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What First-Time Home Buyers Need to Know About Roofs

The roof is one of the most critical parts of the home. Without a proper roof overhead, the home is vulnerable to water intrusion, structural damage, pest infestation, and mold. If you're a first-time home buyer, you may know little about roofs and roof care. But the more you learn, the more easily you will be able to care for and maintain your roof.
Read on to discover some of the aspects of the roof you should pay attention to when shopping for a new home.
Service Life
Roofs only last so long. Asphalt shingles — one of the most popular types of roofing material — lasts about 20 to 25 years with proper care. This time period may seem long, but in the world of residential roofing materials, it's not very long at all. Other roofing materials like metal, clay tiles and slate last longer. Here's a breakdown of how long standard roofing materials are expected to last:
  • Clay tiles: 100 years or more
  • Slate tiles: 100 years or more
  • Metal: 30-65 years   
  • Cedar shakes: 30-35 years
When you move into your new home, you should know how old the roof is. The age of your roof can help you determine when it needs to be replaced, which can help you decide whether or not it's time to start saving for a new roof.
If you're not sure how old the roof is and the sellers also don't know either, you might be able to find out by looking up the old building permits for your home. The last time your home was replaced, the roofers likely pulled permits before completing the installation.
Maintenance Needs
Some first-time homeowners are surprised to find out that their roof needs regular maintenance in order to maintain structural integrity. Important maintenance tasks include:
  • Gutter cleaning. Cleaning out the gutters helps prevent water from backing up onto the roof and helps prevent ice dams in the winter.
  • Annual inspections. Performing regular annual inspections helps homeowners identify problems before they become serious.
  • Debris clearing. Clearing away debris on the roof enables the shingles to dry out after storms, which can help prevent leaks.
  • Moss removal. Removing moss can prevent leaks and deterioration of the shingles.
  • Snow removal. Removing very heavy snow can reduce strain on the structure in the winter.
Regularly performing this type of maintenance or investing in regular professional maintenance helps homeowners take care of their home and extend their roof's life.
Signs of a Problem
It's important to know the signs of a roofing problem so that you can get it fixed right away. Some of the most common signs of roof wear and tear include missing shingles, curling shingles, and roof leaks. You can easily identify a roof leak by stains and bulging paint found on the ceiling and walls of the home.
Another sign that a roof has a problem includes balding shingles. When shingles begin to shed their granules, piles of granules may gather in the gutters or at the base of the downspouts.
Some of the most serious roofing problems are usually characterized by warning signs like a sagging roof or warped roof structure. If the home you're buying has this problem, consult with a roofing professional before you close.
Home buyers who are about to move into their first home may have more questions about how to maintain a roof. A professional roofer can help clear up some of these issues.
If you're a first time home buyer with questions about a roof, contact us at Hayco Roofing. We're happy to help you identify issues on your new house and answer your questions.