A roofing inspection is the most important step in the home-buying process. It can reveal details that could completely derail your budget for the next few years as a new homeowner. A roofing inspection can save you tens of thousands of dollars and help ensure you end up with a safe, sturdy home.
When to Conduct an Inspection
The best time to start looking at a home’s roof is when you arrive at the first showing. Walk around the house and look up at the roof for missing shingles or gutters that are beginning to rust or separate from the home. If you already have a relationship with a dependable roofing contractor, you may want them to accompany you on a tour of the home so they can give their professional insight.
If you decide to make an offer, that’s the time to get serious about an official roofing inspection. You can wait for the home inspector to complete an assessment, or you may be able to request that a contractor of your choice review the roof’s condition. At this point, if you see any evidence of deterioration or damage, it might be time to walk away from the deal, or at least renegotiate the price.
The Inspection Process
When professionals inspect a roof, they look for a few key signs that the structure is healthy. First, they walk on it and look for missing materials. Shingles, flashing and gutters all should be firmly in place. They also view the roof from the ground, checking to make sure the eaves are not sinking or buckling.
From the interior, they inspect the attic ventilation, making sure there is proper airflow, which decreases the chances of ice dam formation and mold growth. They check the quality and condition of the insulation as well.
What Problems Should You Watch For?
Regardless of whether the contractor makes a recommendation to replace or repair the roof, always pay attention if they tell you about shingle granules in the gutters, slow mold growth in the attic or any bent or blistered shingles or flashing. All of these are signs that the roof is on the downside of its useful life.
Talk to Your Roofing Contractor and Realtor
Ask a roofing contractor you trust for his or her honest recommendation on the best course of action for repairing or replacing the roof. Bring up the results to your realtor and negotiate with the homeowners. They may immediately decide to replace the roof on their own, since it will most likely have to be done anyway if they are to sell the home to anyone.
If the roof still has a few years left, but you’d rather replace it now, you also can try to split the bill with the current homeowners. However, each home negotiation is different. Trust the advice of industry professionals, but don’t let anyone convince you to purchase a home with an old, worn-out roof — it won’t be worth it in the end.
Talk to the Roof Doctor if you are planning to buy a new home, and trust the professionals with years of industry experience to conduct your roofing inspection — you won’t regret taking the time for this critical aspect of home-buying.