Check the Roof Before You Buy
Before you buy a home, you should learn the age of the roof, the typical lifespan of the roofing material, and whether there’s any deterioration.
- Granular roofs- 10 to 25 years:Asphalt or fiberglass-based shingles have a granular mineral top coating that should be consistent in color and texture. Deterioration wears out the mineral layer, so shingles appear spotty, mottled, bumpy and uneven.
- Wood roofs- 20-30 years:Finer wood roofs are made of redwood or cedar. Shingles are machine made and shakes are hand-split for a more rough-hewn look. Worn wood roofs have visible cracks or curled edges.
- Tile roofs- 75 years:Tiles can be made of clay, concrete or slate. The harder the material, the more durable the roof; broken tiles can easily be replaced.
- Metal roofs- 75 years:Metal roofs have interlocking seams making them attractive, durable, fire-resistant and modern-looking, but dents due to hail are often not covered by homeowner’s insurance.
To judge a roof’s quality, look for the following:
- straight even seams
- consistent color and texture
- no sagging in between support beams
- no corroded flashing around chimneys and valleys
- good soffit vents to circulate air into the attic
- straight gutters free of debris