One of the most critical parts of a home inspection before purchasing a new piece of property is the roof assessment. An old or damaged roof can make or break an impending contract on a home. Unless the asking price is reduced considerably to allow for replacement costs or the roof is repaired as a contingency of the sale, many prospective homeowners are not interested in buying a home with a faulty roof.

Replacing a roof comes with a hefty price tag. Even lower costing roofs such as asphalt shingles can be expensive. Before you purchase a new roof, make sure it’s a necessary move, understand the options available to you for new roofing material, and make sure you have chosen a reliable roofing contractor.

Is A New Roof Necessary?

Roofs that look worn or have small leaks aren’t necessarily roofs that need replacement. In many areas of the country, moss and algae buildup on the roof occurs often. It leaves the roof looking old, worn, and ugly. But it isn’t damaging. Merely bleaching and gently washing off the growth will give your roof new life. If you have other growth on your roof that is not moss or algae, or growth that’s built up causing moisture build up you may need to make some spot repairs.

From time to time you may experience small leaks in your roof, especially if you live in a windy area where shingles are prone to becoming loose or misplaced. Inspect your home from the attic, take a look at your roof for missing or lost shingles or loose flashing and seams. Repairing the hole and replacing the shingles may be all you need to keep your roof working as good as new.

Understand Your Options

The choices available to you in roofing materials are plenty. Regardless of your current roofing material, your future roof can be composed of one of many different options. For example, metal roofs are great for longevity and easy to install. Asphalt shingles are inexpensive and easy to replace. Wooden shingles are aesthetically unique and stand up well to coastal environments. White roofs are an excellent environmentally friendly option. Each option comes with a different price tag, and some will even up the retail value of your home.

Choose A Reliable Contractor

Probably the most crucial step you should take before replacing a roof is taking the time to vet potential roofing contractors properly. Once you’ve conducted initial research and narrowed your options down to a few candidates, ask them all of the questions you have before signing any contract with them. Appropriate items include the following:

“Are you licensed and insured?”

“Can I see a copy of your insurance and license?”

“Do you offer a free evaluation?”

“How many years have you been in business?”

“Will you have a dedicated project lead or POC for my roofing project?”

These and any other questions that come to your mind you should ask of any contractor who is going to be paid a large amount of money on such an important project.