Having a roof over your head is what a home is all about, but how many people actually know what to look for when it comes to a home’s roofing? There are several important elements to inspect before you buy or sell a home, in terms of a safe and sound roof. Luckily, you don’t have to become an expert to be able to spot when a roof is in need of maintenance or repair. Start with these tips and you’ll be well on your way to knowing whether that roof needs some TLC or if it’s good to go.
Make a Visual Inspection
The first thing to do when you’re evaluating the roof of a home is to simply step back and make a good visual inspection of the roof from a distance. There are many signs you can see right away without having to actually get up on the roof and look up close. For example, is there a build-up of mold or moss? You can easily identify these elements on roofing because they will show up as clumps of green. Moss is an especially common problem in damp areas, and it can cause roof damage over time.
Another easy defect to look for in roofing is whether there are missing shingles or areas that seem bare or worn out. Shingles can blow off in high winds or loosen as the roof ages. If there are bare spots on the roof, it’s a likely sign that the roof has aged and needs some maintenance. Although well-maintained roofs can last 30 years or more, damaged roofing can be expensive to replace and shouldn’t be ignored.
All About Leaks
A leaky roof is an obvious sign that the roofing needs an immediate repair. Leaks can start small and then become much bigger problems if they are left unattended. A professional roofing contractor will need to be called in to repair most problems with leaks because they generally go beyond what the average homeowner is able to do. Professionals can examine the leak and determine the overall extent of the problem.
Sometimes leaks are small enough that the roof only requires minor spot repairs, but when the leak has spread to cause damage on a larger section of the roof, the repair will be correspondingly larger. If you’re the home seller, you may not be aware of a leak and it could come to light during a pre-sale home inspection. However, if you’re the buyer, consult the home inspection to ensure that you don’t inherit any currently existing problems with leaks that can end up causing greater damage down the road after you’ve already purchased the home.
Understand Types of Roofing
Every homeowner should be informed about the basic types of roofing available and what type is installed on his or her home, whether selling or buying. One of the most common types of roofing is asphalt composition shingles, found in 80% of homes. They are long-lasting, durable, and attractive. Other types of roofing include metal, clay tile, plastic polymer, wood shingles and shakes, or slate. Find out which type you’re dealing with so you understand its particular qualities, risks, and benefits. A roofing contractor can also help you with this.
Being Informed Means Being Empowered
When buying or selling your home, if you’re informed about the basics of roofing and know how to make some initial assessments, you’ll be better positioned to make empowered choices and decisions. With a basic knowledge of what to look for and what questions to ask about the home’s roofing, you can avoid costly repairs and surprises that could show up long after the sale or purchase.