What to Look for in a Roof When Buying a Home

What to look for in a Roof when Buying a Home
Tony Schlessinger
Tony Schlessinger


Found the amazing house you’re looking for?

That’s great. But you and I know there have to be some inspections before you eventually make the payments and move in. You want to check that everything is standard and you do not have trouble as soon as you are in. Yes, you are going to check every part of the building and one of such important places to check is the roof.

The roof is an important part of the house as it covers the building from the top. If your roof is not good, your building and belongings could risk several damages. But then, it is above us and not at the same level as our eyes so how do we inspect it? This post will reveal to you what to look for in a roof when buying a home so as to ensure you’re satisfied after making your purchase.

5 Things to Check in a Roof When Buying a Home

In assessing the roof, you could see some parts from inside the house whereas, some might require checking them from the roof. To have an optimal check on the roof, here are five things you must check on the roof when buying a home.

How old is the roof

An important question you need to ask before making payments is the age of the roof. Roofs are made of several materials such as metal, rubber, or cedar shingles. These materials age differently and require different types of maintenance. An old roof definitely carries the mark of age such as worn spots, missing shingles, or not lying flat out. 

If you notice these signs on the roof, it could be bad. Although old roofs might not be necessarily damaged, you would check to confirm this. An easy way is to ask the homeowner about the lifespan of the roof.

The ventilation system

The ventilation system of the roof allows air and sunlight in. Even if the roof looks good, it is also necessary that you check the design and how the ventilation system works. Good ventilation should allow air and sunlight in easily while removing hot air and heat from the house.

A roof with poor ventilation would cause several problems much later increasing the overall cost. For instance, your utility cost might be increased just because the ventilation system does not work properly. Poor ventilation could also encourage the formation of molds in the house.

Mold on the roof

As mentioned, poor ventilation could encourage the growth of mold. However, direct water intrusion from the roof could also grow mold. Small gaps in rooftops could allow water to seep in causing a leak in the house and ultimately growing molds. Many people remove the molds once they notice it but if the cause is not treated, it would still return,

These fungi often appear in dark, white, or green colors leaving funny marks on the walls, floors, and roof. Sometimes, the look of the roof is not exactly affected but it also causes a bad odor. 

If you cannot remove the mold yourself, it is advisable to get a reliable roofing expert. Most experts would scan the roof with infrared to remove even the ones that are not very visible to the eyes. They would also suggest the right step to stop it from growing again.

Check for breaks and leaks in the roofs

Certainly, none of us wants to deal with a leaky roof just immediately after buying a house, making it a very important thing to consider before making payments. A leak in the roof could damage your floor, furniture, or building and create a mess in the house. 

You could check for leaks from within the house. Water stains in the house are good pointers that there is a leak there. The most difficult thing, however, is tracking the source of the leak. Leaky roofs could be formed where there is a break in the roof or valleys. You could also pay attention to the smoke chimneys, plumbing vents, and rooftop creases. 

Getting the help of professionals, you should be able to track the source and get it to fix.

Check the canals, gutter, and downpipes

How are the drainage pipes that run on the roof? The complete sewage system covers the gutters, the drainage pipes, and the downspouts. You want to be sure the roof gutters are not blocked. A blocked gutter could cause water to flow back into the roof causing problems. 

You should also check for asphalt grains on the gutters. These grains are used to coat the shingles so they are not destroyed by sunbeams. To get a good view of the drainage system, you would have to climb up the roof which might be tricky. If you cannot do this yourself, it is wise to get a professional to help check this for you.

Apart from the gutters on the roof, you should also note the eventual flow of the downpipes. Check to see if the downpipes are connected directly to the stormwater wells or if they just release water to the ground. If the latter is the case, this can cause flooding at the base of the wall which could seep into the wall.

If you are not sure of the downpipe drainage, check the surroundings for signs of previous flooding.

Get a professional roofing contractor before making purchases

Inspecting some parts of the roof is better left to a professional roofer to handle. As mentioned earlier, things such as leaks and mold might not be easily identified on your own. Besides, if you are not skilled, going up the roof by yourself could be dangerous and cause more damage to the roof in the end.

With an expert eye on the roof, however, you can be sure that every part would be combed and a detailed report created. With this, you would have an idea of what needs to be fixed before making payments. One major reason why you need to get a professional roofing contractor to take a close look at the roof before making a purchase is that it saves you money and in most cases can help you get a better deal, in a case where the roof is in a very bad condition.


It is important to do a thorough inspection before buying a house. Checking the roof is especially necessary so you do not end up spending more than you ought to. With the points noted, if you notice there is a flaw in the roof, you could quickly negotiate for how to get that fixed or even a price reduction. The truth is, none of us will like to start dealing with roof repair problems right after buying a home, or worse, installing a new roof as a roof replacement cost can be overwhelming to most homeowners. Roof replacement is one of the most expensive home repairs, which is the more reason why you should ensure the roof is in great condition when buying a home.

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