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Buying a Home: What you Need to Know about your Roof

Dec 9, 2013

When buying a home, a savvy Realtor will point out any pending issues with your roof, and what it will cost you in the near future. But just in case your Realtor isn’t familiar with what you need to know about your roof before buying a home—or you’re selling your home yourself (or if you simply want to be well-educated on the subject)—here are a list of things that you need to know about your roof before buying a home:

1. Your Roof’s Age and Rating

The absolute most important thing you need to know is how old the roof is, and how many years the roof has been rated for. This will tell you roughly when it will need replacing, so that you can make an informed decision on what value that adds or detracts from the home. For example, if your roof is 12 years old and has been rated for 20 years then it will need replacing in the next few years, or sooner. Keep in mind that a roof’s rating isn’t an exact science and the actual condition depends highly on how well they have cared for it.

2. Your Roof’s Materials

You need to know what materials your roof is made of as this will determine what type of maintenance you’ll need to commit yourself to. The material will also tell you the value that it adds to its home and how long the roof will last you.

For example, asphalt is the most common roofing material here in Newmarket. It generally needs replacing every 10-12 years, although in between shingle replacements you will also need to inspect the roofing for balding, curling and missing shingles—and then replace them. As asphalt is the most standard roofing it doesn’t add value to a home unless it is brand new.

Metal roofing requires less upkeep and lasts for decades and decades. Unlike asphalt it is resistant to mould, mildew, sunlight, rot AND insects. It also doesn’t crack, curl or fade like asphalt. Metal roofing does add value to a home, which is something you’ll need to keep in mind when you assess the home’s price.

3. Leaks

Before buying a home you’ll want to ensure that the roof doesn’t have any leaks, because if it does have a leak it could do tens of thousands of dollars of damage to your home. If there is a leak it may have already done damage to your home, so you’ll need to inspect the interior for signs of water damage.

How to Protect your Investment When Buying a Home
When you are in the process of buying a home, strongly consider having a roof certification done.

A roof certification is like a home inspection but it focuses solely on your roof and is completed by a professional roofer. It is important to have completed aside from the overall home inspection as home inspectors do not climb up on the roof and inspect it. If the roof on your prospective home hasn’t been recently installed, a roof certification would be a smart decision.

A roof certification will estimate the numbers of years of life left in your roof, when it will need replacing and a list of what work may need to be done immediately. Depending on the company and the area you’re having the roof inspection done, this will certify the roof for between 2 to 5 years.