In this area, an important consideration when buying a residence is the condition of the roof. For your own peace of mind, if you’re the home buyer (or perhaps the bank), knowing what to look for is critical. One of the last things you want is to learn that you’ve unknowingly purchased a house in desperate need of a roof replacement. This article may also help those trying to evaluate their existing shingles to estimate remaining life. In a post I’m titling, “Home Roof Shingle Inspection – Coralville, Iowa City, North Liberty, and Cedar Rapids” here are the basics of what to look for…
(Note: You may contact us anytime for professional help, reporting, or advice at 319-331-3345. Accurate Home Inspections, for example, performs home roof shingle inspection – Coralville, Iowa City, North Liberty, and Cedar Rapids – as part of our service offering.)
First, the obvious signs of a bad roof (as can be seen from the ground) include:
- Curling shingles – Near the end of their life expectancy, asphalt shingle will begin to curl and disintegrate. Standing on the ground, inspect the sunny side of a steep pitched roof, where this degradation tends to happen first.
- Missing shingles – This can be the result of high winds, or worse, improper installation (see the technical signs below). To be sure, if shingles are missing, the best advice is to evaluate the roof’s installation from a technical standpoint, to ensure it was done properly.
- Granule erosion – This happens when asphalt shingles are nearly expired. Look for darker spots on the roof where granules have washed away. Eroded granules also collect in gutters or wash down the downspouts.
- Excessive wear – Something unusual may have happened to the roof, giving it a beat up appearance. A good example might be hail damage, which essentially bruises the asphalt, dramatically shortening life expectancy.
Second, the technical signs of a bad roof include:
- Multiple shingle layers – To save money, a new layer of shingles is sometimes added on top of the previous. Issues caused are poor appearance, excess weight on the sub-structure, and reduce lifespan of the new layer. If old flashing was not replaced, leakage could occur prior to the new shingles wearing out.
- Improper nailing – Skimping on nails, placing them poorly, over-driving them, under-driving them, etc., can cause various problems. Over-driving is a common problem, which may void the manufacturer’s warranty. It is best to have a professional inspector verify the nailing.
- Shoddy caulking – Dried out or impotent caulking at joints and seams may allow water in. Water sneaking under the shingles will eventually rot the subsurface (plywood or OSB), making for…
- Soft spots – Rotten subsurface wood, which will need replaced for structural integrity.
- Venting issues – Improper attic ventilation will usually cause overheating and moisture issues, greatly shortening the lifespan of asphalt shingles and possibly rotting the wooden substructure. Verify proper airflow through the attic.
(Note: For your own safety, please hire a professional to handle inspections on top of the roof. Accurate Home Inspections, for example, performs home roof shingle inspection – Coralville, Iowa City, and North Liberty – as part of our service offering.)
Average life expectancy guidelines:
- 3-tab shingles = 15 years
- Architectural shingles = 35 years
Hopefully this has been of value to you.
Please call us anytime. We specialize in full home inspections that are accurate and reliable. We respond very quickly when customers call, and we pride ourselves on being helpful, knowledgeable, and at your service. We are more than willing to travel to surrounding cities and small towns within a 30 miles radius of Coralville, Iowa City, and North Liberty.
Thanks for reading…
Certified Home Inspector
Accurate Inspections, Inc.
“Before you buy! Because you want to know…”