Roof Inspection

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One area that isn't likely to evade the gaze of a discerning home inspector is your roof. Damaged shingles stick out like a sore thumb, and, if seen by the inspector, repairs or a reduction in the asking price are very likely to be requested. You may be able to save yourself some hassle by making an inspection of your own and performing any repairs you find to be necessary.

What to Look For

Here's a list of some roof and roof-related issues to look for and remedy if possible:
  • Missing shingles - Replacing a few missing shingles can greatly improve the overall condition of your roof.

  • Cracked or curled shingles - Any damaged shingles should be removed and replaced.

  • Damaged sheathing - When you go to replace some damaged shingles, you may discover that the sheathing (plywood boards) underneath is damaged. It's better to tear up a few extra tiles and replace the sheathing than to leave it as it is. Other signs of damaged sheathing are sags or dips in the roof.
  • Drainage problems - Bring a hose up to the roof with you to make sure water drains properly through your gutters. Clear out any clogs you find.

  • Damaged gutters - If any sections of gutter are damaged or not properly secured, replace or reattach them.

  • Damaged flashing - Flashing is the plastic or metal strips that cover joints in the roof (around the base of the chimney, for example). Replace any damaged sections of flashing you find, and keep an eye out for missing or damaged caulk (which is used to seal the flashing). Re-caulk if necessary.

  • Mold - Mold will create ugly black streaks on your roof. To clean it off, use a pump sprayer to apply a mixture of one part bleach and three parts water to the affected area. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then rinse with the hose.
Working on the roof, even one that's not very steeply angled, can be dangerous if you aren't careful. If you have any misgivings at all about being on the roof or aren't sure of how to handle a particular repair, it's probably best to hire a professional.

If you find the damage to your roof to be too extensive to repair, you'll have two options: replace the roof entirely (an expensive project) or lower your asking price. Hopefully, though, with a few repairs, your roof will be looking like new and you won't hear any comments on it from home inspectors.

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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