A roof is your home's first line of defense against the weather, protecting your family as well as your investment. Even if you're buying a newer home, an inspector will verify that the roof was installed properly and explain any maintenance needs.
Many insurance companies also ask for updated information on the condition of your roof before they'll quote a homeowners policy. Your coverage and premium may vary based on the age of your roof and when it was last inspected.
If the seller offers you a report covering the home's overall condition, know that many types of roof damage are not visible from the ground or with an untrained eye. An independent inspection is meant to provide specific details that may help you avoid future surprises, such as the roof leaking after you move in.
A thorough inspection from an experienced roofer should take just a few hours or less, and it could save you from surprise costs down the line. The average roof inspections cost anywhere from $120-$300 but could be slightly more for more complex roofing systems.
Your roof inspector will look for signs of damage, broken, peeling, or missing shingles or panels, sagging supports, or rotting wood stemming from storms or wear and tear. They'll check several areas of the roof for moisture damage, including the underside of your roof deck. The inspector may also enter the home in search of leaks or water damage and check the flashings by going into the attic.
Verifying that the soffit, fascia, vented areas, and skylights are in good condition is also on an inspector's checklist. They also ensure leaves and debris aren't clogging the gutters and check that waterspouts drain away from the house. Your inspector could also suggest trimming branches or climbing plants with the potential to damage your roof. If you have a flat roof, your inspector will try to find signs of sagging and see whether the membrane is cracked, punctured, or split. All these issues can compromise your roofing system, causing water leaks.
Find out in advance from the sellers if your roof inspector is allowed access to the inside of the home you're hoping to buy. Ask your inspector how long the process will take and whether you should be onsite so they can point things out to you from the ground. If you're planning to build an addition that involves modifying the roofline, your roof inspector can recommend any upgrades or changes.
If the inspector notes that the roof needs major repairs or a replacement, they may be able to estimate the cost on site or direct you to a roofing professional for a quote.
Not only will a thorough professional roof inspection before buying a house give you peace of mind, but if your inspector raises concerns such as the urgent need for a complete roof replacement you will get a written report that you may be able to use to negotiate the seller's price. Sometimes sellers will prefer to conduct the work prior to the sale. Paying for a roof inspection pays off, because you'll understand the true condition of one of your home's most important features before you move in.
National Contractors is certified by GAF with the training and licensing to get your replacement or repair(s) done correctly. We are an industry leader offering unsurpassed general construction services to community associations, condominiums, management companies, engineering firms, residential and commercial property managers. When you hire NationalContractors, you’re getting the best in the business.
Image & article courtesy of GAF/Wendy Helfenbaum