The Importance of pre-purchase roof inspection

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These days most people are aware of the benefits of getting a pre-purchase building inspection of a home prior to purchase. Most savvy buyers and investors usually make a successful building inspection a condition of offer when purchasing a property. This is great practice and can certainly prevent a potential home buyer from coming into unexpected renovation and repair costs or re-roofing however, over our years in business we believe an area many building inspections lack detail is the roof.

Almost every year we have a new potential client make contact about a property they have recently purchased and that they would like the roof looked at as they think it may need some work. Sometimes this is just minor repairs and maintenance but on some occasions the roof may need to be fully replaced or require significant work. Whenever this occurs, we can’t help but think the new potential home buyer should have been aware of this prior to purchase. At least being aware gives the potential buyer a negation point or allows them to financially prepare for the imminent extra cost.

A case that stands out most for us was that of a property in Crafers West in the Adelaide Hills. In early 2020 Oz-Roof received a request to inspect and quote on a roof with “a few issues”. Upon inspection we discovered that the roof was not only very old in parts (60 years plus) but it had been modified and altered by a previous owner “bob the builder” we like to say. The roof had many water leaks and significant problems. The previous owner had somehow managed to make parts of the roof fall in the opposite direction. Areas of the roof had significant rust and corrosion. There were flashings installed on top of flashings, the list goes on.

Above: One of the Oz-Roof team making structural modifications to allow this roof section to fall towards the gutter.

The new owners of the house were a young couple and they had actually sourced a pre-purchase building inspection just months earlier when purchasing the property. We had a look at the inspection report and noted how vague and lacking detail the roof section of the report was written. It was quite clear that this building inspector never walked on or even looked over the roof. The corrosion on this roof was so significant that had the inspector even looked at the roof on Google satellite it would have been obvious. Unfortunately for this couple when they attempted to sue the building inspector they found he was no longer in business. They were left with the bill of a new roof replacement and had no recourse of any kind.

Before After
We replaced their entire roof with new deep corrugated Zincalume roof sheeting and insulated it with a 50mm foil backed Insulation blanket. We reworked part of the timber structure to ensure the new roof had fallen and rectified all the “bob the builder” substandard modifications. The end result was fantastic and gave the new owners a leak free insulated and fully warranted roof for years to come.
Before After

The lessons to be learnt here are to check your building inspection to ensure it covers all elements of the property you are buying, especially the roof. Its also worth checking the reviews of the inspector or inspection company. To be extra diligent it can’t hurt to ask them for a copy of their professional indemnity insurance as this will help you in making a future claim against the company if its found that their professional advice was at fault.

Summary

If you are purchasing a property and are not sure about the integrity of it’s roof then give us a call. We offer no obligation and free advice over the phone. We can inspect most roofs from satellite while on the phone and give you an indication of the roof standard and what to look for prior to purchase.

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