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What To Look For In A Roof When Buying A New Home?

Window, Building, Stairs, House, Wood, Land lot

A home is amongst the most critical and costly purchases one will complete during their lifetime. Therefore, prospective homebuyers are implored to take all necessary precautions geared towards ensuring their homes are structurally sound. One component necessitating particularly close attention is the roof.

The Dangers Of A Damaged Or Failing Roof

Deteriorating roofs can precipitate several serious issues impacting the construction’s interior, in addition to the health and safety of those living inside and patronizing said dwellings. Specific concerns include:

  • Leaks
  • Property damage
  • Poor indoor air quality
  • The development of potentially harmful materials like mildew and mold
  • Diminished exterior visual appeal

Any of these issues could result in costly repairs. Moreover, in many instances properties with roof concerns sell at far slower rates and for appreciably less money than similar structures lacking such issues.

What To Look For In A Roof When Shopping For A Home?

Considering how problematic roof problems can be, prospective homebuyers must demonstrate a significant degree of vigilance in snuffing out potential trouble signs. Certain issues are relatively easy to identify. However, detecting other maladies requires far closer examination.

That said, future homeowners should be alerted to several common concerns including:

Blocked Gutters

Gutters, a network of plastic or metal tubes constructed alongside a home’s exterior, are designed to provide a safe and efficient channel for water to travel off the roof, to the ground, and way from the property in question.

When these structures become clogged with environmental debris, like leaves, dust, dirt, and allergens, water has no path off the roof and often backs up onto said covering. Over time, this could precipitate deterioration and leaks.

Water Stains

Stained home roofs often indicate water damage. In many cases, stains present themselves through discoloration and wet spots that can be visible at varying locations throughout the structure.


Sagging roofs often manifest in uneven or lowered ceilings inside the structure. In an appreciable percentage of instances, said occurrence means discernible damage has occurred to components beneath the roof in question’s shingles or outer covering.

Visible Damage

The most obvious sign of a failing or tiring roof is visible damage such as missing or broken shingles.

Inadequate Ventilation

In a perfect world, roofs should be equipped with ventilation systems enabling proper air flow. Even in instances when such networks are not built in, sufficient ventilation must be provided in areas like attics.

Improper or insufficient air circulation often increase humidity levels and render roofs more susceptible to mold and moisture damage.

The Presence Of Mold

A visible mold presence almost always indicates that extensive water damage has taken place. Unfortunately, however, this opportunistic fungus is not always visible. That said, a home’s interior might be impacted when a musty, damp odor is detectable or one is immediately stricken by nasal allergies.

Downspout Location

Though occasionally overlooked, downspout location is critical to current and future roof health.

These structures should be dispensing water runoff into emptying points called storm water wells and not merely onto the surrounding ground. Said events are crucial to preventing flooding on the property in question.

The Roof’s Age

Typically, roofs installed more than 10 years before the potential home purchase should be thoroughly investigated. Aging structures might appear in relatively good condition to the untrained eye but still possess potentially significant issues.

Steps A Homebuyer Can Take

Before entering into any purchase agreement, potential buyers are firmly urged to retain the services of both home inspectors and roofing contractors. Said industry professionals can perform thorough evaluations and author lengthy reports summarizing their findings.

Should any problems be found, prospective buyers can either opt to explore other purchase options or request the seller either remediate the issues at hand or lower their asking price.

Need help inspecting a roof?  Call 913-850-6556 today