7 Roofing Related Tips to Look Out For When Buying a Home


When you are buying a new house, it is extremely important to check the roof. Knowing about the roof will give you an idea of what kind of maintenance you should expect. Roof damage can be a deal-breaker because roof repairs aren’t something you would want to deal with when you move in.

This article from Crest Roofing gives you 7 roof-related tips to look out for when buying a home.

1) Check what type of roof it is.

As a general rule, the simpler the roof, the easier it is to maintain. There are many types of roofs and for Alberta’s climate, certain types of roofs hold up better than others over the years.

Gable and hip roofs are both simple, easy to maintain, and they are very durable against Alberta weather elements. Check Crest Roofing’s blog for more pros and cons of each type of roof.

Is it a flat roof?

If you’re looking at a flat roof, check to see what kind of material it’s made of. Each type of roofing material for a flat roof has a different lifespan and maintenance requirements. With flat roofs it is also best to have an experienced roofing contractor or roof inspector come do an assessment. Flat roofs can make for beautiful and elegant homes, but if not done right they can cause problems.

2) How old is the roof?

It depends on what the roofing material is and you have to check with the manufacturer for specifics, but here is the general guideline for roofing material lifespans:

Shingled roof: 15-20 years

Tar and gravel roof: Up to 30 years or more

EPDM Roof: 20-30 years

SBS Membrane roof: Up to 30 years or more

Metal Roof: Up to 50 years

Keep in mind that these numbers reflect ideals and to meet these lifespans, the roof will require regular and proactive maintenance.

3) Are there problems with the shingles?

Curling, cracking, buckling or missing shingles are all signs that you may need to get them replaced soon. Here are 5 Signs your Shingle Roof Needs Replacement or Repairs.

4) Check the roof gutters

They may look all right from the ground, but if you actually go up and look into the gutters, you can look for the following things:

  • What shape are they in? Check for rust, dents, and gaps.
  • Where do the downspouts go? Make sure the downspouts run off somewhere away from the house like into a draining system, rain barrel, the street.
  • Is there debris in them? Check for gutter gunk and for shingle granules building up in the gutters. Shingle granules could mean the shingles are nearing the end of their lifespan.
  • Are they draining properly? Check to see if there is water sitting in the gutters. It should drain properly to avoid turning your troughs into a garden along the eaves of the roof.

5) Is the roof soft to walk on?

There are only two reasons why a roof will be soft:

  1. The plywood/supports are rotten or weak.
  2. It is a flat roof that is made with rigid fiberglass insulation. It feels spongy, not soft. (Usually with commercial roofs)

If you buy a house with a soft roof, repairs or replacement are going to have to happen soon.

6) Are there lots of trees near the house?

Trees are wonderful to have on a property. They’re great for shade, you can mark a milestone by planting one, they can provide fruit, and they’re just lovely to look at. Unfortunately they can also be risky to have around homes.

Winter storms that dump huge amounts of snow in a short time can make trees or branches fall onto your roof. It happens every year in Alberta. Especially in Edmonton where we have a lot of old, impressively sized, Elm trees (Did you know? Edmonton has one of the largest concentrations of uninfected American elms left in the world?)

Branches can rub on the shingles and rip or tear them. It might not be happening now, but look for trees that have the potential to make contact with the roof. On flat tar and gravel roofs, trees brush away the gravel and leave the membranes exposed to the sun, which can cause cracking, blisters, and premature wear.

Trees that hang over your roof drop seeds, leaves, and pollen. These seeds can potentially grow under and between your shingles and cause damage. Seeds, leaves, and pollen can also clog up your gutters so at the very least you’d have to be vigilant about cleaning your gutters.

Wildfire danger is significantly increased if there are a lot of old, dry trees around your property and/or neighbourhood. This summer we experienced major home loss due to wildfires, even as close as St. Albert and any damage that you can prevent by not having a ton of trees near your home and roof could potentially save your neighbourhood.

7) Are there water stains on the ceiling or walls?

Water stains look like brown circles on the ceiling inside of the home. They can be caused by leaking pipes, but if the ceiling is on the top floor, it could mean a leak in the roof – make sure and get a proper inspection of the roof done before purchasing a home.

Are you looking for a home in the Edmonton area? We can help you find a home that’s right for your needs, give us a call – let’s chat!

If you are currently house-hunting and looking for experienced roofing pros to inspect your potential home’s roof, get in contact with the roofing experts at Crest Roofing.

Maintaining Your Home: Laundry and Utility Rooms


I am very particular with the referral partners I work with. Referring my clients to a house inspector who will educate, understand, and go the extra mile for my clients is so important. Brad Hanson from Hanson Inspections has proven himself to be one of the best home inspectors I have had to privilege to work with over the years. Here is Brad letting giving us a few tips on how to maintain and upgrade a few specific rooms in our homes.


There are a few things every homeowner should know to help him or her get the most out of their home. Each month, you’ll find plenty of useful information for keeping your house in great condition so that you can enjoy it for years to come. Preserve your investment, and keep your family safe and healthy, by maintaining your home using the following tips.

Laundry and Utility Rooms

Laundry Room: Watch for leaks and kinks developing at plumbing connections to the washing machine. Water can overflow from the top or bottom if the machine is overloaded with a load that’s too big, or if it is resting on an uneven surface.
Protect the electrical or natural gas connections to the dryer and ensure that they are not disturbed or accidentally dislodged from their connections.
A gas dryer vent that passes through walls or combustible materials must be made of metal. The length of a dryer exhaust ensures that its blower will be able to push sufficient air volume to take away the laundry’s damp air and lint. The maximum length of the exhaust hose should not be greater than 25 feet from the dryer to the termination at the wall or roof. The length can be increased only when the make and model of the dryer are known.
Inspect the dryer venting to make sure it is not clogged or restricted, which will help the unit operate efficiently and normally, as well as prevent the unit’s motor from overheating and failing. A clogged or restricted vent hose may also lead to an accidental fire caused by the ignition from built-up debris.
The clothes dryer exhaust poses a different problem than other exhaust systems because the air is damp and carries lint. Ensure that the vent exhausts go to the outside and not to the attic, crawlspace, or attached garage, because the wooden structural members of the house could be affected over time. The exhaust vent’s termination should have a backdraft damper installed to prevent cold air, rain, snow, rodents, and birds from entering the vent. The vent termination should not have a screen on it, as this can trap lint and other debris and pose a fire hazard.

Furnace Room: Rooms or closets containing combustion or fuel-burning equipment or appliances should not be located off a bedroom in a single-family residence (and must be in a publicly accessible area in a multi-family building).

Retaining Walls

If possible, weep holes and related drains should be assessed following a heavy rain to make sure they are working properly. If they are not discharging water, the drains should be cleaned out and observed again in the next rain. Retaining walls more than 2 feet high should be backed with drainage material, such as gravel. There should be drains at the bottom of the drainage material that should discharge the water either at the end of the wall or through pipes. These drains and the drainage material behind the wall relieve the pressure of groundwater on the wall. Failure to drain could be remedied by excavating behind the wall, replacing the drainage material and damaged drainage piping, and backfilling. In all but the driest climates, improper drainage of water from behind a retaining wall can cause the wall to fail.
Look for movement in your retaining walls. Bowing (vertical bulges), sweeping (horizontal bulges), and cracking in retaining walls can be caused by water pressure (or hydrostatic pressure). Bulging can also be a result of inadequate strength to resist the load of the earth behind the wall. Bowing and sweeping failures may be correctable if found early enough and if the cause is poor drainage.
There are other types of failures of retaining walls. Failure by over-turning (leaning from the top) or sliding may be caused by inadequate wall strength. In addition, water behind a wall can create unstable earth, especially in clay soils, and contribute to sliding. Retaining walls also fail due to settlement and heaving. Settlement occurs whenever filled earth below the wall compacts soon after the wall is built, or when wet earth caused by poor drainage dries out and soil consolidates. In cold climates, poor drainage contributes to failure by creating heaving from frozen ground. Both overturning and sliding earth may be stabilized and sometimes corrected if the amount of movement is not extreme. Settling may be corrected on small, low walls of concrete or masonry, and heaving may be controlled by proper drainage. Significant failure of any kind usually requires rebuilding or replacing all or part of a wall. Consult a qualified professional when major repairs or corrections are needed.


Have a few more questions about home inspections? Connect with Brad through his website.



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