As a homebuyer, you will have a list of all the features that are a must-have for you. Amid all the excitement and uncertainty, you may forget about one of the most vital aspects of any house’s structural integrity – the roof. But how do you know what questions to ask and what to watch out for? In this list, we run down the top 3 roofing questions homebuyers should ask.
1. How Old Is the Roof?
You can’t always rely on vision to decipher whether a roof is going to last. One of the first roofing questions you should ask is how old the roof is, to give you a general idea of if it will need replacing soon.
Generally speaking, a roof tends to last around 30 years, so anything around this age could indicate that it will need replacing soon. If it’s fairly new, especially 10 years or younger, you can be assured that it probably won’t need repairs soon, but this will be reflected in the asking price of the house. Make sure to take your time considering the quality of the roof of a new property before signing the contract to avoid unexpected issues and costs.
2. What Type of Roof Is It?
Of course, everything we mentioned above is subject to the type of materials used in the construction of the roof, so another question homebuyers should ask is what type of roof it is. Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used in the US and are very durable, often lasting from 15 to 30 years. Metal, slate, and clay tile roofing are known to last far longer but are more expensive to repair and replace.
However, this is dependent on conditions, so you need to take into consideration the typical weather forecast when asking about the type of roof. For example, asphalt can crack when subject to dramatic temperature changes, whereas steel tiles are hardy and can withstand hurricanes.
This roofing question is also useful for deciphering how the roof should be cleaned, which is a job you may consider doing once you move into your new home.
3. Who Installed the Roof?
One final roofing question to consider, which again impacts all of the aforementioned factors, is the quality of the roof installation. A brand-new roof crafted using the most expensive material will only serve you well if it has been effectively fitted. If a professional contractor is named, you can easily research them and their reputation, including their experience and certifications.
Some potential issues with poorly fitted roofs include old shingles being used beneath new ones (meaning they can’t seal properly causing water damage), old underlayment, or inappropriate tiling methods that will break under pressure, plus a range of other potential issues. These could all damage the property and cost you significantly in roof cleaning or repairs.