7 Things New Homeowners Should Know About Their Roof

Whether this is your first home purchase, or a second or third, it is important to understand the condition of your roofing system. During the many stages of the purchasing process, a home inspection (if you choose to have one) is a major part to help the buyer identify any issues with the home before making the purchase. This is significant because if you find out your roof needs replaced, your bank may not approve financing until this is done. Or what if the roof fails a few months after you move in, are you financially prepared for this? So what does this mean for your roof? Read below 7 things new homeowners should know about their roof.


(1) When was the roof installed?

As with most things, depending on how well the roof was maintained over the years, how old or new it is may or may not be an indication of the overall condition. However, if this information is available, it could give you an idea of the remaining life of the roof and if it is still under warranty.

(2) How many layers are on it?

Layovers are quite common, so if you are purchasing a home with a second layer of roofing, this does not necessarily mean there is anything wrong with your roof. Homeowners who choose layovers are typically doing it for the cost savings. However, there are some downsides to extra layers on your roof especially if it involves different types of roofing materials such as asphalt over shake or metal. Adding more weight to your roofing system without making ventilation adjustments could lead to problems down the road. There is also a limit to how many layers can be on a roof, so this is important to keep in mind if you plan on replacing the roof later on.

(3) What type of material is it and how long will it last?

The most popular roofing materials for residential homes is asphalt shingles but depending on the age of your home or slope of the roof, you could be purchasing a home with shake wood shingles, metal roofing or low slope flat roofing material such as TPO or EPDM. Different types of roofing have their own recommendations for maintenance, warranty coverage and lifespan. If you are not familiar with the type of roofing material on the home, it may be a good idea to do a little research on maintenance and cost of replacement.

(4) Is it under warranty and is the warranty transferable?

Depending on the install date, your roof could still be under warranty. If you are unsure of who may have installed the roof, it couldn’t hurt to make a few phone calls to roofing manufacturers to see if they have a warranty registered for your address. Be aware, even if it does have a warranty, depending on the manufacturer, some warranties are not transferable to the new homeowner no matter how new or old the roof is.

(5) Is the roof properly ventilated?

Your roof should have both exhaust vents as well as intake vents. This allows for a proper amount of airflow in and out of the attic space. If the airflow is not correctly balanced, it could result in mold or moisture build up in the attic space that can cause damage to your roof decking. Ventilation repairs can be somewhat inexpensive so correcting this issue right away can be critical.

(6) History of the roof.

If the roof was ever pressure washed or cleaned with a solution not recommended for your roofing material, this could have caused damage to the roof but this is easily identifiable. If your attic has every developed and been treated for mold, this is not necessarily a red flag. However, if the cause of the mold such as improper ventilation was not fixed or if the mold was not properly treated, it will come back.

(7) Do I need to clean it?

Here in the Pacific Northwest, roof maintenance is important. It is quite common for moss to grow on asphalt shingles in areas where it rains a lot. Depending on the area you live in, you may have to clean your roof once a year or every few years. If you have flat roofing material, it is important to avoid walking on it as much as possible, but make sure drains are clear and debris is removed.

Get a professional roofing contractor’s opinion and have peace of mind knowing the roof is in good condition. Just because you don’t own the home yet, doesn’t mean you can’t get another opinion from a roofer. Here at MCE, we offer free evaluations of your roofing and gutter systems. Give MCE a call at (503) 397-2215 or Fill Out Our Free Roofing Consultation Form to schedule a contact-free roof evaluation.. We are family owned and operated serving Columbia County, the Portland Metro and surrounding areas with over 25 years of experience.

Angie Holcomb
Author: Angie HolcombIn late 1993, one year after their marriage, Angie and Mark Holcomb decided it was time to follow their dream, and the couple set out to launch their own business. One year later, in 1994, Marks Custom Exteriors was established, one loving couple, one new truck and a passion for their vision. 25 years and many roofs later, MCE has grown to become Portland's premier roofing company and one of the only Nationally Recognized Roofing Companies in the State of Oregon as a GAF Master Elite Contractor. They remain committed to building lasting relationships with their customers through outstanding customer service, expert craftsmanship, and professional behavior and appearance among every member of our team.