PropertyBuying a new property? Let’s get the ladder out!

Whether it is your first home or 10th home, buying a new home is quite exciting. However, the joy should not make you forget that as you prepare to settle in, there is a maintenance list that needs to be tackled.

We have previously discussed that your roof is the primary barrier to all that Mother Nature throws at your and will often take the biggest hit in case of a weather disaster.

It is only prudent that before you sign that document to acquire a new home we take the ladder out and look at your new or not so new roof depending on the property.

As we go up the roof, here are a few assumptions that we would like to point out to you:

  • Your roof will not last forever

It has been said that all good things come to an end, so will your roof. Although most roofs have in fact lasted for decades, most roofs depending on the products used will require replacement after 10-50 years. This is why it is important for you to gather information such as the age of your roof, the product used, any repairs it has undergone and the type of roofing product used as well as its origin. This information might not be readily available but a qualified roof contractor will be able to gather this information for you and prepare a report that will guide you.

  • Water harvesting gutters system

Although we only think of water harvesting gutters as a means of collecting rain water from your roof, they also protect your home from wind driven rains damaging your eaves or water finding its way into your ceiling.

If your new roof has no gutters, we strongly recommend that you get a reputable company to install them, on the other hand, if gutters do exist, they will need to be thoroughly inspected for leakages, twigs and leaves that might clog up the downpipes and cleaned to allow free water movement from your roof to the storage tanks.

  • Re-roofing is cheaper than patch work in the long run

Most people masquerading as roof contractors will not tell you this as they get paid as often as you call them to repair your roof, but depending on the age of your roof, re-roofing will save you money and is the most guaranteed option. Engaging in roof repairs for an old roof will be an endless, unrewarding journey as new areas will keep popping up. It also helps to bear in mind that on 90% of roofs, the spot where you spot signs of a leakages is not necessary the point that the water is penetrating through. Hence higher chances of spending money and time repairing the wrong sections.

  • Leaks are not gaping holes

When buying a new home, you may be tempted to look up the ceiling trying to spot gaping holes. Unfortunately, leaking points tend to play hide and seek. In most instances the ceiling or walls will discolor or you might find signs of dampness and mold in your attic. This means you there is a leak somewhere. Call a reputable roofing company who will be in a position to identify the cause and point of leakage.

  • Guarantees

Most reputable roofing companies will offer and stand by their workmanship guarantees. These guarantees range between 10-15 years again depending on the roofing product. Check with the seller if any such guarantees exist, their limitations and if they are transferrable to you once you take ownership of the property.

  • Energy saving and environment friendly roofs

We know that roofing products containing asbestos were banned in Kenya, we nonetheless find them on some old projects that were done before the ban was implemented. It is for this reason that you need to find out whether the product that will be keeping you safe at night is indeed doing that or might become a health hazard.

In the upcoming issue of BUILDesign magazine, we shall discuss different roof terminologies that you need to know.

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