13 Roofing Questions to Ask When Purchasing a Home

Buying a new house is perhaps the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, so it’s important to take your time. While most homeowners are concerned with aesthetics, it is also crucial to consider practicality, especially when it comes to the roofing. Regardless of why you are moving, one of the first things you should examine while looking at properties is the roof. 

To avoid moving in only to discover that you have to deal with leaks or other residential roofing problems, here are questions you should ask before completing the purchase.

  1. From What Material Is Your Roof Made?

Different roofing materials have an effect on the overall longevity and durability of the structure. Therefore, you should ask if you are unfamiliar with the most prevalent roof materials. While asphalt shingles are the most frequently used material for residential roofs, there are others to choose from, including metal, slate and clay. 

Occasionally, a roof may appear to be asphalt shingles when it is actually composite/synthetic shingles. On closer inspection, it could even be cedar shakes, which require a slightly different maintenance routine.

  1. How Old Is the Roof?

At first glance, it’s impossible to tell whether a property’s roof is new or ancient. The material used in residential roofing systems will determine its longevity. Asphalt shingles, for example, can last up to 20 years with proper care. Metal roofing can last 40 years or more, and slate and clay tiles can last a century or more with proper care.

  1. Does the Roof Come With a Warranty?

Each manufacturer will offer different types of warranties so it is crucial that you understand what type the house you are looking to buy has before you buy it. Some warranties can only be passed once or twice while others can be transferred as many times as needed.

  1. Is the Roof Properly Ventilated?

In a well-maintained home, proper ventilation is essential. However, even a newly constructed roof will be useless without proper ventilation. Unventilated attics and roofs lead to costly maintenance difficulties. Ice dams, mold, mildew, sagging decking and shorter roof lifespan are examples. A roof replacement is your only option if this is the case.

  1. Is the Warranty Transferable?

An extended warranty is important even if the roof was just installed, and there were no leaks or damage when you checked it. If something goes wrong, you don’t want to find out that the roof was sold before it was repaired, voiding the warranty. If the home’s main selling point is a roof with a warranty, request a copy to review the terms. Not all warranties are transferable. 

  1. Have There Been Any Flooding Issues?

Basement flooding is common. Flooding or standing water on the roof can occur if the downspouts are not properly directed. Let your contractor look for signs of the previous flooding. If so, the water is backed up, or the soak wells are too small for the downpipes.

  1. Who Installed the Current Roof?

Regardless of whether the house is new or not, it is critical to know who installed the roof. If the roofer who constructed it is a local contractor, be certain to obtain the contact information. In this manner, if your roof develops difficulties as a result of installation errors, you can contact the company, and the person will almost certainly be pleased to come out and correct it for you at no additional expense.

  1. Are There Indications of Flashing Damage?

Flashing is commonly found around roof penetrations like chimneys and skylights. Inaction might lead to leaks in your property. However, you can simply avoid this issue by choosing a qualified roofing contractor. After a storm, get your roof inspected for damage since certain roofing issues are not visible to the untrained eye.

  1. What Does That Concentration of Mold Mean?

The growth of mold and mildew could be an indication of water damage caused by a dripping roof. Do a thorough inspection of this new home’s roof prior to signing a contract. Make sure all roof flashing seals are in good condition.

  1. How Were Repairs Made?

Repairing a roof can be done in a manner that is both safe and acceptable. A roof can be repaired in a less expensive, inferior or unsuccessful manner. Have a professional evaluate the roof if it is older or clearly in need of repair. Roofing materials that don’t match, many layers of shingles on top of each other and other substandard repairs can cost you money.

  1. When Was It Last Inspected and Maintained?

Public records for permits and planning may be able to help you verify the exact time period. For a solid and long-lasting roof, regular inspections and maintenance are essential to initial measures. As a preventative measure, roofing experts recommend inspecting the system every two to three years or following a large storm.

  1. Have Recent Repairs Been Made?

During your conversation with the seller, be sure to enquire about the most recent roof repair work. Is the gutter system in good working order? Is the patching of the leaks correct? You may get a better understanding of how much care the roof requires by learning more about these specifics.

  1. How Much Will the Seller Discount for an Old or Damaged Roof?

Not every homebuyer’s fantasy comes true when faced with an aging roof. In order to help buyers cover the cost of a new roof, sellers may be willing to negotiate a lower price. This means that a new roof and warranty will provide the consumer peace of mind for decades to come.

A roof can make or break a home deal. Any potential buyer should be sure to get the facts before committing to a sales contract.

Get In Touch With Us!


Need help with your roof or chimneys? Paddy’s is a locally owned and operated business that values its customers. We strive for perfection and leave our consumers not just happy, but educated as to what went wrong and how our team fixed it. From gutter cleaning to full roof replacement, we approach every task and customer with integrity and respect. For any inquiries, contact us at (302) 208-9510, or fill out our contact form to request an estimate.

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