drain on your wallet if it’s not properly inspected or can lead to future expenses down the line. There are several precautions you can take in order to ensure that you are not purchasing a home with a faulty roof. Here are some tips while house hunting on how to assess a roof and some important things to look for.

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Get a roof inspection

Many potential homebuyers think that the home inspection that is completed as part of the buying process is enough to thoroughly assess the roof, but this is simply not true. A roof inspection is very detailed and includes a complete examination of the roofing material, ventilation, and the drainage system. It can only be completed by a licensed and certified inspector. The inspector will usually get up into the attic and will get on top of the roof to look for damaged shingles and moisture buildup in the eaves due to insufficient ventilation. This inspector will also look for leaks and pooling water in the gutters as either of those can lead to serious problems with your roof that can result in serious repairs.

Know the roof’s history

A thorough inspection of a prospective home’s roof should include a detailed and complete history of both its repair and maintenance. This will provide the details of when the roof was last replaced and what type of repairs were executed. This is important to know for house hunters because it should also let the prospective buyer know what type of warranties are valid and what can be transferred to the new owner. The complete history will also tell a potential owner if routine maintenance and other repairs were conducted.

Does the home need a new roof?

Although each roof is unique, its lifespan is usually dependent on the type of material it is made of. Roofs are usually made of asphalt shingles, tile, slate, wood, or metal. In addition to its lifespan, the cost will vary depending on the material. Asphalt shingles are very popular because they are relatively inexpensive, however, they are usually replaced after about 20 years. On the other hand, metal roofs, which are becoming increasingly more popular, can last up to 50 years but are generally more expensive.

To assess the roof while you are looking for a potential home, you should first check to see what type of material it is. This is usually provided in the inspection, but you can also examine the roof for yourself. Metal roofs can be identified from their two basic forms: sheet-like panels and shingles. Since they last longer than asphalt shingles, they are a great choice of material for roofs. They do need to be maintained and a bi-annual inspection is recommended for their proper maintenance. You should always determine the roofing material and then find out the details about the inspection, repairs, and maintenance before purchasing any home.

Overall, it is extremely important to assess the roof of any home you are considering to purchase. The type of material will ultimately determine its lifespan and cost of replacement if needed. A detailed inspection and history will give you a better understanding of any repairs that will be needed, and will also give you the peace of mind and the green light to purchase the home of your dreams.

Elena writes for Roofing Vancouver BC. She wants to spread the word about responsible roofing setups and how you can choose the best design and build for your home.

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