There are so many things to consider when you are buying a house. Things like what type of loan you are going to use, where you want to live, how much you are willing to spend are just a few of the many things that buyers think about. Once you find a property that you are interested in, it is important to gather information and look at all the homes major systems. The roof is one of the most significant.

Below is some information on what you should look for when checking out a properties roof:

Roof age

Your realtor should be able to find out the age of the roof from the previous seller or from the MLS records/disclosures. The age is an important consideration, as it will allow you to better understand if you should be budgeting for a new roof in the next few years or if its something you don’t need to worry about right now.

Missing/broken shingles

Regardless of the roofs age, you want to keep an eye out for damaged shingles. Broken, cracked or missing shingles can lead to leaks and water damage. The good news is that you can likely spot these problems and the general roof condition from the ground.

Blocked/broken gutters

If gutters are bent, broken, or blocked, they likely are not working properly or efficiently which means they are not carrying the water away from your roof. This can cause backups and deterioration of the lower portion of the roof.

Water stains

Water stains in the ceiling on the top level of your house is a strong indicator that there is or was a leak in your roof. Be sure to ask the seller for proof of repair if they tell you it is an old stain.


A good ventilation system is critical to help regulate the temperature of your roof and attic. Poor ventilation can raise the cost of your utility bills, cause mold and can shorten the life span of your roof.


Mold, moss and algae are clear signs of elevated moisture levels on the roof and cause damage and eventually leaks. The good news is that these items can typically be seen easily from the ground and can be remedied.

All of these things can help you decide the condition of the property and whether or not this is the property for you. While looking for these items pre-offer is important, it is equally important to get a professional inspection done after you go under contract, prior to closing.