We all know when you buy a new home you want a good roof. Clients often ask the standard question “how old is the roof” and move on. But how important is a roof when buying a new home? As a standard a home inspector is NOT required to actually walk the roof but to just inspect if from the ground. However, some home inspectors today even go as far as including drone footage or images of a home’s roof with their report. Is this over kill or solid due diligence?
First let’s discuss what an inspector is looking for with your roof.
A roof review will involve more than just a peek above the home. The attic is a vital place for an inspector to give a thorough review of roof efficiency. Most times water will enter a home through roof leaks – these are usually spotted during an inspection of the attic, not the actual roof. When the inspector inspects your roof’s exterior they will be looking for more signs of water damage, clogged gutters, improperly installed flashings or shingles, cracks, mold, deterioration and more. When you are looking at a potential new home you’re focused on living your life in the space…not what the roof is doing.
That’s why a good agent will make sure you get a great inspection.
So when do you worry about a roof’s condition when looking to buy a new home in the Lowcountry?
Here’s the catch. It’s easy to replace shingles or a roof if needed, not cheap, but easy. The good news is a new roof should last 15-25 years depending on the type you choose so the investment will be well worth it when maintained correctly. The concern with a damaged roof is what other damage has been done in the home because of the roof. Is there more water damage than meets the eye? Are there more foundation issues? A roof that is in decent condition but simply aged may need to be replaced after you buy the home- but this isn’t a deal breaker. A roof with cracks, missing shingles and needed repairs that have been ignored is when we start to raise some concern.
When a client’s potential home comes back from inspection with some concern, especially from a ground inspection, we move to the experts.
Even if it costs a little extra up front being 100% certain what you are getting into with a home is so important. While it may seem overwhelming that’s part of what I am here for. We will navigate all the what ifs as they come, together. A full roof inspection will give you definitive answers on what needs to be fixed, if a new roof is needed and if anything additional inside the home should be looked at.