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How to Check for Potential Water Damage

Buying a home can be stressful, and the last thing you want to do is compound that stress by purchasing a home that needs an entirely new roof or needs major roof repairs. A full replacement can be north of ten thousand dollars, and even what seems like a basic repair can turn into a costly job. You can do yourself a favor by knowing what to look for in a roof before you buy a home – here are a few things to look out for.

Water damage is the number one thing that you’ll be able to see with your own eyes in terms of potential damage. When you’re doing your visual inspections of the house during your showing or open house, make sure you’re keeping your eyes open for the following things –

Are there any water stains on the ceilings?

This is a sure sign that there is something wrong with the roof. If you see any type of water stains on the ceiling, be sure to start asking questions about having it undergo further inspection and potentially be covered by part of your offer.

Is there fresh paint on the ceiling?

While this doesn’t mean there is a definite leak, it should raise your eyebrows. Be sure to ask that the paint was by choice, and not out of the necessity of covering up stains from a leak that may have occurred.

How do the shingles or tiles look from the outside?

If you’re looking at a home that has asphalt or cedar shingles, there are some definite things to look for. First, are any of them missing? While not the end of the world, shingles that have been missing for extended periods of time expose your home to much more damage than normal.

Are any of the shingles curved or peeling? This is a sure sign that the shingles have seen their best days, and are coming up on needing to be replaced.

Fascia board damage

The fascia board is the perimeter border of your roof. You’ll want to look for any visible damage or cracks. This is a sign that the roof may not be draining properly and that the home is a candidate for water damage from the non-functioning roof.

When you’re looking at homes, those with flat or shingle roofs are going to be a lot easier to identify problems with to the untrained eye. If you’re looking at homes with tile roofs, it can be quite a bit harder to see if any issues are hiding under the tiles. The tiles themselves don’t deteriorate quickly, however, the materials underneath, such as the felt underlay, wear just like any other roofing type.

The best thing to do is work with your general home inspector to determine if a specific roof inspection is needed. They most likely will not be able to tell you any specific problems or water damage, but they can usually spot indicators of issues that will require a roofing company. In those instances, you’ll want to work with a certified Roofing Contractor to determine what the actual issues are, and you can make a decision on how to proceed with the home from there.