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The roof is among the essential components when buying a home. A solid roofing system protects your home from the elements and adds value to your property. On the opposite side, a faulty roof can lead to leaks, water damage, and expensive repairs. Here are some essential things to remember about roofing systems when shopping for a new home.

Along the Atlantic seacoast, you’ll need a roof that can withstand high winds, direct sunshine, rain, and snow. Each season brings unique weather concerns.

The Size Of The Home

Larger homes typically require larger roofs to provide adequate coverage. As with any larger home, this means there are more potential areas for leaks and other problems. All roofing components work together to keep your home dry, so every piece of fascia, gutters, flashing, decking, and drip edge matters when preventing water damage.

The Age Of The Roof

The average asphalt shingle roof has an approximate lifespan of two decades, while metal roofing systems can protect for up to five decades. Therefore, if an older home is on your list of favorite homes, it’s crucial to ask about the roof’s age. If the roof is close to its lifespan, you should factor the replacement cost into the total purchase cost.

The Roof Condition

Even a newer roof can have problems if it isn’t properly maintained. Be sure to ask for records of any recent repairs or maintenance, such as replacing missing shingles or fixing leaks. Getting a professional roofing inspection is a due diligence before you close on the home. This inspection will provide an accurate assessment of the roof’s condition, and knowing this information firsthand offers peace of mind knowing that the roof is solid.

The Pitch Of The Roof

Another factor that can affect the lifespan of your roof is the pitch or angle. A steeper-pitched roof drains water and snow more efficiently, which can help extend its life by keeping moisture away from the roofing materials. In the New England area, a steeper pitch helps to prevent ice dams, which can cause leaks and water damage.

Energy Efficiency

As more homebuyers are aware of the importance of energy efficiency, they are looking for homes that offer this feature. When you’re buying a home, be sure to ask about the roof’s energy efficiency. A roof with proper insulation keeps your home cooler during summer and warm in the winter, saving you money on your energy bills.

Furthermore, adequate ventilation in the attic can also help extend your roof’s life by preventing moisture buildup and ice dams. Most newer homes, by default, have energy-efficient roofing systems that meet or exceed local building code requirements.

The Cost Of Maintenance And Repair

While a metal roof is a wise investment for its longevity, it’s important to remember that it may require more upkeep than an asphalt shingle roof. Metal roofs must be cleaned and inspected regularly to prevent rust and other problems. Similarly, a slate roof is a durable option, but it can be pretty expensive to repair if there is any damage.

As you’re considering different homes, be sure to ask about the routine maintenance and repair costs for the roof so that you can plan and budget accordingly.

Upgrades Or Added Features

Another factor to consider when shopping for a new home is whether there are any roofing upgrades or added features that could require additional care. Examples would be solar panels, skylights, or a chimney. These features can add value to your home but may require special care and maintenance.

For instance, skylights are a beautiful addition to any home but must be maintained to prevent leaks. Cracked or broken seals and missing flashing are all common problems with skylights. If you’re considering buying a home with skylights, ask about their condition. If the seller knows of issues, ask if they are willing to make repairs or replace them before signing any deal.

Solar panels are another popular upgrade that can add value to your home. However, much like skylights, they add some complexity to your roof. Solar panels must get cleaned and inspected regularly to ensure they remain in good working order. Further, proper installation is a must to prevent damage to your roof.

If you’re considering buying a home with solar panels, ask about their age and condition. Have the seller provide records of any maintenance or previously completed repairs. Hiring an independent inspector to assess the state of the solar panels is also a good idea.

The Warranty

When buying a home, it’s essential to determine if the roof is still under warranty. If it is, ask for copies of any documents so that you can review them carefully. In most cases, the seller should be able to provide you with a transferable warranty.

Remember that warranty coverage can vary based on the roofing materials used and the roofing installation contractor. If a warranty no longer covers the roofing system, getting a professional roofing inspection is a proactive step that can help you avert inconvenience and hassle. An unbiased professional can help determine the roof’s expected lifespan and identify potential problems.


Undoubtedly, buying a new home is a huge life event, and it’s a decision that is not one to take lightly. There are many factors to consider, and the roofing system on your shortlist of favorite homes is among the most important.

Be sure to ask about the roof’s condition, energy efficiency, expected maintenance and repair costs, upgrades or added features, and warranty. Doing research before putting an offer on a home can save you time, money, and headaches later. If you need advice on a roofing system for your home in Newton, Wellesley, Dover, Hingham, Norwell, Needham, Cohasset, and Scituate. Our experienced roofing technicians can help with fast, friendly, and professional roofing services. Contact us today to begin the conversation.