Home Improvement

Should you buy that house with an old roof

You love the house you found; it’s in a great location, has the perfect amount of space, and is located in a good school district. But you aren’t sure about the roof. Consider these things before buying.

There is one problem: You might be purchasing a home with an older roof. The number one reason to avoid buying a house is an old roof.

Roofs that are well-maintained can last for 30 years or longer. However, a poor installation or inferior shingles or tiles may mean replacing the roof sooner.

Ask the seller about the age of the roof and check the gutters for proper drainage. Also, be aware of dry rot (often caused due to poor ventilation), which can lead to sagging or crumbling.

Understand The Condition Of Your Roof And What’s Needed

Understand that the roof of the home you’re considering buying is not brand new (unless it was recently built). Each roof will show some signs of wear. It will require repair sooner or later.

How old is the roof? You are buying a home with a roof that is 15 years old. 20-year-old roof? As the number increases, you will have to make repairs sooner as a new owner.

A roof can last up to 30 years longer than average, depending on the material. The lifespan of asphalt shingles and composite shingles is different. Metal roofs, too, have a different life expectancy. Weatherization is a major factor in determining the life expectancy of roofs.

How can you make an informed decision after gathering all the facts?

– A home inspector can inspect the condition of your roof.

– You can ask the homeowner to provide documentation about the last time their roof was repaired.

– A professional roofing company can give you a second opinion.

– You can inspect the attic and roof space by yourself.

– Estimate the cost of repairs and when you’ll need them.

3 Signals That A Bad Situation Is Present In A House With An Old Roof

It’s sometimes best to let the homeowner fix a roof that is in bad condition. The home inspection will likely reveal these issues. However, in case it doesn’t, here are some warning signs of a failing roofing system.


It’s best to leave the property if the roof structure is in danger. It can be expensive and unnecessary to replace roof beams that are cracked or deteriorated.


Is there a missing shingle on your roof? Or are you noticing patches of sunlight in the attic? It is possible that the shingles are very old or need to be replaced immediately. Also, look out for algae and moss growth on exterior singles. If you find moisture in your attic, it could be a sign of poor ventilation. This will require additional work.


It is possible that a roof leak left unnoticed for a long time could have damaged the interior walls and ceiling of your home. You can check for mold or mildew by running your hand over the stain.

Should You Buy A House With A Roof Leak?

Roof leaks can be a problem. You should have a home inspection done if you are unsure of the severity of the roof leak.

It may be that the leak can be fixed with a cosmetic fix. You may find that the leak is not yet causing significant damage. Water may have been blocked by exterior shingles or debris, causing it to leak through the roof. This is an unlikely scenario but can occur on slanted roofing.

How Much It Could Cost You?

You could be in for a big bill if you need to replace your roof. The cost of a new roof can range from $10,000 to $40,000.

It’s not common to ask the seller to reduce the price of a roof just because it is old. You may be able to negotiate the price if you haven’t maintained your roof and need to make repairs to fix leaks or other serious issues. Most often, though, it’s your responsibility to replace or repair the roof. This cost should be included in your housing budget. It’s important to thoroughly research the issue before purchasing a home.

This post was written by Ted Williams! Ted is the owner of A Old Time Roofing, one of the best roofing companies in Saint Petersburg, FL! Ted is a Master Elite Weather Stopper GAF Roofing Contractor, a double award winner of Best Steep-Slope Contractor from GAF and achiever of Master Elite Consumer Protection Excellence from GAF. He has been serving the Pinellas County area since 1978. Old Time Roofing has a tradition of quality workmanship, servicing residential and commercial properties.

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