A good roof is essential in a place like Tampa, where hurricanes and tropical storms can deliver a beating to coastal homes. If you’ve never bought a home before, you may not know what to look for or how to identify homes with roof trouble. Educating yourself before entering the real estate market can help you find a home that will stand up to the weather and be safe to live in for years to come.
Know the Qualities of a Good Roof
Good roofs can be hard to find. Know the qualities of a good roof so you can avoid homes with roof trouble. Here’s what you need to look for in a good roof.
Clay tile is popular in Florida and not just as an aesthetic choice. Clay tile is very heavy, durable and wind-resistant. Clay tile is also long-lasting. Properly maintained clay tile may last between 50 and 100 years.
In a place like Florida, the sun beats down mercilessly through hot summers and warm winters. Clay tile is resistant to UV rays and can withstand many years of exposure to the sun.
Many Florida homeowners also like the way clay tile stands up to salty air, which can be very hard on a variety of building materials. If you are looking at homes with clay tile roofing, rest assured that this is a good building material as long as it has been properly maintained.
A new roof, provided that it has been properly installed, is often better than an old roof. Roofs have a service life. If you buy a home with a roof at the beginning of its service life, you shouldn’t have to worry about your roof for many years.
If a home that you are trying to buy is advertised as having a new roof, the home sellers should be able to provide information about the roof’s warranty. Have your real estate agent ask about the warranty during the escrow period.
While you’re at it, check for the permits that would have been pulled if the roof was properly installed. Permits are required to re-roof a home in Hillsborough County, where Tampa is located. Records of the re-roofing will be on file at the local County Center office.
High Wind Ratings
Different roofing materials have different wind ratings. The higher the wind rating, the more durable that roofing material is in high winds. If the roof was installed by the current homeowner, the homeowner may have documentation that establishes the wind rating for that roof. Ask about the wind rating to gauge how well that roof is likely to stand up during a hurricane or tropical storm.
Watch for Signs of Roof Trouble
When looking at homes and considering whether to put in an offer on a property, look at each roof for signs of trouble. Common indications of a problem include:
- Cracked and missing tiles or shingles
- Curling shingles
- Sagging areas
- Stains on the ceiling inside the home
- Areas in the home where paint is bulging or bubbling
If you see any of these signs when looking at a home, you’d best move on unless you plan to get a deep discount when you make the offer.
Get the Roof Inspected
Of course, you’re not expected to be a roofing expert when you buy a home. Once you enter the escrow period, you will have some time to get the home inspected by professionals. After getting an inspection, you may be able to renegotiate the price if the inspections uncover problems with the property.
A good home inspector will have some knowledge of roofs and will be able to identify some roofing problems. If you’re worried, you can also get the home inspected by a roofer. This is a good way to determine for sure whether or not a roof is in good condition and is likely to withstand the type of weather that is typical in Tampa.
If the roofer or home inspector uncovers evidence of a problem, work with your real estate agent to decide next steps. If you’re able to negotiate a roof repair or replacement with the seller, specify that the roofer must be licensed with the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB).
Roofers that are licensed with the CILB will have a license number that can be verified online. Verify the license before the repairs are made. If the new roof on your new home is not properly installed by a licensed professional, you could find yourself fighting rain and wind damage for many years to come.
For more information about roofing in Tampa and how to find a home with a good roof, contact a professional roofer in the Tampa area. At Acoma Roofing Inc., we’re happy to answer questions you might have about Florida roofing. Call us today.