When you are buying a new house, it is extremely important to check the roof. Knowing about the roof will give you an idea of what kind of maintenance you should expect. Roof damage can be a deal-breaker because roof repairs aren’t something you would want to deal with when you move in.
This article from Crest Roofing gives you 7 roof-related tips to look out for when buying a home.
1) Check what type of roof it is.
As a general rule, the simpler the roof, the easier it is to maintain. There are many types of roofs and for Alberta’s climate, certain types of roofs hold up better than others over the years.
Gable and hip roofs are both simple, easy to maintain, and they are very durable against Alberta weather elements. Check Crest Roofing’s blog for more pros and cons of each type of roof.
Is it a flat roof?
If you’re looking at a flat roof, check to see what kind of material it’s made of. Each type of roofing material for a flat roof has a different lifespan and maintenance requirements. With flat roofs it is also best to have an experienced roofing contractor or roof inspector come do an assessment. Flat roofs can make for beautiful and elegant homes, but if not done right they can cause problems.
2) How old is the roof?
It depends on what the roofing material is and you have to check with the manufacturer for specifics, but here is the general guideline for roofing material lifespans:
Shingled roof: 15-20 years
Tar and gravel roof: Up to 30 years or more
EPDM Roof: 20-30 years
SBS Membrane roof: Up to 30 years or more
Metal Roof: Up to 50 years
Keep in mind that these numbers reflect ideals and to meet these lifespans, the roof will require regular and proactive maintenance.
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3) Are there problems with the shingles?
Curling, cracking, buckling or missing shingles are all signs that you may need to get them replaced soon. Here are 5 Signs your Shingle Roof Needs Replacement or Repairs.
4) Check the roof gutters
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They may look all right from the ground, but if you actually go up and look into the gutters, you can look for the following things:
- What shape are they in? Check for rust, dents, and gaps.
- Where do the downspouts go? Make sure the downspouts run off somewhere away from the house like into a draining system, rain barrel, the street.
- Is there debris in them? Check for gutter gunk and for shingle granules building up in the gutters. Shingle granules could mean the shingles are nearing the end of their lifespan.
- Are they draining properly? Check to see if there is water sitting in the gutters. It should drain properly to avoid turning your troughs into a garden along the eaves of the roof.
5) Is the roof soft to walk on?
There are only two reasons why a roof will be soft:
- The plywood/supports are rotten or weak.
- It is a flat roof that is made with rigid fiberglass insulation. It feels spongy, not soft. (Usually with commercial roofs)
If you buy a house with a soft roof, repairs or replacement are going to have to happen soon.
6) Are there lots of trees near the house?
Trees are wonderful to have on a property. They’re great for shade, you can mark a milestone by planting one, they can provide fruit, and they’re just lovely to look at. Unfortunately they can also be risky to have around homes.
Winter storms that dump huge amounts of snow in a short time can make trees or branches fall onto your roof. It happens every year in Alberta. Especially in Edmonton where we have a lot of old, impressively sized, Elm trees (Did you know? Edmonton has one of the largest concentrations of uninfected American elms left in the world?)
Branches can rub on the shingles and rip or tear them. It might not be happening now, but look for trees that have the potential to make contact with the roof. On flat tar and gravel roofs, trees brush away the gravel and leave the membranes exposed to the sun, which can cause cracking, blisters, and premature wear.
Trees that hang over your roof drop seeds, leaves, and pollen. These seeds can potentially grow under and between your shingles and cause damage. Seeds, leaves, and pollen can also clog up your gutters so at the very least you’d have to be vigilant about cleaning your gutters.
Wildfire danger is significantly increased if there are a lot of old, dry trees around your property and/or neighbourhood. This summer we experienced major home loss due to wildfires, even as close as St. Albert and any damage that you can prevent by not having a ton of trees near your home and roof could potentially save your neighbourhood.
7) Are there water stains on the ceiling or walls?
Water stains look like brown circles on the ceiling inside of the home. They can be caused by leaking pipes, but if the ceiling is on the top floor, it could mean a leak in the roof – make sure and get a proper inspection of the roof done before purchasing a home.
Are you looking for a home in the Edmonton area? We can help you find a home that’s right for your needs, give us a call – let’s chat!
If you are currently house-hunting and looking for experienced roofing pros to inspect your potential home’s roof, get in contact with the roofing experts at Crest Roofing.