Buying a New Home? What to Look For in a Roof.

Buying a New Home? What to Look For in a Roof.

8 March 2021

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There are many things to keep an eye out for when purchasing a new home. Although it may be overlooked, the roof is a very important area to pay attention to. Your roof protects your home and everything inside of it including you and your family. When purchasing a new home, it is vital to take an in-depth look at the roof in order to know what to be prepared for once you have purchased the home.

 

Why Your Roof Is So Important:

The roof is the most important feature when buying a new home because it is the first line of defense, providing complete protection to your family and all of your belongings. It is crucial to have the roof of your potential home examined for damages to ensure you are prepared for anything you may need to repair or replace in the future. The most common things to check for are storm damages, existing water damage and compromised areas of the roof that could lead to more issues in the future. Since your roof is what stands between you and the weather outside, problems may occur if the roof is not functioning properly. Water damage usually presents itself on ceilings, in walls or in the attic. Checking for water damage is important because of the health and safety concerns that could accompany it. Here are some safety concerns water damage may cause:

  • Areas of your roof penetrated by water can cause damage to your roof decking. Your decking can soften and rot, jeopardizing the underlying structure of your roof as a whole as well as making it hazardous to walk on. This could lead to further issues if not promptly addressed and may require a full roof replacement to fix.
  • If the roof becomes oversaturated and water leaks into the ceilings and roof beams, not only can rot occur but mold can also form. This can cause a variety of health issues to you and your family as the mold spreads and can become very expensive if neglected.
  • Similarly, if water is leaking through to your rafters, ceilings, walls and structural beams throughout your house, the affected areas will need to be removed and replaced with new materials.

 

Having the roof inspected by a qualified roofer before putting an offer down on a new home is necessary to ensure the health and safety of your family. It can save you money in the future if you address underlying issues from the start. Here are some essential things to look out for when inspecting a roof:

 

The condition of the shingles:

To start, if there are any shingles completely missing from the roof, that is a sure sign those spots will need to be repaired. Missing shingles contribute to the likelihood of the roof and house having water damage. Besides completely missing shingles, you must check if there is any damage to the shingles that remain. This could include buckling, lifting or curling. Any shingles suffering from these issues will also need to be replaced and the structure underneath should be examined for water damage prior to securing new underlayment and new shingles to that area of the roof.

 

Large amounts of roof granules in gutters:

As asphalt roofs age, their granular components detach and fall into the home’s gutters. Granules can also be knocked off of shingles when hail hits your roof during a hail storm. If enough granules compile in the gutters, this can clog up the gutters as well as reduce the efficiency of the roof since the granules are an important protective component of the shingles. Once enough granules fall off of the shingles, they make way for water to penetrate the shingle which could result in water damaging the roof decking beneath. This may contribute to long-term water damage, the need for future roof repairs or even a full roof replacement. Always make sure all shingles and gutters are examined during a roof inspection.

 

Water damage:

Water damage can cause many safety and health concerns. An easy way to spot water damage from the roof is if you see water stains on the ceilings inside the home. Some homeowners may try to cover these up if they are trying to sell their home so it is always important to look out for fresh coats of paint on the ceilings and use a white flashlight to search for areas of concern rather than lights with a yellow tint. Checking the attic for water stains is another good way to find potential water damage inside the house.

 

The age of the roof:

It is important to ask how old the roof is when discussing a home you are interested in purchasing. Although the life expectancy of a roof is highly dependent on the materials used, most roofs last between 15-25 years before a full roof replacement is needed, assuming it is not in poor condition due to hail or wind storm damages. If the roof is nearing the end of its expected lifespan, chances are you will need to get it replaced. It may also need to be replaced if current shingles were installed over existing ones. In that case, all layers would need to be removed down to the decking prior to the new roof installation.

Conclusion:

Next time you are house-hunting, be sure to remember this advice before finalizing your choice. This is most likely a big investment for your family and making yourself aware of the state of the roof before you buy the house will give you more peace of mind on closing day. Roofs can be expensive to repair and replace and you don't want any surprises after you get settled into your new home. Make sure to have all of your shingles checked, inspect for water damage and look inside the gutters if the house has them. Ultimately, make sure you ask how old the roof is as it might be close to the end of its expected life. If you, a friend or a family member need a roof repair or full roof replacement, let Advanced Roofing & Construction, LLC take care of your roofing needs. Our office can be reached at 256-603-9171.

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