Before You Buy A Home, Check Up On The Roof

When you're considering buying a home, it's obvious that you need to consider the number of bedrooms, whether you'll need to repaint, and when the furnace was last replaced. But you may find yourself with thousands of dollars' worth of unexpected repairs if you don't also look up at the roof before signing those closing documents. Here are some signs that a home's roof is in need of repair or replacement.

The shingles are peeling or flaking.

Look across the roof; you can do this from the ground without a ladder in most cases, as long as you back up far enough. Even if there are no missing shingles, pay attention to whether the shingles seem to be losing their corners or peeling up from the roof surface. These are signs that the roof is on its last legs and probably needs to be replaced within the next year or two.

There are a lot of granules in the gutters.

Sometimes roofs wear very evenly, which means all of the shingles wear out at once instead of certain shingles beginning to flake and peel. It's hard to spot this sort of wear on a roof if you don't climb up on a ladder. However, what you can do is look inside the downspouts of the gutters and in the area where they empty the water. Do you see any little pebble-like granules? These are granules that are being washed off the shingles. A roof that's begun to lose its granules may have a few good years left if it's in otherwise good shape, but know that if you buy this house, you'll want to start saving for a roof replacement promptly.

You spot a sagging area.

When you look across the roof, it should appear even and smooth. If there are areas where the roof appears to be sagging, this is a very bad sign. By the time a roof sags, the wooden underlayment has been damaged. This roof will need to be replaced promptly to prevent extensive water damage. You may want to see if the seller will put a new roof on the home before you buy.

The attic seems moist or musty.

Poke your head into the attic. If there's a musty, moldy odor or the air feels rather damp, there's probably a small roof leak somewhere. If the roof is rather new, it's worth having a roof company inspect it. There may be a small area that needs patching, or perhaps the entire roof needs replacing – but either way, it's good to know the extent of the issue before you buy the home.

If a damaged roof isn't a deterrent to purchasing the house, you'll want to get in touch with a roofing contractor