The roof of a house remains one of the most important “make it or break it” factors for prospective homeowners. Those interested in purchasing residential real estate or current homeowners considering selling a house must ensure the roof of the home is built to last, designed for the region’s weather, and will provide protection for years to come.
Whether you’re heavily invested in real estate or someone looking to flip a project home for profit, here are 5 signs you need to replace your roof if you want your house to sell on the the market.
1. Your Roof is Coming Up on 15 or 20 Years of Age
The average roof has a life expectancy of around 20 years, give or take. This applies to traditional 3-tab shingles, with more intensive residential roofing shingles (architectural, for example) having a slightly longer lifespan. Keep in mind that the typical 20-year lifespan given by manufacturers is for roofs maintained under certain ideal conditions. Essentially this means if your region experiences brutal sun or regular beatings from storms you may want to replace it earlier. From the standpoint of eventually selling the home consider the investment of completely replacing the roof if it is past the 15 year mark. You could very well make more off the home by putting a whole new roof on it, as this will be one less fix homeowners will need to consider when comparing prospective homes.
2. Your Current Roof Style is Outdated or Unpopular
Just like any other industry the world of real estate is subject to trends. The same rings true for construction and remodeling. Even though the roof of a house isn’t the first thing to catch the eye it still affects curb appeal. The more attractive and well-kept the roof is, the better. Keep in mind that this can be subject to what other homes are roofed with in the neighborhood.
3-tab shingles remain a very popular, budget-friendly choice and by all means is still a good roofing option. However, if you’re replacing the roof completely you should think twice before using this fairly simple shingles again. Consider the neighborhood the home is in. If majority of the homes have architectural shingles than using 3-tabs may reduce the value.
3. Your Roof Has Experienced Damage from Weather
A sad reality for some roofs, even perfectly installed new ones, is that mother nature can still decide to wreak havoc. Areas that are prone to experiencing powerful storms, particularly those with high winds, may cause the roof to take unplanned damage. A simple inspection is all it takes to see if the roof has suffered too much damage from violent weather. Crooked shingles and shingles with curled edges are commonly seen after a storm. Curled shingles can indicate that heavy winds may have exposed the membrane under the roof or possibly cracked shingles from underneath. Crooked shingles indicate that a shingle was loosened and is likely damaged. Sometimes replacing a few shingles will solve the problem but if there are missing shingles or a large section of damaged shingles it’s time to just replace the roof entirely.
4. Your Roof is Leaking or Showing Water Damage
If the roof is already leaking inside it means damage has already been done and there is no question that you need to have the roofing replaced. Finding where a leak started isn’t as easy as it sounds, meaning you can’t reliably replace a damage patch of shingles and expect the leak to stop. It is better to have the whole roof off, have water damage inspected by a professional and go from there. A leaking roof is one of the biggest turn-offs for a prospect. Roofs showing any type of water damage are also a red flag. Typically you’re better off investing in a whole reroof than trying to sell a home for cheaper.
5. Your Roof is Showing Signs of Aging
Even if the roofing shingles on your home are under 15 years of age you may still need to replace them if you notice signs of premature aging. Premature aging can occur for a number of reasons, such as weather (as mentioned above), from strong sun exposure in hot climates, or from moisture being allowed to sit on the roof. People climbing on roofs, such as homeowners who’ve decided to use their flat roof as a deck without actually installing proper decking, will also cause aging. If the roofing shingles just look old and faded, feel brittle to the touch or you find shingles missing their protective granules/have bald patches, the roof is close to the end of its usable lifespan. The same goes for roofs that have had tree branches or foliage sit on them, causing moss or algae to grow on the shingles. Homes in wet climates that are under shade can easily start growing moss.
Overall, if the roof is looking old, worn or ugly you may want to reroof completely before putting it on the market. The foundation is equally as important as the home’s exterior, and failure of either will result in a crumbling home. The roof may not be the most exciting part of home renovation but paying attention to getting the right roof on or addressing concerns before they become problems will pay off during a prospect’s home inspection.