If you're in the market for a new home and you have a list of things to look for, add roofing to the list. You don't want to end up with roofing problems as soon as you move into your new home. The best way to reduce that risk is to spend some time assessing the roof each time your real estate agent shows you another house. Here are some steps to follow that will help you identify potential roof problems.
Ask About the Age
Now that you're shopping for a new home and you're ready to ask questions, don't forget to ask about the age of the roof. If the roof is more than a decade old, you'll want to schedule an inspection before you agree to purchase the home, especially if visible signs of wear and tear are apparent. If the owners state that the roof is brand new, ask to see the paperwork. That way, you can determine exactly how old the roof is. This is particularly important if the roof doesn't actually look brand new.
Take a Look at the Trees
If there are mature trees near the home, you'll need to check for roof damage. Mature trees pose a variety of problems for roofs, especially if the branches are resting on the home. First, the branches can generate moisture, which can lead to mold and algae growth. Second, the movement of the branches across the roof can cause damage to the shingles or tiles. Finally, trees provide easy access for pests such as squirrels. To identify tree-related roof problems, insist on a formal inspection.
Inspect the Gutter System
If you're in the market for a new home and you're inspecting the roof of each property you visit, be sure to inspect the gutters as well. Gutters are a major component of any residential roofing system. However, they're often overlooked during home inspections. Unfortunately, that oversight reduces the effectiveness of the roof inspection. Before you agree to purchase a home, take the time to look at the gutters. Damaged gutters make the roof more susceptible to water damage. If you see visible damage during your inspection but you really like the home, ask the sellers to add gutters to the package deal.
Get a Closer Look at the Roofing Material
If you're going to be touring homes, bring along a pair of binoculars. Having binoculars on hand will allow you to get a closer look at the roofing material without climbing up on the roof. You'll want to look for signs of obvious damage, such as missing shingles, broken tiles, or damaged flashing. If you see damage, insist on roofing repairs or replacement before you agree to a home purchase.