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  • Writer's pictureSquare One Inspections

Value of a Home Inspection: Roofing

During this very active real estate market, many buyers are opting to pass on a home inspection in an effort to make their offer more attractive. This is very risky and could lead to significant expenses for you and make it challenging or costly to re-sell the home in the future.

Many buyers feel confident in identifying key issues in the short window of time they have to walk through the home. Hardwood floors are beautiful, each window is clean, and not a scratch on the stove. Having a trained eye to help guide you in one of the most important (and likely the largest) purchases of your life will help you see beyond the surface. After inspecting thousands of homes of all shapes and sizes, we already have an advantage. Let us help.

Below are two pictures. The bottom shows a nice home. Well maintained and looks like a new roof. Did you even look at the chimney before walking inside to see the kitchen? Probably not.

Upon walking the roof, we come across a pretty significant finding: The chimney was recently re-pointed. Re-pointing is the replacement of the mortar that keeps the bricks in place and helps the overall structure of the chimney. A good pointing will last decades in the right conditions. Solid brickwork keeps the liner vertical and protected to help a furnace or fireplace vent swiftly to the outside. A large part of the chimney is to vent carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless bi-product that can lead to severe health problems, or worse. Venting this to the outside is required to keep your family healthy and safe.

When we reviewed the re-pointing while on the roof, we realized the pointing was poorly done and not by an experienced mason. The mortar had already begun to fail and the crown (concrete top used to shed water away from the chimney) developed four significant cracks. Every time it rains, water is getting inside. During colder months, rain or melted snow will collect and freeze in each crack. Water expands when it freezes, pushing bricks out and widening these cracks. Soon, a new chimney will be needed as it will be too late for a repair. Thousands of dollars spent to repair for a critical system that will likely lead to no additional resale value (as a kitchen or refinished bathroom may add).

No kids, we've decided to not head to Disney World this year. We get a new chimney! Yah!

While on the roof, we are also looking at condition of the covering, ventilation, and all roof penetrations. We regularly find broken or short plumbing stacks that help your waste system function properly. We also find sealant around vents and roof penetrations that may help us understand a leak or look for recent leakage in the same area. Sealant is not maintenance. Sealant is a sign of a prior issue that now requires annual maintenance until the roof covering is properly repaired or replaced.

We know this is a tough market, but don't make a bad situation worse by realizing a significant expense or dangerous situation after the sale.

We're happy to help find a time to make this work for you. Short notice, evenings, and weekends are all options. Give us a call or check out our online calendar and we'll see what we can do.

By the way, this isn't an example we archived just for this blog. This was last Friday...Every home has issues and that's OK. Nobody is looking for reasons for you to walk away from a home you are in love with. We simply want you to know what you're getting into so you can make an informed decision.

Good luck!

Matt and Matt

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