How much roof damage should stop you from buying a home?

How much roof damage should stop you from buying a home?

The process of buying a home is complicated enough before you get to the roof. Are you debating whether a home is worth the price with damage on the roof to consider? Because the cost of a new roof can stretch to tens of thousands of dollars, this decision is crucial for the long-term enjoyment of the home. Here is some help deciding what level of roof damage is too much.

Sizing up the damage

Once the contract process begins, professional home inspectors will assess the state of the roof, but there are ways to know you have trouble on your hands during your first tour of a home. To start, give the roof the eyeball test to identify missing shingles, curling pieces or multiple layers of roofing.

Professional roofers can make quick work of a roof with cracked or missing shingles, but homeowners who have neglected minor roofing issues have often opened the door to structural damage. In these cases, a neglected roof may have mold that started growing when leaks sprang due to roof problems. This damage may be tough to repair, even with a new section of roof, if the roof frame below has been compromised.

Multiple layers of shingles do not necessarily present a major problem. Homeowners in Marietta and many other communities often take this approach when they do not want to spend the extra money on roof removal. However, extra layers of shingles may actually void the warranty of the roofing, so take that into consideration if and when you make an offer. Multiple shingle layers also trap more heat and shorten the roof's life span.

Roof damage ahead

Roofing does not last forever, so ask how old the materials are, even if a roof is in good condition to the naked eye. A typical roof lasts between 15 and 30 years when maintained properly, according to BobVila.com. Inspecting the attic of a home should clue you in to whether there have been leaks from the roof. Mold from leaks creates problems for breathing as well as structural concerns, so take this part of the tour seriously.

The design of the roof itself may also alert you to a potential situation. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) guidelines remind members to consider that roofs that block drainage have a higher chance of springing leaks later. These concerns are worth noting if the house has an older roof.

In short, the amount of roof damage that exists opens up a unique area for negotiation in the homebuying process. If you are not keen on replacing a roof, have a professional roofer give an educated opinion on a home before you go into contract.

Image source: Flickr

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