When buying a new home, one of the most important aspects you want to ensure is that the roof on the house is sturdy and in good condition. Given the roof is one of the most expensive features of a home, we always recommend getting a professional roof inspection before buying a house – that way there are no surprises come rainy season.

When making a list of what to look for in a roof, there are several important factors to look at. Below are our top 5 things to add to your “what to look for in a new roof” list.

roof inspection before buying a house

1. How Old is the Rooftop?

One of the first things you should do when buying a new home is figure out how old the roof is. Your realtor can often get this information for you with ease, or you can ask the neighbors to see if they remember when the roof was last done. The age of the home can also be an indicator of how old the roof is.  

Furthermore, stand at a distance and investigate the roof for the following:

Mold: One of the most important things to look for in a roof is to make sure it is mold-free. Check to see that the roof is flat with no curly edges or bulges.

Wear and Tear: Look out for worn out spots and see if any shingles are missing. If you see wear and tear in the roof, it can indicate that the roof is old and may need to be replaced soon. However, in some cases, there is nothing wrong with a roof being old, as long as it is not damaged in any way.

Lifespan: If the roof has been recently repaired or replaced, ask the current homeowner about the lifespan of the roof. Roofs are commonly made from materials like composite, metal, tin, rubber or cedar shingles that have different lifespans. A roof made from composite shingles can help the roof last longer without any difficulties, while other common materials often require inspection and possible maintenance on a routine basis.

2. How Good is the Home’s Ventilation System

Even though the house you’re thinking about buying may seemingly have a shiny new roof, if it doesn’t have an appropriate ventilation mechanism, you may face some notable issues.

A ventilation system that lets sunlight in and allows air to circulate easily is a must. Poor ventilation systems can cause a number of problems such as mold and overheating. For that reason, these two ventilation aspects should never be overlooked when purchasing a house.

3. Canals and Seepage System

Make sure to have a professional examine all of the canals and seepage systems (downspouts, gutters and drainage pipes) that run along the roof. Getting up on the roof and inspecting the seepage system is a great way to judge a roof’s condition. Although it is possible for you to do this yourself, we always recommend that you hire a roofing expert to do this roof inspection.

4. Look for Breaks and Leaks

Rooftop leaks can play a major role in damaging the floors, structure, as well as the overall liveability of a house. Leaking can not only harm your furniture and destroy your walls, but can also cause dangerous molding. Furthermore, once the leaking begins, it is often difficult to find the source of the leak, which can be frustrating. When looking for a leak, it’s helpful to start by checking valleys, plumbing vents, chimneys, or damaged spots in the roof. 

That said, be sure to have a professional inspect the rooftop for leak points before you buy it. You may also want to have them investigate any roof creases, valleys, and wood burning chimneys.

5. Check the Rooftop Downspouts

Be sure to check that all rooftop downpipes are releasing into storm water wells and not right onto the ground. Search for any signs of past flooding or excessive water flowing around the rooftop downspouts. Signs of flooding can mean that the soak wells are not the appropriate sizes or require a cleaning process, which can be expensive.

When buying a new home, it is important to ensure that the roof on the house is sturdy and in great condition. As always, we recommend getting a professional roof inspection before buying a house – that way there are no surprises. In addition to the inspection, necessary repairs should be completed before moving into your new home.