What to Know About Roof Lifespan When Buying a New Home

Buying a new home is a stressful, exhilarating process, and one you don’t undertake every day. Of all the features you evaluate, the roof is probably not high on the list. However, as one of the most expensive features of the home, the stage of the roof lifespan is incredibly important. In addition to knowing the age, you want to make sure it’s been well-maintained.

While home inspections are part of the home buying process, prospective homebuyers should ensure their roof is inspected by a seasoned roofing professional.

The age of the roof on your new home

Roofs can have a lifespan of 15-30 years. Where your roof falls on that scale is dependent on a few different things, including:

  • The quality of the products used in the installation
  • The quality of the installation itself
  • What maintenance has been done
  • The type and quality of any repairs conducted

Even if a roof is beautifully maintained over the course of its lifespan, it will eventually need to be replaced. Be sure to ask the seller about the age of the roof. You might even request proof of installation to verify the date is accurate.

If the roof on the home is older, you might be able to negotiate the selling price down to factor in how soon a new roof is expected.

Has the roof been cared for?

Obviously, the age of the roof does play into its condition. The age, however, isn’t the only indication. Newer roofs can be in bad shape if not properly maintained.

Look for worn spots or missing shingles, or for signs of mold growth. There shouldn’t be any curly edges or bulges. Everything should appear flat and smooth.

Inside the home, check the ceiling for water spots. If you find any, be sure to ask about the history of repair work. If you get to tour the attic, look for spots of daylight. Being able to see sunlight, even if only slightly, means there is an entry point for water.

While you’re in the attic, keep an eye out for nails. They should be everywhere. If you come across a patch with no nails or long ends coming through, this could mean they were pulled out. It can also mean the shingles weren’t properly installed, making them easy to tear away during a storm and leaving you vulnerable to a leak.

Has the roof been maintained by the DRI Maintenance Club?

The Dale’s Roofing Stay DRI Maintenance Club is a homeowner’s first line of defense in preserving their investment.

Not only do we conduct annual inspections; we also will make small fixes while we’re on the roof. Lost nails or broken sealant is addressed on the spot. Keeping on top of minor things can help prevent those things from becoming major.

We also keep a record of any issues we’ve found or monitored and a progress of the roof’s condition. Ask if the home seller is a member of the DRI Maintenance Club for a thorough account of the roof’s condition.

After the inspection

Once your roof has been inspected – by the home inspector or roof inspector or both – you will be issued a report. This report will inform you of the overall condition of the roof, and, if it’s a home inspection report, other parts of the home. It’s a useful tool in negotiating a lower price, or in leveraging repairs the current homeowner must make before the sale is final.

Dale’s Roofing offers free roof inspections to anyone considering the purchase of a new home. If you have found a house you’re considering making your next home, give us a call. We are glad to help you make the best decision for your home and future.


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