Buying A Home? How Do You Know The Roof Is In Good Condition?

Sunday, February 19th, 2017 by Gina Farese

Purchasing a home can be overwhelming.  At the time of a home inspection, make sure to ask your inspector to go on the roof and do a full evaluation. 


Items you want to make sure they are looking for include:

  1.  Specifically inspect any and all roof flashings where the shingles meet any roof penetrations.  Knowing any potential points of failure will enable you to attend to them before they become an issue.
  2. How many layers are on the roof?  Check ALL roof surfaces.  The maximum amount of layers the current code allows in New York State is two layers.  Anything more than two layers can be costly to remove because there is now additional weight of roofing to remove and dispose of.  
  3.  What’s under the shingles?    The substrate is the roof decking underneath the shingles.  You can typically see this from the inside of the attic or sometimes even at the gutter line of the roof if you lift the shingles.  Substrates can be composed of plywood, tongue and groove planking, and cedar typically.  Many homes on Long Island built in the late 60's to early 70's were built with a 3/8" builder's grade three-ply plywood and were not ventilated properly.  These homes are more likely to need some plywood replacement but you cannot typically tell if the house will need plywood replaced until the roof is removed.  Homes built before then were frequently built with tongue and groove which is the strongest decking and typically, we don't see much plywood needing to be replaced on these homes.  Most importantly, if cedar or wood shakes are discovered on a home, you may want to try to negotiate a seller’s concession on the roof.  Roofs with wood shakes underneath asphalt shingles are typically the most costly projects and messy to replace. 

       4.   Be sure to check the ceilings for staining and ask your inspector to check the ventilation of the attic space. 


The roof doesn’t have to be a deal breaker but knowing what to look for so you can negotiate the price of the home accordingly can save you thousands and thousands of dollars and a huge headache. 

Feel free to call or email Marcor Construction Roofing and More for all of your roofing needs.  


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We serve the following areas

  • Arverne
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Marcor Construction Roofing & More
419 Great East Neck Rd
West Babylon, NY 11704
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