Commercial, Mixed-Use and Strata Roof Maintenance in Vancouver, B.C.

What To Look For In A Roof When Buying A House? (5+ Things)

What To Look For In A Roof When Buying A House

Buying a new home is the happiest moment for any family. However, this exact moment also has a long-lasting effect on their finances. So, it’s natural for homebuyers to be skeptical to invest in a home without inspecting its structure thoroughly, which also includes checking out the roof. If you are a homebuyer this might help you while finalizing the deal.

The first five things to look for in a roof when buying a house are the roof’s age, the attic, the ventilation system, the drainage system, and water damage.

In this article, we cover all the important areas to look for in a roof when buying a house. Also, we will learn how to get the most out of a damaged roof.

What To Look For In A Roof When Buying A House. (5+ Important Things)

Here are some key things to look for in a roof when buying a house:

Age Of The Roof

One of the first things to check when inspecting the roof is its age. The average lifespan of a roof depends on the type of materials used, but most roofs last between 15-20 years. If the roof is near the end of its expected lifespan, it may need to be replaced soon, which can be a significant expense.

Instead of taking the owner’s or realtor’s reply at face value, insist on checking the definite age of the roof from the official paperwork.

Additionally, check for any missing, cracked, or curling shingles, as well as any signs of wear and tear. Also, check the condition of the flashing, which is the metal strips that seal the areas where the roof meets the chimney, vents, and other projections.

The Attic (If It Has One)

Another important aspect to inspect is the attic if the house has one. The four main things to pay attention to while checking out the attic are;

Insulation! Whether there is proper insulation or not, it acts as a weather barrier between the living area and the attic.

Holes! Check the attic in bright daylight to identify pin-sized holes, if you find a few ask the owner to repair them before purchase.

Similarly, keep an eye out for moisture patches or damp cracked walls in the attic. This is a sign of water damage.

The Ventilation System

What to look for in a roof when buying a house? How about the ventilation system?

Checking the ventilation system is also crucial while inspecting the attic. However, the ventilation system has parts of it out of the attic too, so it’s essential to take a look at the whole thing.

Since proper ventilation clears moisture and prevents mold and mildew, it is an integral part of the roofing system.

Look for vents near the roofline. Additionally, make sure that there is a balance of intake and exhaust vents. As they keep the attic cool and dry, preventing condensation on the underside of the roof.

Are There Any Leaks?

Although, by this moment you must have thoroughly inspected the attic for any potential issues. It is important to remember that leaks happen when water penetrates the outermost surface of the roof.

Therefore, it’s necessary to check if the roof has any broken or missing shingles. Even curled shingles are a sign of water infiltration into the inner layers of the roof.

However, do not climb on the roof yourself to check it out, get some professional assistance.

Moreover, if you find a leak in the attic, try to determine its origin and the extent of damage it has caused. This will help to determine the necessary repairs.

Is There Mold Or Any Other Infestation?

Old undermaintained roofs often have mold or other fungal infestations. Now you may think that you are blessed with a green roof, but in reality, these plants are more harmful than good. They slowly deteriorate the roof until the only choice left is a complete roof replacement.

Pests on the other hand have a similar effect if not worst, as they eat your roof while you live under it.

Mold and other fungal infestations can be spotted by the naked eye, while pest infestations can be identified by holes in the wooden roof or droppings.

The Drainage System?

What to look for in a roof when buying a house? Last but perhaps the most important the drainage system.

The primary reason for water damage is a clogged or dysfunctional drainage system.  The first sign of a working drainage system is properly installed gutters and downspouts.

Furthermore, they should be free from debris and secured to the house to prevent overflowing or water from running back into the house. As this could cause water to pool either on the roof or around the foundation of the house and increase the rids of basement flooding.

Get A Professional Roof Inspection Before Purchasing The Home

While all the above steps could be taken to make sure you purchase a home with a good roof, nothing compares to a professional’s assessment.

The above pointers are enough to make sure a roof is in working condition if the roof is new or well maintained.

But when it comes to what to look for in a roof when buying a house, no one know better than the professionals.

As, sometimes roofing issues cannot be identified by mere inspection, on such instances it’s crucial to have a third-party roofing professional thoroughly inspect the roof on your behalf before you make an offer. This will also help you to negotiate a better price if any problems are detected.

How To Get The Best Out Of A House With A Compromised Roof?

If the roof inspection proves that the roof has to be replaced or requires significant repairs. You can use this information to negotiate for

  • A lower price on the house.
  • The seller is to make the repairs or complete the replacement before closing the deal.
  • Credit from the homeowner to complete the repairs or replacement after you get possession of the house.

You Purchased A Home With An Old Roof, What Now?

If you end up purchasing a home with an old roof without checking out what to look for in a roof when buying a house, it is important to budget for the cost of repairs or replacement. If the roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, a complete replacement sounds like a good idea, to avoid any potential problems down the road.

Moreover, it’s best to find a reputable contractor who will do a quality job at a fair price. If a new roof is installed professionally, it will not only increase the aesthetic and safety of the home, but it will also increase the home’s value.

Another important step after buying a house with an old roof is to maintain the roof properly by clearing gutters, checking for leaks and vents and scheduling regular maintenance by a professional roofing contractor.


We hope this article had offered you pointers useful on what to look for in a roof when buying a house. If you wish to read more such articles visit our blog and explore all facets of roofing. If you have any questions feel free to drop them in the comment section, and we will get back to you soon.

Also, if you need a professional roofing contractor to take a look at the roof of the property you are about to buy, contact us Anytime!

Leak-Stop is a one-stop destination to meet your roofing-related requirements. We offer roof repair, replacement, maintenance and inspection services all over GVRD (Greater Vancouver Regional District).

We offer a free inspection to first-time clients. Connect with us TODAY at 1 866 777 0084 for immediate assistance!

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