Buying a Home? Don’t Forget About the Roof!
You’ve been searching listings for months, attending open houses and touring home after home, and finally – you’ve found the one. It’s your dream home, you love it, and you want it now. This excitement, however, can make it a little difficult to think clearly and rationally. Remember: buying a home is a big investment and you want to be sure that you know all the details of the home you are purchasing so that you can anticipate what repairs, if any, you will have to make once settled in. This is especially true in regard to your roof. Not only does your roof keep you safe and comfortable, but it protects the interior of your home from the harsh elements.
Take the home inspection serious. It’s easy to fall in love with a house, get all emotional, and then overlook certain inspection items as “not that huge of a deal.” If there are issues with the roof, take them seriously. The age and condition of your roof could have a big impact on your homeowner’s insurance policy (they may drop you).
Get a professional inspection. Home inspectors inspect the entire home, but usually do it from the ground. You need someone who is an expert in roofing to actually get up on the roof and provide a thorough inspection, especially if any red flags were brought up in the home inspector report. Get a proper assessment to make sure you are getting an accurate picture of the condition of the roof.
Ask questions. Ask the current homeowners and/or the realtor about the age of the roof, any recent repairs, the shingle manufacturer and any manufacturer warranties, and the name of the contractor who put the shingles on the home.
Look for signs of leaks. Bubbling paint on the ceiling, wall discoloration, or mold in the attic indicate leaks (contrary to what TV shows have you believe, most leaks do not require you to place buckets and pots and pans on the floor to catch dripping water from leaks).
Do not think you can just do the repairs yourself. You can probably handle caulking a sink or cleaning the range hood filter, but leave the roof repairs to a professional. If you get up on your roof to make a repair, you could cause further damage and/or injure yourself.