What to Look for in the Roof When You’re Buying a Home


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The time has come and you’re looking to buy a home in the Gansevoort or Greater Albany, NY area. It is key to properly inspect any potential property that you are looking to purchase. That might include checking the foundation, structural integrity of the house, quality of the ceilings, if there’s mold, and of course the roof. As all homeowners know, there are a lot more things you should check, but today we’ll just be focusing on the roof. By inspecting the roof of the home, you can avoid a lot of frustration and money in the future. Read these simple things you can look out for when purchasing a new home.

Roof Infestation of Mold & Moss

Does it matter if there’s moss or mold growing on top of the shingles on the roof? The short answer is yes, it does affect the shingles. Moss has the ability of absorbing water. When it does, the access water will lift up the shingles leave the roof open to the elements. The moss can also ruin the structural integrity of the shingles over time and loosen up the granules on the shingle itself.

moss growth on roof shingles

Does this Roof Look Straight ?

If your roof is wavy or looks uneven, that is a bad sign showing an underlying problem with the roof. This can make the house look hideous and potentially unsafe for everyone living inside the home. Often times, this is due to the decking behind the shingles dipping or sagging. That may potentially be due to framing that is rotted, or the decking itself has rotted due to moisture intrusion. If this is the case of any roof on a home that you are thinking of buying in Gansevoort, or Albany, it is crucial to inspect the roof itself, as well as the underside of the roof through the attic, if there is access available.

three tab shingles caving in failing roof substrate

Roof Recently Installed but, Was It Correctly Installed?

There are many times that the seller of a home will have the roof replaced or repaired before putting it up for sale. Most people who are trying to sell their home will try to get all the necessary repairs done as cheap as possible, and fast. A lot of sellers will do this so that they won’t have to invest more money into their home before selling it. Again, get on top of the roof and check to see if this is the case. It will be easy to spot an improper installation. Take the picture below as an example of improper installment.

improper roof shingle installation

Are there Damaged Shingles on the Roof?

Depending on the situation, a roof with damaged shingles should be a concerning factor when purchasing a house. Shingles that are damaged can lead to leaks and mold on the plywood sheathing. This is not a pretty sight to have in your home. If you do see this, most times you can have the seller of the home pay for the repair before you purchase the home. Damaged shingles will look crumbled up, they will have large cracks, and sometimes they will often stiffen up. Debris that falls off a low hanging tree can cause shingle damage as well. Be sure to check and trim back any low hanging branches on trees near the roof line to prevent damage to the shingles in the future from branches falling on them.

loose roof shingles
tree branch puncturing roof shingles

Is Your Roof Rotting ?

Roof leaks will eventually produce rot. It is not a matter of if but rather when this will occur. This is an easy thing to spot, if you have access to the attic. You can quickly spot mold and rotting on the roof deck as long as there is an adequate amount of light in the attic. There will either be a hole in the plywood sheathing or black streaks around the affected areas. It’s also common to have a musty scent if there’s been an untreated leak. Sometimes the home seller might get a cheap fix by adding silicon or caulk and applying it to the affected areas. This is not a proper or a permanent fix and it will leak again.

black mold growth in attic

Is the flashing on the roof damaged?

Roof flashing is always one of the crucial components that many people tend to overlook. Roof flashing is also an essential part of your roof. It helps to prevent water from seeping through the shingles at edges or corners of your roof as well as around chimneys and vent pipes. Sometimes when flashing is old or damaged water will get in and ruin your roof with rot and everything else that comes with it. Many sellers will try to fix the flashing quickly by putting silicone or some type of caulking around the needed areas. However, this is only a temporary fix as the caulk will eventually crack as it dries and expands/contracts. As mentioned before, this is not a permanent fix. Reusing old flashing is also a bad idea is it may not seal the roof properly. The best thing to do is always to replace the flashing properly with new flashing. Flashing isn’t expensive and is not difficult to install by a qualified contractor. You can use the images below as a reference of what to look out for when looking at any potential home to purchase.

roof shingles with old flashing next to chimney
improperly installed roof flashing