Home Buyer Consumer Notice
Buying a new home can often be an overwhelming process, especially when that home is older, and you are presented with a multitude of items that your home inspector identified need attention. One of these items is likely the roof.
However, are you getting the REAL story on the condition of your roof?
Most home inspectors do a good job of finding the items that need repair on the home you are interested in purchasing. However, the inspectors assessment of the roof is limited to what they visually see from the rooftop.
What does this mean to you the prospective home buyer?
You may not be getting all the information that you need regarding the condition of your roof. It also means that you may be purchasing a home with a “soon-to-be” $10K to $15K repair shortly after you take ownership. This roof repair WOULD NOT BE covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy nor would it be covered under your home warranty.
What information am I missing?
Let’s begin by answering these two questions about the home you are interested in purchasing:
1. Is the home close to or exceed 20 years of age?
2. Does the home have a tile roof?
If your answer to these questions is YES, then you are missing an integral piece to the puzzle in determining whether the roof is in sound condition or in need of significant, costly repairs. Again, the home inspector is only able to make a visual inspection of your roof and in some instances only inspect from a ladder’s edge. The home inspector typically includes a disclaimer in their report that suggests further evaluation by a licensed roofing contractor. However, this suggestion is often brushed over and only the visual items that are identified are repaired (i.e. broken or shifted tiles, cleaning excessive debris, and sealing vents). These items can usually be repaired for under $1000 and handled quickly to not interfere with the closing, however, they do not address the REAL CONCERN with the roof.
What should I really be concerned about?
When a tile roof in our area approaches or exceeds the 20-year mark the underlayment begins to fail. When this occurs, interior leaks are the result. The tile itself is typically made of concrete and will last beyond 50 years, but the underlayment is a different story, and it is the underlayment that ultimately keeps water from getting into your home. The use of builder grade materials combined with our hot, dry desert climate conditions can lead to failure of the underlayment more quickly than in other parts of the country, which is why it is imperative to have the underlayment inspected as well. This type of inspection involves removing the tiles in various areas of the roof and observing the condition of the underlayment below. This is not an inspection method performed by home inspectors. The typical findings on a home at or near the 20-year mark are cracking, curling and brittleness of the material. If this is the case, substantial leaks are soon to follow. Even though the home may not have leaks currently, the likelihood of this occurring within the first few years you own your new home are great. The cost to replace the underlayment on the typical home in our area can easily exceed $10K.
What should I do?
Don’t get caught with an unwanted surprise! Often those involved with the purchase of your home (realtors, sellers etc.) want to gloss over these issues because it leads to the cancellation of the contract. However, as an informed consumer you NEED to have all the facts before you decide on whether to complete your purchase.
At In-Ex Designs, we are experts in properly inspecting and assessing the condition of the roof. Whether it be tile, asphalt shingles or flat roof systems, we will provide a thorough inspection and comprehensive report of our findings. Furthermore, we will provide a face-to-face consultation with you to review the needed repairs, ensuring costs for the repairs and answer any questions you might have.