Buying a House? Inspect the Roof and Pay Attention to These Issues

Buying a beautiful house is every family’s dream. Why not? We spend years saving money, planning, and waiting for the moment when it finally happens. Now that you are ready, you need to make sure that the years of waiting are worth it. 


In addition to the foundation, plumbing system, doors and windows, walls, ceilings, and basement, it’s important to inspect the roof before finally signing a contract. You don’t need to climb up there and take the risk of falling and getting injured. You can look upwards or through the windows upstairs for a closer view. If it’s necessary, use binoculars.


Focus on these issues to give you a basic idea of the roof’s condition:

1. Leaky Roof

A leaky roof results in mold growth. Breathing in or touching mold spores can cause allergic reactions, like skin rashes, especially for sensitive individuals. For asthmatic people, it can lead to asthma attacks.


During your visit, look for cracked shingles and mold growth. If the shingles have spots with a different shine, chances are it’s cracked or distorted. When there is a crack or distortion, the sun rays bounce at a different angle, creating this effect. 


You may also use a flashlight to shine a light on any damp patches or other leak signs on the ceilings, walls, or in the attic.

2. Storm Damage

If the house’s location frequently suffers from major storms, it’s more critical to spot signs of storm damage. Strong winds that come with a storm can cause deterioration of shingles. While in some cases, this is not obvious, look for missing shingles, panels, or tiles on the roof.

3. Hail Damage

Roof damage due to hailstorms can lead to structural deterioration, causing leaks. The major signs of hail damage are bruising, cracking, and granules missing from asphalt. 


  • Look for cracks in the shingle. Note that large hail can create a circular crack if it hits hard enough. 
  • Observe if there are areas on the shingle that have exposed black substrate. This can mean that the granules of the asphalt have been knocked off by something.
  • Though dents from hail are not often noticeable, search for bruising in the shingles. A small dimple may be a sign that the roof is starting to deteriorate.

4. Under the Roof Damage

It’s a red flag if there are water stains underneath the roof deck. Keep in mind that even a little moisture on your roof can result in a bigger problem.


If you can, check the condition of the attic’s flashings. These are the thin metal strips in the intersections and protrusions of roofs and around the chimneys, skylights, pipes, and dormer windows. 

5. Roof and Gutter Damage

Do the gutters and water spouts allow water away from the house? 


Leaves can accumulate in the gutters that block the flow of water, especially in autumn. When debris rots in the roof and gutters, it can contribute to mold growth and even structural damage. That’s why every homeowner needs to clean their roofs and gutters regularly.

6. Sagging Roof 

If the house has a flat roof, look for signs of sagging, though this can be difficult to spot from the ground. Inside the house, observe if the pipes or ductworks are pulling away from mounts on the ceilings. A sagging roof changes the angles of the roof’s slope, creating excessive downward force.


On the outside, you may need to call roofing experts to check the roof’s plane or bowing in the roofline.

Making the Decision 

Some may ask if it’s fine to buy a house with mold since they’re more affordable. If your decision is primarily based on your budget, you may consider purchasing it if there are no other major issues. Some companies offer professional mold removal at an affordable price, like PuroClean


If you have a young, elderly, or allergic family member, it’s not wise to purchase a house with mold in it if you need to move in immediately. 


In addition, roof problems should not stop you from buying a house if there are stipulations. For instance, you can get a quote from a licensed contractor to repair or replace the roof. Then have an agreement with the seller who will pay for it – taking the amount off from the price if you agree to handle it. However, be aware if the seller agrees to make the repairs because there’s a possibility that they hire the cheapest contractors with low-quality work. As you know, every seller’s goal is to save money.


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