Understanding the Basics of Roof Certification

Roof certificates are not specified in every purchase agreement and they are separate from general home inspections. An inspector does not inspect roofs, so it's advisable to hire a roofing inspector before you close a deal to buy a home in Arlington real estate.

A roofing inspector can report about: possible movement; condition of the materials used in the roof; drip edges, caps, and ridges; soundness of gutters, downspouts, and drains; as well as flashing around vents, mountings of HVAC units, valleys, chimneys, and roof pipes.

If the inspector does not see the need for repairs, the roofing company will present an estimation on the life expectancy of the roof and will give a certification, which is good for at least two up to five years. On the other hand, if the roof does need to be fixed, the roofing company will only issue a certification after the repairs are completed.

There are factors that roof inspectors consider, including the following:

  1. Roof Type – The roofing materials commonly used are: wood shake, composition shingle, slate, concrete or clay tile, tar and gravel, metal or steel, and synthetic.

  2. Roof Age – Roofs last depending on the material used. For instance, wood shakes normally need repairs if they have passed ten years; tile roofs can last for over 50 years, given that no one has walked on them, as weight can make them crack; shingle roofs are guaranteed for at least 20 up to 40 years, depending on their quality.

  3. Roof Pitch or Steepness – Many roofing companies charge an extra cost for roofs that has a tremendous pitch. It can be calculated by measuring one straight foot of the roof, next to an even horizontal line. After that, measure the height of the roof at that point (the roof's rise) next to a vertical line. If the roof ascends four inches per foot, then its pitch is four. The steepest you normally can find is 12.

  4. Number of Layers – Some areas have regulations regarding the number of layers allowed on roofs before a total tear-off is needed.

  5. Previous Repairs – Even though seller disclosure is not required in each state, many roofing contractors do not honor a roof certification if the seller does not disclose past repairs done on the roof. Inspectors want to check previous repairs to be sure if everything's done properly and that they would not cause problems in the future.

Roof certificates can be purchased either by you or the seller. Just make sure that the roof is properly inspected before buying a house among the available Arlington homes for sale.

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