So, you are searching for the perfect home. Most homebuyers have a list of questions to ask the seller, and most of them are related to the plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. But when finding your future place of residence, one of the most essential but often overlooked items that should make it to your checklist is the roof.
One of the fundamental roles of the roofing system is to safeguard the home and the residents from the onslaught of the sun, rain and other environmental factors. The ability of the roof to provide protection is directly connected to its condition. Understanding the condition of a residence’s roof can help you determine what the investment in the new property will be.
Here is a list of roof-related questions you need to ask before purchasing a new home.
6 Roof-Related Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home
1. How Old Is the Roof?
First and foremost, ask the home seller about the age of the roof. Knowing the age of the roof will allow you to make informed decisions regarding its maintenance and anticipate issues you may encounter and how to address them. It can also determine whether an insurance company will write a new policy on the property. Generally, a standard roof can be expected to last from 15 to 50 years. This depends on the quality of roofing materials, the expertise of the contractor who did the installation job and the severity of the climate conditions in the local area.
2. How Many Layers of Shingles Are on the Roof?
When a roof needs to be re-roofed, some homeowners choose to install new shingles over the existing ones in order to minimize the amount of labor and cost involved. While this is a quick fix, it is not an effective and long-term solution to the problem at hand. This is because the new shingles are not able to lie flat on the roofing felt that covers the entire deck. This method fails to properly seal the roof, putting it at risk for leakage and serious water damage. It also puts unnecessary weight on the roofing system, which can lead to sagging in some areas.
3. Does the Roof Have Any Known Defects or Damage?
In most states, a home seller must disclose any known roofing defects to a prospective buyer. Specifically ask about roof damage and repairs done. It is better to get those details ahead of time so you can factor the cost of needed repairs and maintenance into negotiations. Avoiding properties that may have cost-prohibitive issues can save you a whole lot of time and money down the line. It is also useful to know the contractor who regularly performs work on the home. Ask for the name of the contractors to find out whether or not they are trustworthy and dependable, and if they deliver good results.
4. When Was the Last Time the Roof Was Inspected?
Even if the roof is new, conducting a thorough inspection is essential before moving into a home. Elements, such as fast-hitting hail and powerful winds, can cause damage that can significantly shorten the life of a roof. Tall, overarching tree branches can also scrape the surface of the roof and knock off protective granules. Localized yet persistent leaks can cause rot and mold to form and cause structural damage beneath the roof.
Home sellers typically obtain professional home inspections to prove to potential buyers that the property is in good condition. A roof inspection includes an assessment of the entire roofing system, the identification of needed repairs and an estimate of the roof’s remaining useful life before replacement is due. A roofing inspector will check if the roof ventilation is adequate and if the gutters are effectively draining runoff into a drainage location. When an inspection is performed, the inspector will include the findings in a roof report. Ask for a copy of this from the seller.
5. Is the Roof Still Covered Under Warranty? Is It Transferable?
A roof may have a transferable warranty depending on the manufacturer. This type of warranty allows the original homeowner who had the roof installed to transfer the warranty to the new homeowner once they sell their home. Roofing warranties are designed to cover manufacturing defects. Ask the seller to provide a copy of the roof warranty, and then carefully review its terms and conditions to confirm if it can be transferred and determine what degree of protection will be provided. If the roof warranty is not transferable, it is not necessarily a deal breaker, especially if there is still a lot of life left on the roof.
6. Will the Seller Negotiate a Lower Price for an Old or Damaged Roof?
A home with an old or damaged roof is not the most ideal thing, but it does not have to signal the end of a homebuyer’s dream. Ask if the seller is willing to negotiate a lower selling price to compensate for the roof and help cover the cost of a replacement. For any prospective buyer, a new roof with a solid warranty is a new beginning for the home, ensuring their protection from whatever nature will bring. Some roofing manufacturers offer limited lifetime warranties that provide years and years of reliable service.
What Are the Benefits of a New Roof?
No homeowner wants to live in a home with a roof that is dilapidated and prone to leaks, rot, mold and other damage that can be expensive to remediate. So, what are the advantages of getting a new roof?
Enhanced Curb Appeal
The roof is a big part of a home’s exterior. If the roof has missing shingles or moss growing on its surface, it makes the home look outdated and poorly maintained. A new roof, on the other hand, enhances the architectural appearance of a home and makes it look fresh and inviting.
Greater Energy Efficiency
A roof nearing the end of its lifespan is probably not doing a great job of keeping unwanted heat or cold from your home. Apart from being susceptible to leaks, loose or buckling shingles are simply not able to seal your home and keep it at the desired temperature. This can cause discomfort and other moisture-related problems, such as mold and mildew. The right color and design of a new roof, combined with adequate insulation, can remarkably lower your energy costs.
A new roof can stand firmly against all sorts of elements, such as wind and debris. But as it ages, its ability to protect the home weakens. Even if the evidence of roof aging is not visible from the outside, the roof might be in danger of failing in times you need it most. Being proactive and replacing an aging roof can prevent this dilemma and provide improved safety to all the people living in the home.
Peace of Mind
Because a manufacturer warranty does not cover damage caused by subpar workmanship, make sure you choose an installer who can do the job right the first time. In addition to ensuring the functionality and longevity of your roof, working with a reputable residential roofing company can provide you peace of mind that your roof is in good hands.