When you are looking to buy a new home, you may be caught in a state of wonderment when viewing prospective properties. All too often, the emphasis is on how well the property is presented. After all, the realtors are looking to make their profit from the sale and only a structural survey will point out any problems. Before you organize a survey, this quick checklist will give you the heads-up on whether you should carry on or whether you need a free estimate from roofing companies Phoenix.
Checking to see whether the ground slopes away from the property or towards it will give you an idea of whether there are hidden problems. Damp in the foundations can lead to movement and cracking, or wet crawlspaces at the least.
Checking around fall-pipes will tell you whether there is a blockage, as leaves and mulch can build up over time, which will cause damp inside the house. Guttering and drainage should be regularly cleared of debris, especially around fall-time.
The last thing you want is to move into a home and then find you need to repair or replace the roof. The lifespan of a roof will depend to an extent on the materials used. Shingles for example could be around 40 years old before they need replacing, whereas natural materials such as slate or terracotta can last in excess of 100 years.
Standing back and using binoculars can give you an idea of whether the roof needs any maintenance because of missing shingles or tiles. Look out for damaged lead flashing and broken guttering, as this could indicate water entering the attic.
If you do spot any damage to the roof, then it could be a way of negotiating a lower price with the realtor, as the money saved can be used to fund any work required.
Cracked stucco can lead to water getting behind into it and blowing it off, especially in the colder months as water freezes. At the least, it will be a sign of damp on internal walls so you will know where to look when viewing inside, especially outside when the weep screed is covered by concrete, which stops any water from escaping.
Signs of structural movement from damaged foundations can be seen by looking at the windows to check if there are any cracks around them. These cracks can let in water, which causes mold to form and rot to set in. Window and doorframes dropping out of alignment will indicate pronounced structural movement, whereas serious movement will cause major structural cracking.
Last, but by no means least, check the woodwork around the exterior for rot. This could be just from a lack of maintenance, or in issues that are more serious, it could be an indicator of an underlying cause.
Being prepared – putting your head before your heart when viewing properties can save you a lot of heartache later on.