Roof Problems You Should Look For Before Buying a Home

A home is a big investment. It’s certainly not the kind of investment you’re going to want to regret making, but if you don’t take all things into consideration when making your offer and signing that contract, you might just kick yourself later down the line. The roof of a building tends to be the one area that lets the side down. The rest of the home can be in beautiful condition, with the most amazing fixtures and fittings, but if the roof is damaged or has not been maintained properly, you’re going to be spending a small fortune on repairs, renovations, or a full roof replacement. It might not be now, or even in the next couple of years, but eventually … it’s going to happen. To ensure that you’re not making a big purchasing mistake, keep your eyes peeled for these common (and not-so-common) roof problems that could affect you financially in the long term -

1 - Broken shingles
A shingle or tile doesn't need to actually be broken in order to be classed as damaged. In fact, shingles can be affected in a number of ways — cracks, blisters, splits, curled ends, etc.

2 - Missing shingles
Missing shingles and tires almost certainly mean a leak somewhere, and if the problem isn’t resolved, it could cause large-scale water damage and even health implications because of black mold.

3 - Discolored shingles
This could be a sign that water damage has happened, or that the tiles or shingles are being overrun with moss, algae, or other forms of biological growth.

4 - Sagging or drooping structures
If the roof looks to be dipping or sagging in the middle, the actual structure might not be up to scratch. That’s a job best left to the professionals as it could mean that a complete removal and reinstallation project is required.

5 - Flashing problems
This could come in the form of broken flashing, rotting flashing, missing flashing, or any other kind of flashing damage. Make sure that chimney stacks, windows, joins of the roof, etc., have flashing installed correctly.

6 - Lots of debris
If there are lots of twigs, branches, leaves, and other forms of natural debris on the roof, it could be a sign that the current property owner doesn’t keep up with their maintenance. How long has it all been up there? Is it adding dangerous extra force to a roof that is already falling into disrepair? It might be the case. It also might not. The professionals will know after a full survey.

7 - Smell of damp
This could be anywhere in the house, but take a good sniff of the air in the attic. If it smells damp, there could be a leak. A leak usually indicates damage somewhere, whether that's in the shingles, soffits, fascias, or whatever, and it will need to be resolved.

8 - Signs of actual water damage
Have any of the ceilings got stained patches? That could be a sign of previous water damage, as could peeling of wallpaper, blisters in any of the structures of the building, and darker patches on wood.

9 - Leaking guttering
Leaking guttering can show itself in a number of ways. If it’s raining, a leak will present itself quite obviously. When it's not raining, however, the splits in the guttering itself might not be obvious. As well as checking the guttering for signs of leaks or disrepair, make sure you check to see whether or not they are clogged, and if they are properly secured to the rest of the structure.

10 - Incorrectly-positioned downspouts
If the downspout releases water from your roof too close to the building, it will only be a matter of time before the water manages to find its way inside. The downspout should release water far enough away to avoid problems, into drainage.

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