Friday, May 12, 2017

Defect of the Week

In the last week or so, two different houses were found to have roofs with asphalt shingles covering wood shingles. Sadly, I have to tell my clients that they probably won't be able to get homeowners insurance on such a house until the roof is stripped and replaced. And for the seller, that means that no one will be able to buy their house until something is done about the roof.

For decades, it has been a common practice to cover existing wood shingle roofs with asphalt (or "composition") shingles when the house needed a new roof. It wasn't perfect, but it worked. A few years ago, after many storm related insurance claims, the major insurance companies made a business decision not to write new policies for houses that had asphalt shingles over wood shingles. It doesn't matter what kind of shape the roof is in.

Two, and sometimes three, layers of asphalt shingles are fine.  But, not asphalt over wood. Why? For the insurance company it just costs so much more in labor and materials to replace such a roof system if you were to make a claim in the future. A wood roof has gaps underneath the shingles to allow the roof to "breathe". Asphalt roofs instead need solid decking to go under the felt and shingles. So the asphalt-over-wood roof needs to be stripped to the bare rafters and started from scratch. That's where the expense comes in.
From the outside, the roof may look normal. But once I lift of the edge of the asphalt shingles, and also look in the attic during your Complete Home Inspection, then I know there are two layers, with the asphalt composition shingles over the wood shingles. And that means that the house may be uninsurable.
That's just another reason to have your prospective house inspected by Complete Home Inspection BEFORE you buy it. And for sellers, it's another reason to have your house inspected BEFORE you put it on the market. It's a great way to avoid last-minute surprises for either party, and get some peace of mind at a very hectic time for you.
Whole house inspections, condo inspections, radon testing, mold testing, we do it all for you. Call or E-mail today to schedule your Complete Home Inspection, 913-268-02222,

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