Residential Roofing Tips

What to Look for in a Roof When Buying a Home

As the weather warms and the school year comes to a close, many North Carolinians are in the market to purchase a new home. You inspect the appliances, electrical system, plumbing, yard space, and HVAC system vigorously before committing to a home, but let’s not forget about one of the most important structural aspects of the home: your roof! Buying a home with a dated and/ or damaged roof can cost you. Here’s what you should look for in a roof when you’re on the house hunt.

Roof Age

The first and most basic piece of information you’ll want to find out is the age of the roof. Ask the seller if they have records of when the roof was installed. If the roof isn’t very old, it might even be under warranty from the installer or manufacturer or both. Most manufacturer warranties are transferable once within the first 10 years and some enhanced warranties allow for transfer the first 20 years.

If the seller is unaware of the age of the roof, we recommend you have the roof inspected by a licensed roofing contractor. You may pay a small inspection fee but it’s worth it.


How to Tell a Roof is Aging

One tell-tell sign of roof age is if you see black staining on the asphalt shingles. This staining occurs from blue-green algae growth on your roof. Most shingles today have an algae-resistant coating on the granules but that coating only lasts around 10 years. If you see significant staining on the shingles, it’s a safe bet the roof is at least 10 years old.


Some other signs of an aging roof:

  • Shingles are curling at the edges
  • Visible fiberglass (lighter, shiny shingle edges)
  • Significant granule loss on the ground where the downspout discharges
  • Missing shingles
  • Lifted flashings
  • Mismatched shingles, which may be an indicator of previous repairs


Some Other Areas to Inspect

Attic: If you have good attic access there’s no better place to spot signs of roof issues. Look for discolored sheathing or framing.

Ventilation: Proper ventilation is key to roof longevity. A good ventilation system will have intake vents at the soffit (underneath the overhangs) and an exhaust vent at or near the ridge. Exhaust vents can be ridge vent, power fans, turbine ventilators, or box vents.

Gutters: These are usually pretty easy to see from the ground. Are the gutters bent or dented or sagging? Look for signs of leakage at the miters (corners) or other seams.

Now that you’re ready to start the search, if you have any roofing-related questions, just give us a shout!