As you evaluate a potential new home, you’ll want to spend plenty of time ensuring that all the main home systems are adequate for your needs and fully functional. Inspections can help with this, but some of the work you’ll have to do yourself.
Here’s a to-do list to help you evaluate the roof when you’re thinking of buying a new home.
1. Get Maintenance Records
Any records for maintenance, repairs, and replacements that took place during the previous ownership are invaluable information for a new owner. If the roof isn’t brand-new, you’ll need to know when it was last repaired or maintained so you can schedule regular maintenance to keep it in great shape. This also lets you see what kinds of problems the roof had in the past.
Another reason you’ll want to look at maintenance records is to make sure the previous owner hasn’t simply been neglecting the roof. Check dates on maintenance records to make sure the seller has been scheduling regular maintenance with a reputable contractor at recommended intervals.
2. Check for Transferable Warranty
In some cases, a seller may simply replace a roof before putting the home on the market. This tends to make the house more attractive to buyers (because you can expect the roof to last a while). However, a new roof should also come with a manufacturer’s warranty and a guarantee from the contractor who installed the roof.
If the house is sold with a new roof, though, no warranty will do the buyer any good unless it’s a transferable warranty. Check to make sure the warranty (and, ideally, the contractor’s guarantee as well) is transferable. If so, you’ll be protected against any material defects or similar issues that show up in the years to come.
3. Look for Obvious Damage
Never skip this step, even if the roof is brand-new. Storm damage can happen to roofs of any age, and egregious problems could sometimes cause damage that may be easily visible from the ground. For instance, if the roof is new, you shouldn’t see any old, rusty flashing. Some contractors re-use flashing pieces, which can compromise the roof’s leak-proof qualities.
Also check for signs of damage such as:
- Missing shingles
- Curled or cupping shingles
- Bird or squirrel nests in the gutters or eaves
- Lots of shingle granules at downspout outlets
Often, common sense will induce sellers to have these egregious signs of damage taken care of before putting the home on the market. So if you do see any obvious damage, that can be a huge red flag unless you already knew the home was a fixer-upper.
4. Schedule a Roof Inspection
This is another step that may seem superfluous if the roof is new. However, depending on how scrupulous the seller is, the contractors who installed the roof may be highly experienced contractors installing a high-quality roof. Or they may have been forced to work on a bare-bones budget with the cheapest materials. The difference can be enormous.
This is one reason to schedule a roof inspection by a third-party roofing contractor. The contractor will let you know how high-quality the materials are, how long you can expect them to last, how well they were installed, and any other specifics you may need to know. Another reason is that a roof inspection could be required by the state in addition to home inspection.
5. Negotiate for Repairs
If the roof isn’t new, chances are a professional inspection could find one or two issues. If possible, you’ll want to avoid paying for any repairs needed. One way to get roof repairs completed without paying out of pocket is to negotiate with the seller to lower the house’s selling price by the estimated cost of roof repairs.
These steps will help you to evaluate the roof on the home you’re thinking to buy and put you in a good position so you won’t be left holding the bag for any repairs the roof needs. For more information on roof inspections, repairs, and maintenance, get in touch with Jerry Newman Roofing & Remodeling Inc today.