February 1, 2002 (Palm Springs, Calif) The California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) reports that there are two common techniques of evaluating roof serviceability 1) inspection and evaluation of the overall physical condition of the materials, such as the shingles or tiles; or 2) simply answering the basic question "Does it leak?"
CREIA wants homebuyers and home sellers to be aware that the preferred method employed by qualified home inspectors and by professional roofing contractors is the first technique of evaluating the physical condition of the roofing materials. If the roofing is found to be damaged or decomposed, replacement is routinely recommended, regardless of whether there is evidence of leakage.
The alternate point of view, the "does-it-leak" approach, is a faulty form of wishful thinking. It assumes that because a roof that has not leaked in the past, it is not likely to do so in the future. This flawed reasoning is often practiced in the desperate hope of avoiding the inevitable cost of replacing a roof.
Neither the home seller nor the homebuyer should ignore the warning signs of a failing roof. To do so could cause exposed walls, ceilings, and furniture to needless damage in the future. Deferred maintenance is not a recommended course of action for something that could cause so much collateral damage to a home.
If a qualified home inspectors and a professional roofing contractor recommend replacing worn out shingles or tile, these recommendation should serve as a forewarning of impending roof failure. With such an important component of one’s house at stake, the conventional wisdom of proactive and preventative care for the roof is the wise course of action.
This real estate bulletin has been brought to you by the California Real Estate Inspection Association. Since 1976, CREIA, a non-profit voluntary membership organization has been providing education, training, and support services to the real estate inspection industry and to the public. Inspectors must adhere to CREIA's Code of Ethics and follow the Standards of Practice developed by the association. These Standards of Practice have been recognized by the State of California, and are considered the source for Home Inspector Standard of Care by the real estate and legal communities.
CREIA requires its members to successfully pass a written test of property systems and complete 30 hours of education each year. Members can accumulate credits through various sources of education including monthly chapter meetings, conferences, and other approved activities. CREIA keeps records to ensure that members are complying with the requirements. Educational topics cover a variety of technical subjects including updates and advances that affect property inspection and the business of real estate inspection.
To locate a qualified CREIA inspector near you, click here.