When buying a house, most homeowners tend to focus on the fun things like the paint colors and number of bedrooms, overlooking the more boring aspects of the house like the roof. Though these parts of the home may not be as exciting, ignoring them could cost you thousands down the line if you experience a major problem. Here are a few things you should do when looking at the roof of a potential house.
Start with a Visual Inspection
When you're looking at a house, begin by inspecting the roof. Some common issues are easy to spot at first glance. Look for common signs of wear like curled shingles, moss and mold, damaged caulk, loose or missing shingles, rust, and worn-down rubber flashing. If you see any of these signs, you may want to call in a professional to do a thorough inspection of the roof. They can provide important insight, help you determine how serious the damage is, and let you know if you need a new roof. You should also ask the previous homeowners how old the current roof is. The older the roof, the sooner it will need to be replaced. All of this information is crucial when you are making your final decision to buy the home.
Check out the Ventilation System
Even if the roof is brand-new, if it doesn't have the right ventilation system, you may still experience big problems down the line. The ventilation system should let sunlight and air flow freely through the house. Unfortunately, many homeowners forget how important a good ventilation system is. Bad ventilation can cause a number of new problems to arise, including mold formation. This will only increase the costs and stress down the road, which is not what you want right after buying a new home.
Inspect the Gutters
The gutter system plays an important role in the overall safety and well-being of the roof and the house on the whole. Make sure the gutters are functional and don't show signs of rust, cracks, or other wear. You should also check the gutters for asphalt shingle grains. This is a gritty material that is sometimes found in gutters when shingles are old and worn out. This is also a common sign that it's time for a roof replacement.
Watch out for Water Damage
One of the most common problems homeowners run into with their roofs is leaks. Check the inside of the home for signs of water damage. Even a small leak can lead to lots of costly damage. Some signs of a leaky roof are:
- Gaps around the chimney and roof
- Dark spots on ceilings and walls
- Pooling water
- Peeling or flaking paint inside the house
- Mold growth
Water damage is more than just an annoyance, it can damage the structural integrity of the home, destroy furniture, and create an unsafe living environment for you and your family. All of these common signs must be addressed before you decide whether or not to buy the house.