Home Selling: Should I Replace My Roof?

When you live in a home, you may only go up to the roof once or twice a year. However, the condition of the roof could affect the kinds of offers you get on the home, or even that you get offers at all. Remember the major hail storms that damagned homes in Cedar Park? Home buyers do! Few people are eager to buy a home with a roof that is obviously leaking or missing a lot of shingles. This guide walks you through the common problems with a roof that you should look at before you list the home for sale. If you need a refresher course, or are selling for the first time, consider the following about your roof before listing.

Flashings

There are a couple of ways that your roof can leak water into the interior of the home. The most common relates to the flashings, especially around chimneys and skylights. The flashings are pieces that connect the skylight or chimney to the roof, or connect parts of the roof to one another. Flashings are typically made of some kind of metal, and are attached to the roof via caulking or roof cement. If the flashings are starting to come apart, there will be leaks into the interior. These leaks may be obvious or obscured, especially if they occur behind walls. This is a problem that should be addressed as soon as possible, because leaking moisture can damage the ceiling or walls connected to the skylight or chimney. Persistent moisture damage could promote mold growth. Fortunately, flashings are quite inexpensive and fairly easy to find pre-made.

Fascia and Soffit

The fascia and the soffit sit on the edge of the roof and primarily help to protect the roof and the interior structure from moisture damage. The fascia attaches to the edge of the roof, and the soffit sits under the exposed eaves. The soffit allows ventilation while preventing moisture. Over time, the soffit or the fascia can become damaged or start to rot. In this case, the roof is no longer protected from water infiltration. If the rest of the roof is in otherwise good condition, you may be able to replace the fascia and soffit individually at a lower cost.

Gutters

The condition of your gutters can be a source of a lot of problems for your home. It is odd to think that a relatively inexpensive part of your roof could cause so much trouble, but it is true. Your gutters should be kept clean and free of debris, especially while you trying to sell the home. This discourages standing water and can help prevent ice dams from accumulating. If you plan to sell during the fall or winter when there are a lot of falling leaves, you may want to install gutter guards. These additions cost very little and are fairly easy to snap on to your existing gutters. They allow water to flow freely through the gutters and to the downspouts without allowing leaves to get stuck or allowing critters to build homes.

Shingles

Most forms of roofing come in individual shingles. On the one hand, this is an ideal arrangement because it makes it easy to replace individual shingles. On the other hand, individual shingles are more prone to breaking or being blown away. Go up to your roof and inspect the shingles from all angles. If a number are missing or damaged, you can weigh the difference of purchasing replacement shingles or getting a new roof.

Roof Materials

If your roof is a good candidate for replacement, you need to consider the kind of investment you want to make. Putting on a new roof can cost a significant amount of money, from $5,000 to over $30,000. The return on investment is around 70 percent, so you will probably get an increased resale value. Consider what the average is for your neighborhood and your comps, and act accordingly. A roof in bad shape or nearing the end of its lifespan will probably come up on the home inspection, and it is better to make these fixes in advance, if you can.

Common roofing materials include wood shake, asphalt, slate, clay or concrete tile, and metal. Asphalt shingles tend to be the least expensive, and are also fairly simple to repair. Metal is often on the opposite end of the spectrum, largely because it is lightweight, practically indestructible, reasonably quick to install and can last a very long time. Find out about the codes in your area, because certain materials (e.g. wood shake) may not be permitted.

Determining whether or not to replace your roof before you sell is a complicated decision. Inspect the roof or ask a professional to identify the worst problems. Research costs, and the type of roof material that is most appropriate for your area. With this information, you can choose whether a few simple repairs or a full replacement is your best bet.

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