Viewing Houses? Don’t Forget to Check the Roof

Published On: October 4, 20220 Comments on Viewing Houses? Don’t Forget to Check the RoofTags: Last Updated: January 30, 20243.4 min read

Choosing a new house means viewings, viewings, and still more viewings. Before you find all these home inspections passing in a blur that leaves only fleeting impressions, set up a checklist where you can record your impressions of homes you might be thinking of buying.

checking the roof

Apart from interior basics like whether it has enough bedrooms, and if you like the kitchen, don’t forget the really important things like whether the roof is looking well-maintained, and whether you spotted any other structural issues of concern. USA real estate has a lot to offer, but smart buyers know how to spot issues they might need to spend additional money on. While a house may look good from the inside, do remember that basic structural soundness is a criterion you can’t afford to overlook. Here’s what to look for in the roof that may soon be over your head!

1. Exterior View

You should be able to form a basic impression from an exterior view provided the roof is pitched. Flat roofs offer a range of problems of their own, and while they’re not necessarily a deal breaker, they’re more likely to give you problems. When looking at a roof from outside, look for signs of loose or missing shingles, buckled roof plates, or signs that a coat of roof paint is aging. Damaged gutter aprons or drip edges will cause problems, so watch out for missing pieces and signs of mold along the roofline or on the fascia.

2. Check the Ceilings

Even if the interior paint has been refreshed, you can look for signs of leaks on the ceilings. Bulges and sagging portions should still be visible and will alert you to possible roof leaks that could indicate anything from a need for a minor fix to an entire reroofing. If there isn’t a new coat of paint, spotting problems becomes much easier since you’ll be able to see marks on the ceiling where water dripped through. Sometimes, stains from roof leaks show through new coats of paint, but don’t count on this since it can take time for them to show up.

checking the attic

3. Get Into The Crawlspace or Attic

While people will usually spruce up a home’s interior prior to selling, they will usually leave the crawlspace untouched, and its context will speak volumes about the condition of the roof. When taking a peek into a crawlspace, use a torch to help you look for signs of mold and rot and switch it off to see whether any chinks of light are visible between the shingles. There should be some form of insulation, but a visual inspection isn’t enough to check on energy efficiency. To get a proper idea of how energy efficient a house is, you’ll need thermal imaging tools. It’s always wise to take a look at professional home inspection results, so ask for this from the seller, or else contract this service for yourself before agreeing to a purchase.

Looks Good? Go For a Professional Inspection Anyway

Buying a house only to find that the roof is in need of major repairs or replacement or that insulation is inadequate can mean a huge drain on your budget. Never forget that buying a house is a step that will have a serious impact on your finances. If it isn’t in good condition, you should negotiate its price with reference to the repairs you’ll need to make to make it comfortable and liveable. Your initial inspection is only the beginning. Once you’ve decided a house looks right for you, you still need assurance that it’s weatherproof, well-insulated, and won’t require additional spending to make it that way. Get a home inspection from professionals who have the tools to look beneath coats of paint and other coverups. It’s worth it for your own peace of mind.


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