Buying a home is a big investment. Possibly the biggest investment of your life. That is why inspecting the house properly before the inspection period ends are of utmost importance. The roof is one of the most expensive renovations to do to any house, and you don’t want to have to do that when you just invested too much money in that house. Some people don’t mind if they can get a huge discount from the seller. As you can see, knowing the condition of a roof before agreeing to a price on a house is a power move that you don’t want to miss. Let’s find out the top things to look for when checking a roof before buying a home.

Check for obvious signs of damage 

The first thing to do is check for any obvious signs of damage. If you can see anything wrong with the roof from the ground and you are not a professional, then most likely there is damage. Here are the top things to look at from the ground. First, look at the top and edges of the roof. It should follow a straight line along the ridge. If there is a saddleback or sag in the middle, it may be a warning sign of structural damage which could further cause the roof to collapse if not detected in time. Second, look along the roof for any cracks, holes, missing shingles or tiles, curling shingles, and sun discoloration. If you feel like something is wrong with your roof upon your quick inspection, then most likely, there is. 

Get the roof inspected by a local roofing contractor

A local roofing contractor will know exactly what to look for when it comes to roofing in your particular state. For example, a roofing contractor in Hawaii like ourselves will look at signs of rain and sun damage, missing shingles or tile, signs of water damage, fascia damage, and further give you a quote of how much it would cost to fix it. As the buyer, you can use that estimate to ask the seller to either fix it or give you a credit of a reasonable amount so that you can fix it. This is often seen for any roof damage that is more than cosmetic. There are damages that are not obvious to the common layperson and by the time you find out the damage, it may be much bigger and could have been avoided.

Moreover, if you are buying the home in the summer, it makes sense to check it because the season for heavy rain is coming, and should you have a leak in your first months at a new house you will regret not having checked out the roof. The same goes if you are buying a home in the spring, as the heavy rain just ended, and you want to know if it affected the house in any way that makes you reconsider your offer.

Check your gutter system for any clogging or sagging

Here in Hawaii, it rains a lot year-round, especially in the months of February and March. Sometimes the rain is heavy and that is usually when flash floods and roof damages occur. However, even on the rainiest of days, your guttering should never sag. Once in a while, look at it and make sure it is not bending or sagging. Should you see a bend on your gutter, know that is usually a sign if something heavy causing the bend, which usually also means it may be clogging the gutter and the water is not draining properly. Common reasons for gutter build-up are the accumulation of leaves, debris, sand, small rocks, tree debris, or even shingle debris if they start wearing out. Sometimes you may even see plants growing up the gutter. That is a no-no, we recommend you have it cleaned as soon as possible.

Check for mold or algae growth on the roof

Moss of mold on the roof is an indicator of water accumulation. Perhaps you need a better roof coating, or a new roof altogether. Don’t ignore mold in the roof, however, because it is just a matter of time before you see damage to the ceiling and walls underneath it. Nonetheless, the weight of growing mold and plants over the roof will likely continue to cause more damage to the shingle and tile roof and cause further expenses to fix the leak. 

A properly maintained and well-designed roof can protect a home for at least a decade and even more depending on the materials. However, poor installation and ignoring signs of damage can lead to serious problems down the road. When considering a new house, take your time to make sure the roof is in decent condition and avoid surprises down the road.