When the realtor takes you to see a house you are interested in, they most definitely won’t take you up to the roof. Even if you are prudent enough to ask for the state of the roof, you can never know the exact state the rafters and the tiles are in. Luckily, there are 8 things you can and should know about your new home’s roof.
Has the roof sustained wind damage?
When a strong storm passes nearby, it can rip off shingles and even flashings.
However, wind damage is much more perfidious than that, as constant exposure to strong winds causes the sealant to let go, lifting the shingles only by a couple of inches.
Homeowners notice that something is wrong only after the nails or bolts give way, by the time entire sections of the roof need replacing.
Nailing the problem
Speaking of the nails, they are made from metal which wouldn’t normally be an issue. However, an exposed nail left to the mercy of the elements will start to rust over time, which potentially leads to a leaky roof. You can determine the state of the roof by observing the state of the old nails protruding from the structure.
Blocked gutters shouldn’t concert you that much, as unclogging them is as easy as leaning a ladder up against the house. However, if the previous owners failed to maintain the gutters properly, then they might be damaged in several places.
Inspect the gutters from the fascia to the downpipe to make sure they are still watertight and not rusty. Luckily, gutters are produced and installed in such a way that they can be replaced in sections, so you needn’t take down the entire gutter system.
Usually, tiles on residential structures are made to last several decades. As their lifespan nears the end, shingles and tiles develop cracks, which are a telltale sign of age.
The more cracked shingles there are, the greater the urgency to call in MLR Slate Roofing and similar roofing services to replace all the shingles.
Luckily, cracked shingles are an issue that can often be spotted from the ground, so you can ask the real estate agent to lower the price of the property because it requires additional investment.
When flashings fail
One of the most dangerous types of roof damage are corroded, damaged, or missing flashings. On the other side, the flashing itself might be fine but the tar caulking around it might be dilapidated. The reason why flashings are so important is their location: they are installed around openings in the roof.
Whether it’s a skylight, a vent, or a chimney, faulty flashings lead to inconspicuous water damage. The damage is usually the size of a pinhole, which makes it hard to detect. The best indicator or a faulty flashing is water damage in the attic, right underneath the opening.
Are there granules in the gutters?
We’ve mentioned how shingles lose their structural integrity and start cracking after a couple of decades. Another great indicator of the shingles’ age are tiny granules they are made from. Namely, if you notice black or red granule in the gutters below, it means that shingles are up for replacement or they are of poor quality.
Spotting hail damage
One way an asphalt shingle can crack or lose granules is when hail hits it. Even the latter form damage is enough to destroy the shingle, as UV rays slowly destroy shingles damaged by hail. The “bruise” from a hail strike grows over time, so immediate repairs are necessary. You can spot hail damage by discoloration and a tiny dent in shingles.
A chimney cricket is a real must
You’d be surprised by the number of modern homes that lack a chimney cricket. The fixture is a real necessity, as the chimney stack acts as a dam, collecting all sorts of debris after a rain shower. The cricket ensures that leaves don’t pile up behind the chimney, rotting away and damaging the flashing and the shingles near the chimney opening. If your new home lacks a cricket, have it installed right away!
Arming yourself with knowledge about the roof is the best way to prevent water damage and other unpleasant surprises. In most cases, a short visual inspection of the tiles, flashings, and gutters should be enough to help you decide whether you need to call professional roofers.