Replacing or repairing a roof can be a large expense and one you'll want to know about before buying a house. Often, a roof inspection is conducted as part of the overall home inspection to alert buyers to any potential issues. An inspection may also point out repairs that should be made prior to settlement. Here are five questions you should ask at the time of your roof inspection.
How Old Is the Roof?
According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, most new roof systems are expected to last around 20 years. Newer roofs crafted with the latest technology can offer more heat conservation and better protection against natural forces like rain and wind. In contrast, an older roof may be starting to show signs of wear and tear. The cost of replacement may need to be factored into your buying price or home repairs budget if your inspector suspects the shingles are nearing the end of their life cycle.
What Type of Roof Materials Are Used?
Asphalt is still the most commonly used roofing material, according to the International Association of Home Inspectors. A roof inspector can give you a professional opinion about how to handle the roof maintenance and repairs based on the type of shingles he observes during the inspection.
Does the Roof Have Multiple Layers of Shingles?
Some building codes allow for new roof shingles to be installed over the existing ones. This is often done to save the cost of tearing off the old shingles. Your inspector should check the roof for multiple layers of shingles for the home you're planning to purchase. This allows you to make an informed decision about the future care and replacement costs for the roof.
How Soon Will the Roof Need Replacement?
Sometimes even newer roofs have issues that lead to partial or total replacement. A home inspection can help point out signs of wear and tear on your roof. Blistering or cracking shingles can indicate that the roof is starting to age. If the roof appears to be aging prematurely, you may want to conduct additional inspections to determine if repairs or replacement will be required sooner than anticipated.
Are There Any Cracks or Holes?
The home inspector should carefully examine the roof for any evidence of cracks or holes. In addition to assessing overall wear and tear, inspectors should check for small areas of damage, even in a newer roof. Isolated cracks, loose shingles, or holes in the roof could provide entry points for animals to crawl into your attic. Even minor roof issues can lead to water intrusion.
Before you invest in a new home purchase, make sure to have a certified professional complete a roof inspection. Signs of past water intrusion inside the house, such as stains on the ceiling, should also be investigated. To give you a clear picture about your home purchase, any potential problems observed during the inspection should be discussed prior to your closing date.