You want to have a roof inspection done before you buy an older home. A home with an old roof isn't necessarily bad, as long the roofing was maintained properly. Even if the roof is fairly new, it could have issues if it was neglected. Here are things you'll want the inspector to look for that could pose problems for an older asphalt shingle roof.
1. Old Hail Damage
Hail damage looks like small, dark dents. These dented areas can crack the backs of the shingles and eventually lead to a roof leak. If you're not a roofer, you may not recognize hail damage for what it is. If the damage isn't discovered and repaired, leaking could be a problem in the future. If the roof has widespread hail damage, the roof probably needs to be replaced, and you may want the seller of the house to replace the roof before you buy the home.
2. Trees That Grow Close To The Roof
If the home you're thinking of buying has trees that grow next to the roof, hang over the roof, or scrape against the roof when the wind blows, you could be looking at a potential problem. Trees make pathways that raccoons and rats climb to get up on your roof. The branches also sway and knock off granules and loosen shingles. The inspector should check the areas under the branches for damage, including water damage.
3. Rusty Spots On Flashing
A roofer will sometimes use the same flashing when putting on a new roof. This usually isn't a problem since flashing is made of metal and lasts a long time. However, if the flashing is much older than the shingles, you'll want to make sure the flashing isn't rusted in areas or lifted so that rain can seep underneath it.
4. Insufficient Ventilation
If your attic doesn't have enough ventilation, heat collects in it and affects the roof. If the roof is too hot, shingles might curl and age faster. If heat gets trapped in your attic, the humidity might rise too and cause problems with mold on the underside of the roof. A roofing contractor may need to add more ventilation if it looks like excess heat is harming the roof. This might be done by adding a ridge vent or turbine vent to the roof.
5. Moss Growing On The Roof
If you notice things growing on the roof, or you see black streaks, ask the inspector to identify the growths. Algae is common on roofs, and it is mostly a cosmetic problem. Moss is also fairly common, and it can harm your roof, so it needs to be removed. The roofing contractor might remove the moss and then check the area for moisture damage, lifted shingles, and other signs of damage from the moss growing under and beside the roofing shingles.
For more information on roofing, contact a company near you.