A Buyer’s Guide to Roofing

Posted on A tile roof

One of the most significant and most overlooked home repairs that you will ever have to make is the repair or replacement of a roof. While a quality roof can last for 20 to 30 years, there will come a time when replacement is inevitable. Because roofing repairs and replacements hopefully happen infrequently on a home, it may be overwhelming to think about. A few simple steps will reduce the stress and make the process of keeping your roof in good condition much easier.

Before Buying a Home

Before you buy a home, it is important that youask your realtor about information regarding the roof. Some of the information to understand include knowing the age of the roof, the recent repair schedule, and whether it is still covered under warranty. This will help you better understand what the repair costs will be and when they will be incurred. In addition, you should always get an inspection of the home before you close on the house. Forgetting or choosing not to have an inspection is listed as one of the top buyer’s mistakes by a number of real estate experts.

Annual Inspection

Once you own a home, you should plan on inspecting your roof at least once per year. When you are inspecting your roof, you should look for evidence of wear and tear, cracked shingles, discolored shingles, and spots on the flashing. If you notice several of these issues, or if it is apparent that the roof is getting worse over time, it could be an indication that it is time to repair or replace the roof. It is a good idea to hire a roofing inspector to look at your roof as well as examining it yourself. The inspector will have the tools to find small problems that you may miss before they become a big problem.

Repair vs Replace

If it is obvious that you need to have a roof repair completed, the main choice that you will need to make is whether you need to repair or replace the roof. In general, if the roof appears to be less than 20% damaged, then it could be easier to simply repair certain areas. However, if the roof is past its useful life, then it could be a good idea to have it replaced entirely. Once again, it is important to consult with an expert when making this decision.

Choosing Type of Roof

When you have determined that you need to get a whole new roof, you will need to choose the type of roof. The most common types of roofs include asphalt, wood, metal, and clay. These roof types can range considerably in price and style. The right type of roof to select is dependent largely on where you live. In most areas of the country, asphalt or wood shingles are ideal. However, in some areas, including the southwest United States, clay tiles are ideal as they can help keep a property cool.

No matter the problem with your roof, don’t let things overwhelm you. Just like any other home repair, roof repairs or replacements can be managed by being aware of your home and consulting with experts that you trust.

Written by
Jillian Anderson Slate
Jillian is an insurance professional, working in commercial lines, with experience reviewing property conditions through that perspective.