By: Eric Skoog
Kids will officially be out of school in a month or so and many parents are taking this opportunity to either buy a new home or rent in a new neighborhood. However, before you sign on that dotted line, it’s important to ask the essential questions and know the basics about your roof – the first line of defense for your possessions.
When Buying a Home
Water damage on the ceilings may indicate a leaky roof. Check all ceilings, including closets to make sure there isn’t any staining. If the ceilings look good, move on to checking out what style roof the home has. Different materials (i.e. shingles, tiles, etc.) have different maintenance needs. To save the most money over time, shingles installed on a steeper pitch roof are your best bet, because it requires the least maintenance.
Another thing to keep in mind is that pitched roofs can hold up longer than flat roof systems. Pitched roofs direct the water flow off the roof and the steeper the pitch, the faster the water drains. The less time water sits on a roof surface, the longer that roof surface will last and the less risk you have of a leak.
Before putting in an offer, be sure to ask your realtor if he/she knows the age of the roof and the last time it was replaced or serviced. If the realtor does not have this information right off hand, he/she can ask the owner.
Once you decide to put in an offer, next is the inspection. Although inspectors are great to have, they will not lift shingles, metal or tile to check the condition of the underlayment beneath. It’s best to have a quality roofing contractor make an assessment of the roof during this time. He/she can then make any needed service recommendations so that you can enter the purchase transaction with confidence, knowing what roof concerns there are to be resolved.
Overall, don’t be afraid of roof problems. Once the roof inspector has assessed everything, have him/her provide a proposal for any needed repairs/replacement and use those figures to negotiate a final price on the home. From there, the seller can either do the work prior to close or provide an adjustment in the price so you will have the funds needed to get the work done right.
When Renting a Home or Apartment
Most people forget to ask questions about the roof when they’re about to sign a lease. Be ahead of the game by using the checklist below to make sure you ask the right questions:
• How often is your roof maintained?
• Have you ever had a roof leak in the unit we are planning to rent?
• How often are your A/C units serviced and the condensate lines checked for blockage?
A roof should be walked at least once per year, with close inspection of where water drains off the roof surfaces. SUNVEK provides this service to its customers, and truly believes that a minor service call today saves thousands in repair costs later.
Eric Skoog is president of SUNVEK. Arizona-based SUNVEK specializes in commercial roofing, maintenance and repairs. Along with installing new foam, metal, tile, shake, shingle, slate, TPO and coated roof systems, they replace underlayments, repair and recoat existing foam roofs, and install silicone and acrylic elastomeric coatings at flat roofs, along with emulsion over commercial flat roofs to extend their service life. For more information about SUNVEK, visit sunvekroofing.com.