When should I consider getting a roof inspection?
• If a home inspection shows a few minor problems with the roof
• If a home inspection estimates a roof life of less than 10 years
• If your home inspector doesn’t get onto the roof during the inspection
• If you just want a roof inspection because the roof protects the house and belongings inside
• If the roof is brand new (sometimes sellers will get a new roof in anticipation of selling the house but won’t research for a good roofer. They could have a new roof that is missing important components such as flashing or underlayment or is not installed to code!)
There isn’t any need for an additional inspection if the inspector already recommends replacement. There probably isn’t any need for a roof inspection if the roof is brand new and it has a written transferrable workmanship warranty (make sure you read the warranty).
Why wouldn’t I just go with what a home inspection says?
Home inspectors typically have very limited construction knowledge and limited time for each inspection. Extensive training and time would be crucial to find every issue with every component of a house.
Do home inspections ever actually miss anything major?
Yes! It is very common for buyers to receive a home inspection stating that the roof has at least two years of life left when it’s in desperate need of replacement. The inspection may mention relatively minor issues such as some nails backing out or bad rain collars (the rubber part of the flashing around the vent pipes) but miss major granule loss or overlook major damage from large amounts of moss having been removed.
What if I find out the house needs a new roof and can’t find a roofer who can replace it before the sale?
If you go with a local lender such as Umpqua Bank or a credit union they are much more likely to offer what is called an escrow hold-back. Basically, with an escrow hold-back the seller signs a contract to have the roof done with the contractor and provides the contractor the down payment. Money will be kept as part of escrow in order to pay the contractor the final payment for the finished roof after you already have the loan to buy the house.
How can I verify that the contractor a seller has chosen will do a good job and is properly licensed and insured?
• Look up the contractor’s CCB number (our CCB number is 226020) at https://www.ccb.state.or.us/search for a history of compliance and complaints
• Look up the contractor at bbb.org
• Read online reviews
• Be skeptical if they offer things which may be too good to be true such as 30 year shingles or 50 year shingles (very high end shingles such as triple laminates may last 30 years)