Four Roof Warning Signs To Look For Before You Buy A House
When you're in the market for a new home, it's important to make sure that you're getting a good deal by weighing all the pros and cons against the price. But in order to do this, you have to have a clear idea of what condition the house is really in. Having a home inspection done by a professional is best, but if the seller hasn't provided for an inspection and you aren't willing to pay for it yourself, you may have to rely on your own detective skills to sniff out the negative aspects of the house. Here are four warning signs that can alert you to potentially disastrous roof problems before you buy.
1. Damaged or misshapen shingles
Since the shingles are the first line of defense against weather, damaging them can have big implications for the health and lifespan of the roof itself. If you see broken, cracked, or missing shingles, the roof may be suffering from storm damage that hasn't been repaired yet. At the very least, this would mean you'd have to have repairs done after buying the house, but if the damage has been there a while, more extensive problems (such as water damage) could end up costing you even more. And if you see shingles that are cupped in the middle or curling up at the edge, you know that the roof is old and wearing out no matter what the seller tries to tell you about it.
When you're outside looking at the roof, take a minute to step back and look at its entire outline. If it appears irregular with a bowed outline, any sagging in the middle, or an irregular angle, the roof could have structural problems. Sagging means that the roof is inadequately supported, which probably means that there's extensive damage to the structure of the house (or alternatively to the roof decking itself). Fortunately, you aren't too likely to find something like this unless you're buying a fixer-upper, but it pays to check. In bad cases of sagging, the roof may be in actual danger of collapse.
If you see any water stains on any of the ceilings inside the house, that's a pretty big red flag. Most sellers will paint over watermarks even if they're upfront with you about their roof problems. Watermarks indicate a leak, and if it hasn't been painted over, it might indicate a really bad leak that keeps coming back after repainting.
4. Flashing issues
Although many roofers are quite skilled at installing flashing, some may be slapdash about it, allowing rain to bypass the roofing shingles and simply sneak in around chimneys and other improperly flashed areas. Damaged, missing, or improperly installed flashing is one of the easiest ways for water to get in and start a leak, so make sure you familiarize yourself with how the flashing should look and inspect it before buying. On the plus side, this can be one of the easier leaks to fix; all you have to do is get flashing properly installed by a company like Surface Shield Protective Coatings.
These four warning signs can help you pinpoint some of the big issues that will cause you problems with the roof later on. Be sure to ask the seller how old the roof is (view documentation for the last roof replacement if possible) and make sure it's less than twenty years old so you won't have to replace it right when you're moving in.