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Roofing Red Flags for Property Owners

Property buyers should know enough about the properties they’re eyeing before making a decision. In addition to the cost of the property, you also have to think about the expense of replacing or repairing the parts of the structure that don’t meet your requirements, are in a state of disrepair, or were made using materials that are no longer allowed today.

pooling water on a flat roof

One of the most important factors you have to take into account is the roofing system. Roofs are anything but cheap, and replacing them sometimes requires a lot of work and time, especially if structural problems have presented themselves.

To avoid issues with the propertt you buy, make sure these red flags are absent from the roofing systems on those properties:

Poor Condition

Some roofs never receive any real maintenance, and some are simply too old. Any roofing contractor would warn you about these issues:

  • Shingle cracking and blistering

  • Presence of shingle granules in the gutters and on the ground

  • Bald spots on the shingles (absence of granules)

  • Weather damage

  • Sagging

  • Raised shingles (which means the nails have popped)

  • Cracks or stains on the ceiling or the interior walls

Rooftop Pool

Instead of being a reason to buy a property, a rooftop pool might be a red flag that tells you to walk away. Rooftop pools are generally fine, but if a pool is not maintained, it can cause plenty of leaks and water infiltration. Pools are also heavy, and building movement can result in cracks and even dangerous cave-ins.


Not all roofs are pitched to allow water to quickly drain. If you’re looking at a property with a flat roof, make sure the roof doesn’t have problems with ponding. Ponding water adds unnecessary weight to the structure and is a major cause of roof leaks.

Phenolic Foam

Phenolic foam was largely used as roof insulation from the early 80s to the early 90s. This type of insulation, if exposed to water, becomes highly acidic. All it takes is a tiny leak or a little moisture and the insulation can cause rusting in the metal decking. It’s also highly friable, which means that if one small area is exposed to water, the problem gets worse because the material crumbled easily. Phenolic foam insulation can lead to safety issues if it compromises the roof’s stability.

For professional roof inspections and advice, get in touch with State Roofing, a trusted roofing company in the Washington area. Call us today at (360) 794-7164 or tell us about your project here. We’re ready to help you in Tacoma and Kirkland, WA.

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