Buying a home can often feel like a whirlwind experience. Between preparations for financing, finding the ideal location, and ensuring the interior and layout are just perfect, there’s so much happening at once.

But in the midst of all the bustle, it can be easy to forget about an important component of what makes a home liveable – the roof. Many homebuyers take the roofing condition of their prospective home for granted. But this can often be a mistake.

Roofing can be pretty expensive, and failing to ensure you’re getting a good deal on your roof can set you back tens of thousands of dollars. Considering this, it’s important to make provisions for a thorough inspection of the roof so you know everything is in good shape.

Wondering what to look for in the roof when buying a home? Our roofing specialists share some tips on the red flags to watch for and what they might mean for your home.


Things to look out for in a roof 

Just like your prospective home, the roof has several parts that deserve proper inspection before you finalize your purchase. This goes much deeper than simply eyeing the condition of the roof from the ground though. The most important details about the roof may not be readily apparent from that distance, or even without the help of an expert.

But there are great places to start, each of which tells you immediately if there’s some cause for concern. Here are the most important details to note:

  • Age: During negotiations, and while inspecting your prospective home, one of the first things you should ask about is the age of the roof. Like all other parts of the home, the roof has a useful life period. Depending on the materials used and how well it was maintained, a roof may last 20-30 years. Aluminum roofing typically lasts longer, compared to other materials like asphalt and composite shingles. If the roof is nearing the end of its useful life, it means you need to consider how long you intend to stay in the home, and whether you’re ready for the financial commitment of a new or fully refurbished roof.
  • Gutters and drainage systems: The roof’s drainage system needs to be in good shape so it prevents water from pooling in spots and causing damage. You should check to see that gutters are not blocked, and they have a clear route to feed water into downspouts.
  • Mold spots: Mold is usually a sign of trouble since it often means that water has intruded into the home or under the roof in some places. There are many types of mold, including black, green, or even white mold. But in most cases, they can deteriorate the roof, and even release spores into your home – which is a health hazard. If you spot mold, you should immediately bring professionals in to assess the extent of the damage and the necessary remedial measures.
  • Missing or cracked shingles: This should be immediately apparent from a simple visual inspection of the roof. While missing or cracked shingles are nothing major, they can provide a point for water to seep through the roof and cause real damage. Fixing faulty shingles is no big deal, but you should be sure to bring these to the seller’s attention.
  • Sagging: Sagging, bubbling, and curling may all be indications of deeper problems with the roof. At best, it may be an indication of improper insulation and ventilation within the roof. At worst, it may be a sign of rotting or crumbling beams, which puts the structural integrity of your roof at risk. The roof should have a flat, clean shape instead.
  • Ventilation system: A well-functioning ventilation system is an important part of a healthy home. It enables the flow of clean air and sunlight to keep the home airy and the roof dry. Most roofs accomplish this through vents that are strategically placed. If you’re not sure what the vent looks like or how to tell if it is in good shape, we recommend you invite a professional to explain what you’re seeing.
  • Breaks and leaks: Checking for breaks or leaks in the roof can be one of the hardest parts of this inspection. This is because it will be difficult to tell without actually climbing on to the roof itself. But an easy way to immediately tell that there’s a leak somewhere is to see if there are water stains on walls, on the ceiling, or any surface.

Although this list does not cover every single one of the red flags you should note in a roof, it gives you a great place to start. Sellers often try to hide the existence of these signs or minimize their effect when you find out. So, it is important to be vigilant and detailed in your inspection.

What happens if you go with a bad or faulty roof?

The primary implication of leaving red flags unattended is it can result in a significant financial outlay you probably didn’t plan for. Roof repairs can be expensive, especially when it requires a lot of remedial work. Replacing the roof will be even more expensive, and may set you back by anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000, depending on the size of your home. Other implications of buying a home with a faulty roof include:


  • Financing or insurance problems: Usually, insurance companies will require a thorough home inspection before they agree to provide coverage. Where they discover problems with the roof after you finalize the purchase, they may demand that you repair or entirely replace the roof before providing coverage. This can put you in a difficult spot.
  • Health issues: A leaky roof can be a prime place for mold to grow. With unchecked growth or growth in dark places you didn’t think to check, you and your family may be exposed to the dangerous effects of mold spores released into the home.
  • Energy inefficiencies: Poorly ventilated or insulated roofs will only make your home feel hotter, or unnecessarily cold in chilly weather. This in turn forces you to spend more on cooling and heating, leaving you with a larger energy bill.

To avoid the possibility of these unlooked for consequences, ensure you conduct a thorough inspection of the roof before finalizing your home purchase. For best results in the inspection, and to be certain you have uncovered all likely issues, it makes sense to work with a professional roofing provider.

Contact GBC Remodeling for help

At GBC Remodelling, our certified roofing specialists understand the implications of roofing issues and know what to look out for. We can help conduct a thorough inspection of your prospective home’s roof, and provide a detailed report on any issues that may exist. We are also able to assist where there is a need to conduct repairs of any scope on the roof or replace the roof entirely.

Because we are confident in the quality of our work, we offer a Lifetime Homeowner’s Warrant on every piece of work we provide. To learn more about our services or if you would like to schedule a free meeting with our specialists, please contact us at 1 858 914 2043.