Roofs are a major repair expense—one neither homeowner nor a home buyer want to deal with. So, as a homeowner, how can you ensure your roof is up to par and will have a long-lasting life? Or as a home buyer, ensure the place you are buying won’t turn into an expensive repair nightmare?

Preventative Care and Immediate Repairs

One of the best ways to avoid a large repair bill is to implement preventative care. For cars, its usually oil changes and tire rotations; for HVAC systems, its routinely replacing the air filter; for pool systems, its regular cleanings and water treatments. For roofs, its routine inspections and immediate (and proper) patches.

Small leaks in a roof can cause extensive damage to the roof structure, attic, and other parts of your home if left untreated. The best way to identify leaks to stop them before they get worse is to perform routine inspections.

At the turn of each season, assess your roof from the outside and from the attic. Look for any missing shingles or discoloration of wood. These are often signs of a leak. Also check for mold. If you aren’t sure how to patch or confirm if a leak is present, contact a professional roofing company to handle the repairs and provide you with peace of mind.

During and after heavy rain, keep an eye out for dripping water, overflowing or sagging gutters, or pooling on the roof (visible from the ground; don’t climb onto a wet roof). These are often indicators of something wrong and may require additional attention to prevent further damage.

Professional Inspection and Recommendations

Homebuyers can also request a home inspector to perform a roof-only inspection. This inspection will provide an in-depth review of your roof, identifying any areas of concerns, repair recommendations, and the remaining life left in your roof.

If you are buying a home, an inspection of the roof is a part of the pre-sale/pre-purchase home inspection. It will provide you with the answers you are looking for about the condition of the roof as well as the rest of the home.