The roof on a home is one of the most important components to the home. The roof condition is crucial to maintaining a dry, sound structure. When buying a home, we get wrapped up in the kitchen features, bathroom features, the basement, how many bedrooms does it have and so on. All that is great, but what is keeping all of those features of your dream pad dry? You got it, the roof! Buy a home with a bad roof and you have some serious issues. Here are 3 things about a roof you should consider when buying a home:
Probably one of the most important factors of a roof when buying a used home is how old the roof is. There are many different types of roofing materials on the market and one of the most common is the asphalt shingle. Pay close attention to the age of the roof when there is an asphalt shingle installed. Asphalt shingles tend to wear faster than some of the other types of roofing products like metal, slate and tile. Generally speaking, if you are looking to buy a home with an asphalt shingle and the roof is over 15 years, go ahead and start to budget for that baby to be replaced. Some asphalt shingles last 15-18 years some can last 20 years +. Materials like metal, slate and tile can last 50 yrs + with regular maintenance. There are many different factors like ventilation, shading, pitch and so on, that can affect the life expectancy of a roof and these factors should be discussed at the time of the inspection.
A close second to the age of the roof is the quality of the installation. The installation of the roof can play a big role on how long the service life of the roof will be. A poor installation on a brand new roof can be just as bad as a good installation on a really old roof. Either way, during an inspection when buying a home, the installation of the roof really needs to be looked at closely. Buying a home is stressful enough, imaging moving in and a week later finding out you have a bum roof! Don't rely on the home inspector solely on this part of the inspection. Home inspectors are good at general inspections and conditions of all the different aspects of the home but when it comes to specifications of an installation, you may want to hire a roofing contractor to perform a more thorough inspection.
Type of Roof Material:
As briefly discussed, the third most important factor about a roof when buying a home is the type of roofing material. The asphalt shingle is one of the most widely used roofing material in residential roofing in North America because it has a relatively inexpensive up-front cost and is fairly simple to install. Asphalt shingles range widely in quality, cost, shapes, colors and textures. Be sure to consult with a professional roofing contractor when purchasing a home to evaluate the installed shingle and to give an approximate remaining life span of the roof before signing on the dotted line.
Other most common types of roofing material include metal, slate, synthetic, and cedar shake.
Metal is an outstanding choice of roofing materials due to its high resistance, impermeability and longevity. Because of their longevity, most metal roofs are less expensive than asphalt shingles in the long term. Factors that can change that is the installation, the type of metal and whether or not the roof system has exposed fasteners or not.
Slate roof tiles are made of 100% natural stone and have a beautiful color variation. Slate roofing is incredibly durable sometimes outlasting the building they are installed on. The biggest disadvantage to slate is the cost. Slate roofs can sometimes cost 6-10 times as much as an asphalt roof. Slate is also very heavy which may require an experienced engineer to determine if the structure of the roof can withstand the weight.
Synthetic roofing is a relatively newer product which consists of recycled plastics and rubber as key ingredients. These types or roofing products emulate the appearance of wood shake, slate and other roofing materials. A major advantage to synthetic roofing is the weight. If you are going for the slate look but the structure will not support a traditional slate tile, then a synthetic roof may be a good option. Choosing a synthetic roof over a cedar wood shake also comes with some benefits including lower insurance rates and most importantly the low maintenance unlike true cedar. Since synthetic roofing systems are fairly new, it is unknown how these products will stand the test of time.
As you can see, there are many different factors in roofs that need to be addressed when buying a home. It is best to consult with a trusted roofer that has knowledge in various types of roofing systems so that you can be well informed to make your decision on the purchase of your dream home!