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How to Assess a Roof Before Buying a Home

man on roof

A home is often the most expensive investment that you will ever make in your adult life. Because of this, it’s important to know exactly what you are getting yourself into before signing the closing paperwork. As part of the overall inspection process, the roof of a home will need to be carefully scrutinized to determine its condition. Let’s take a closer look at some of the details that you’ll want to consider when assessing the quality of a roof. It’s ideal for determining whether or not it can protect the rest of the home from the elements.


If it is properly maintained, an asphalt roof will last for about 20 to 30 years. A metal roof will usually have a longer lifespan, also assuming that it has been properly maintained. Weather conditions can impact a roof’s lifespan. As shingles or other roofing materials are exposed to humid air or varying temperatures, they can experience more wear and tear. They may not last as long as those that are protected by relatively calm conditions.

You may consider inquiring with the seller to find out if they have documentation available regarding when the current roof was put on the home.


Regardless of how great a roof might seem at the present moment, it will eventually need to be replaced at some point. If the existing roof only has one layer of shingles on it, it will likely be possible to place another layer on top of them. If the roof has multiple layers of shingles on it already, a complete tear-off will need to be performed. This can add time and money to a roof replacement project. In addition, multiple layers of shingles will add weight to the roof. This can make a home more susceptible to different types of damage, like foundational cracks.


Shingles tend to become increasingly brittle as they age. This may make them susceptible to curling or shrinking. When this damage takes place, it becomes harder for shingles to protect a home from rain, wind or other types of inclement weather. Ultimately, the presence of deformed shingles is a clear sign that a roof is either old or in need of repair.

Shingles may show signs of damage if they are not installed correctly. In such a scenario, even newer shingles are prone to be blown away in a storm. They can also lose granules or be ineffective at protecting the rest of the roof. If the roof is missing any shingles, you should ask the seller to take care of the repair before the transaction goes through.

It’s important to note that the only way to determine the extent of any damage to shingles, roof decking or other components is to have them inspected prior to purchase. You can feel free to give Axis Roofing in Mesa a call to have this done in a timely and professional manner. We can also perform roof repairs, replace an existing roof, perform routine maintenance or take other steps to keep your home safe and protected.


If you see algae or moss growing on a roof, this could be an issue worth addressing. Anything that grows on a shingle can be seen from the street, which can reduce a home’s curb appeal and resale value. This may also indicate the presence of excess moisture. When moisture is present on a roof, this can pose a risk for mold growth. Such conditions can be caused by a lack of sunlight hitting a specific portion of the roof or a damaged roof that is allowing moisture to pool up.

You’ll need to consider the fact that organic material on your roof may attract birds, rodents or smaller pests to your home. In addition to potentially damaging your roof, they may decide to make their way into your home, creating a whole host of additional problems.


There are two main causes of a sagging roof that signify significant problems with a home. The first cause is water damage from rain not properly funneling away from the house. This can cause shingles, decking, and other materials to weaken to the point where they cannot support the weight of the roof.

A sagging roof can be caused by issues with the foundation. A cracked foundation can cause the home to sink. The roof can end up looking uneven. The only way to determine the cause is to have the roof inspected by a professional.

It may also be a good idea to have a look inside the house for other signs of water or foundation issues. If you see stains on the ceiling, this may be a sign that the house has a moisture problem caused by a damaged roof.

The professional who conducts your roof inspection will also take a look at the home’s interior for signs of water or other damage. An inspection may include a walkthrough of the attic to look for signs of mold, mildew or rot. It may also include a look at interior walls or other surfaces that may provide more insight into the health of the roof of the home.


Old, damaged or improperly installed gutters may be the reason why water is unable to funnel away from a house. Gutters that have been on a home for more than 20 years may be nearing or at the end of their lifespan. If you notice holes or gaps between the gutter and the edge of the roof, this may indicate that the gutters need to be repaired or replaced if you buy the home.

You may also want to investigate if a home has missing gutters. This problem can lead to water to pooling by the home, eventually making its way to the foundation. When water pools around your foundation, this can cause mold growth that quickly spreads through your basement and home. It’s fairly common for homeowners to replace gutters and downspouts when they replace the roof so that everything is functional for the next several years or decades.

Even if gutters and downspouts are in good shape, they may offer clues to the condition of the roof. If you notice granules or similar types of debris near the bottom of a downspout, this may be a sign that the shingles are getting old and need to be replaced. The material is breaking down on the roof and washing down to ground level.

If you are in need of a roof inspection in the Mesa area, reach out to Axis Roofing for assistance. In addition to inspections, we can also help with repairs for damage caused by storms. If necessary, we are able to work with insurance providers to ensure that work is done in a timely and professional manner.

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