Did you just buy a house? Or have you lived in it for years? Either way, you ought to get to know the part you hardly ever see: your roof. If you’re about to buy a house, make sure the inspector takes a close look at it. If you’re already in a house, call a qualified roofing specialist to have a look now before serious problems develop.

Keep the following issues in mind:

1. Age is a vital component, as most roofs have a limited lifespan and need replacing after 20 years, depending on environmental conditions. Heat, humidity, rain, hail and strong wind can all accelerate the deterioration process. Factor in weather conditions when estimating your roof’s replacement timeline.

2. The overall shape of the roof is next on the list of discoverable facts related to your new canopy. Does it have damage from critters or a recent storm? Hail storms can leave considerable dents in shingles, leading to leaks, mold or algae growth.

Unwelcome guests like squirrels or raccoons can chew through just about anything, including roofing materials, and cause chaos in their wake. Investigate any patches or repairs for quality workmanship to keep wild animals out.

3. Determine the materials used during construction and whether there are multiple layers of shingles. Asphalt shingles are prevalent because they’re the least expensive. Wood shake, architectural tile, slate or metal cost more money to install but also come with a longer average life and insulating properties.

4. The ventilation system under the covering is crucial in keeping the attic space temperature constant and free from potential environmental hazards like mildew.

5. Retain warranty information from the installation, if applicable, as most roofs come with a limited warranty that transfers to the new homeowners. You could inherit a valuable prepaid asset with a roof warranty — or give one to those buying your house, possibly increasing the value.

6. Knowing whether your home warranty includes leaks could save you a lot of hassle and money. Read the fine print to see if your home warranty company will cover the cost of repairs if a leak appears during the allotted timeframe. Most companies won’t cover the repair bill for pre-existing conditions, so make sure to highlight any evidence of water damage or potential weak spots in your inspection report.

7. Ask your insurance agent about the homeowners policy regarding repairs or replacing your new dome. Most plans include repair or replacement due to damage from storms, fire or vandalism, but the age, condition and depreciation formula factor into the dollar amount.

I’m always available for questions, and would be happy to put you in touch with some of my favorite local vendors who can help inspect your new roof. Contact me today to get started.

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