What Should Prospective Homebuyers Look for in the Roof?

It’s always a good idea to hire a professional to look over a house before you purchase it. After all, a home is a huge investment, especially in Oahu where the current median price of a home is coming in at 1.05 million (Oahu Real Estate Report). A well-maintained roof means you won’t be investing in a home with additional expenses.

The cost of replacing a roof can vary depending on the desired materials, square footage, slope of the roof, and additional factors. Regardless, it’s a large investment, and paying careful attention to the state of the roof is crucial as you view prospective homes.

Below are some key things to look for. But remember, an untrained eye can only see so much. Be sure to get a professional opinion as well.

Is there Mold in the Roofing?

Mold is very common in Hawaii due to the wet season, high levels of humidity, and higher temperatures throughout the year. Mold is very common in the wetter regions of the islands: the Windward side of Oahu, Hilo on Hawaii island, and the rainy areas of Kauai (just to name a few). It’s crucial that when looking at new homes you inspect the roofs for mold.

Mold can show up in certain patches of the roof where water tends to sit and penetrate the roofing. Asphalt shingle roofing is especially susceptible, as are wood roofs. It can also start underneath shingles, making it difficult to spot at first glance. Professionals will sometimes use infrared cameras to see where mold is hiding deep in the roofing material.

What are the Dangers of Mold?

Algae and mold outgrowths deteriorate roofing materials over time. This eventually compromises the integrity of the roof and can lead to leaks and breakages. Mold can also be a health hazard if it starts to grow into your ceiling!

Is there a Good Ventilation System?

A well-designed ventilation system will allow air and sunlight to flow through easily. Without good ventilation, making the roof vulnerable to decay. A properly ventilated roof will keep the roof and inner rooms cooler instead of trapping heat. Ventilation is also important for reducing moisture in the roof. Finally, trapped moisture in the roof can seep down, causing indoor and outdoor paint to blister or peel.

Does the Roof Have Good Gutters and Downspouts?

Old or broken gutters can lead to build up of water and foliage and damage the roof. Make sure to check where the downspouts lead. If they don’t lead to storm drains, your house or roof could be at risk for flooding due to the excess water.

Gutter replacement is costly on its own, but the damage that neglected or improper gutters can cause to the roof will make the cost increase even more.

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