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Old 03-30-2014, 11:05 AM   #1
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When to start worrying about a roof


Hello All.

I moved into my home in April 2013 and ever since then I've been making repairs / corrections to items that the previous owners have made such as a home-made french drain system that ended up costing me $7,000 out of pocket. Normally you would think one would elect not to deal with it but the overall shape of the house is fine and it was a steal for the area the house is in.

So naturally before I purchased the house I had several contractors out to the house to take a look at the roof, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to get the house appraised or insured.

I do need to mention that we did have the seller pay for the soffit in the front of the house to be repaired as it was rotted out completely in one section of the house and it also did not have any front or rear rain spouts so we had that taken care of as well.

Out of the 5 contractors that came out none of them stated that the roof was in that bad of shape though they did mention several different time spans of how long I have left for the roof before I need to replace or repair it. I got lengths from 1-2 to 3-5 years and one even mentioned 5 years.

I eventually got in contact with an ex-boss who happens to run a housing business and he sent out of his roofing guys out to check the house of for me and this is what he said

"The roof that is currently on there is not in that bad of
shape. I would figure you can get another 5-8 years out of it before
you had to do something with it. There are currently two layers on the
back and one on the front, New Castle County code only allows two
layers,so you cannot add a third. The plywood feels soft in a few
areas, I would expect to have a few sheets to replace but would not
expect all the plywood to be bad. I would recommend, if you are not
going to replace the roof for a year or two, to have someone replace
the pipe collars and check the sealant around other penetrations."

Needless to say that put some ease in my mind about the roof and took care of the issues he mentioned. However we recently had a usually rough winter (Delaware) and now my mind is questioning the state of the roof. I typically go up into the attic to check it out and the only main issue was a section of the roof was sagging, maybe less than an inch which I re-enforced with some 2x4's. It wasn't leaking but I suspected it was due to that section of the roof having 2 layers.

So while the roof isn't leaking, you can't see any light from the roof other than from the vents and it doesn't seem soft in many areas that I can tell from the area my concerns is that I don't know the age of the roof. Other than several sections that I see in the front that look like they are coming up and the back that looks worse due to the two layers I think I should be ok, but still you never know. I know the house was built in 1957 so at least once or two it was replaced and repaired but there's noting in the permits showing roof work.

Should I be worrying as much as I am or is this a legit concern here?

Thanks for your time in advance!

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Old 03-30-2014, 11:25 AM   #2
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When to start worrying about a roof


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Originally Posted by kdmitchell27 View Post
Hello All.


Should I be worrying as much as I am or is this a legit concern here?

Thanks for your time in advance!
Surprised I waded through all of that to get to the question. My answer is no and no. Sounds like you already did proper due diligence in figuring out the condition. But it does sound like now is the time to start thinking about and planning for a new roof. Most people don't do anything until it's shot and leaking and then it's an emergency all of a sudden and they are stressing out and sometimes mistakes are made in haste they may regret later.

You now have a five year notice that your roof should be replaced sometime in that timespan. Don't base it on how many more years you can maybe squeeze out of it but rather base it on when you can afford to do it properly and just get it done. Your life will be a little less stressful

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Old 03-30-2014, 01:24 PM   #3
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When to start worrying about a roof


Thanks and sorry about the long winded topic. Part of my nature and job to provide long detailed explanations =)
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:22 PM   #4
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When to start worrying about a roof


Any real roofer can tell about how long a roof has been on in about 10 min's without even a ladder.
Someone did not do you any favors by adding that second layer.
It's now going to cost twice as much to strip it.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:28 AM   #5
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When to start worrying about a roof


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Any real roofer can tell about how long a roof has been on in about 10 min's without even a ladder.
Someone did not do you any favors by adding that second layer.
It's now going to cost twice as much to strip it.

The operative words here being "real roofer", New Castle Cty is rife w/ fly-by-night roofers just halfassin' it.
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