Why You Need a Roof Inspection Before Buying a Home

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Buying a new home is exciting! It’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea of owning a new property but before you pull the trigger, you should carefully consider the condition of the roof and potential roof inspection.

According to roofing contractors in Dallas:

“the roof of any house is crucial to the overall condition of the property. After all, the roof is what protects the structure from rain, wind, debris and UV rays. The roof also has a huge impact on how warm and cool the house stays.”

That is why it is so important that you have the roof of any property you are thinking of making an offer on a professional roof inspection. But there are things that you can look at yourself too. It won’t take a roofing professional to spot the following signs of a bad roof. 

Take a minute or two to go over this list we have compiled of things you should look for in a roof before purchasing a home.

Shingle Condition

According to a Toronto real estate expert, “a few missing shingles here and there may not seem like a big deal but they could signify larger problems. When shingles are missing, they expose the underlayment and substrate of the roof to moisture and debris.”

You can usually see if there are any shingles missing by standing back from the property and examining the roofline. Again, this is why the roof inspection is so important.

Roof Inspection Tip: Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask the important questions. Ask the owner or your real estate agent when the roof was installed. An old roof isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. Some roofing materials like composite shingles and metal have long life spans.


If you hear that the roof was installed 60 years ago and is made of a material like wooden shingles, you should think twice before moving forward with the purchase. Listen, you don’t want to be searching for a rain jacket to wear in your own home!

You should also ask what, if any, work has been done to the roof. Ask about repairs and maintenance. Inquire about the roofing material used to build the roof and if it is still covered under warranty. If it is, make sure to find out whether or not the warranties are transferrable to new owners.

You basically want to get as much information about the roof as you can. Not only to help you determine whether the house is worth buying, but also to have records should any work be needed in the future.

Proper Ventilation

Proper roof ventilation is imperative. When there is not enough roof ventilation, mold could start growing and it can cause the house to get too warm in the summer.

If the house you are thinking of buying is large, it should have ample roof vents installed throughout. If the house is smaller, it may only need a small gable-end vent or two. Soffit vents are also a good sign that there is a proper amount of roof ventilation.

A quick glance at the roofline should reveal whether or not it is properly ventilated. You should see at least a few wind turbine vents, ridge vents, or power vents. If the roof does have wind turbine vents, be sure to pay close attention to how they perform. 

Wind turbine vents are not static like other types of roof vents. They move with the blowing of the wind. If you can, listen for squeaking. If the turbines are squeaking as they rotate, it probably means that they are no longer properly lubricated and don’t move as much air as they should.

Drainage Systems

The gutters and downspouts are important to a roof system because they are responsible for channeling water off of the roof. Standing or pooling water could leak into your home or cause the roof to become too heavy.

Take a look all around the perimeter of the house. Make sure that all the downspouts are intact and connected to the gutters. Make sure that the end pieces of the downspouts are not broken and that they are pointed away from the house. All downpipes should be feeding into storm wells and not just dumping water straight onto the ground.

If you can safely get on the roof, make sure that the gutters are clean. While you can clean gutters yourself at any time, long-term clogs compromise the structural integrity of the drainage system and the roof. 

If there is debris in the gutters that looks like it has been there for ages, there may already be roof damage.

Water Damage

Roof leaks can lead to water damage inside a home. Be sure to do a thorough walkthrough of the home and look for stains on the ceilings and walls. Water stains will discolor the paint or leave dark spots on the walls and ceilings.

The previous owners could have easily painted over water damaged spots on the walls or ceilings so be sure to use your nose. If you smell fresh paint in only one or two areas of the house, the previous owners probably painted over something they didn’t want you to see.

You can either use a mold inspection company or your sense of smell to detect mold as well. Leaks in the roof could lead to mold development. Mold smells musty and damp – like there was an old moist rag left to sit in some corner of the house.

Hire A Professional

When in doubt, call a licensed roofing professional. The fact is that unless you are a roofer yourself, there will be things that you won’t be able to detect on your own. The roofer you choose to handle the inspection should have a lot of experience and come from a local company (familiarity with zoning laws and local building codes is important).

The roof of your new home is something you should not compromise on. Keep a sharp eye out, a keen nose in the air, an attentive ear at the ready and call a professional when you need help.