roof and gutter

Many people list “having a roof over your head” as one of life’s bare necessities. Too many home owners do not take this saying literally enough. Your roof is one of your best lines of defense against the elements, and a leaky or dis-repaired roof can send your home’s value plummeting.

For these reasons, it is vital to assess your roof’s condition before entering a sale. Here is what to look for:


A roof’s age will be the biggest determining factor for its performance. Roof shingles are designed to last between 15 and 20 years. If you wait any longer than that you will start to see some deterioration.

Look for:

Cracked or busted shingles

Patches that look more worn than others

An excess of gravel from shingles collecting in the gutters

Daylight showing into interior through cracks


Take the time to remove any debris from your roof before undergoing a complete inspection. Look for piles of leaves piled in the valleys where the roof meets at an angle. Also look for other debris that may have collected along vents or near the chimney.

Some tree limbs may strike your ridges with enough force to cause cracks or divots. Look for these spots, too. If you have a steep pitch, get a ladder rather than trying to walk on your roof.

Water Damage

Water coming through the shingles is the single biggest problem a roof could have.

It is a good idea to look for:

Dark patches of shingles

Mossy or algae-like growth

Rot underneath eaves or where vents and the chimney join the shingles

Water can infiltrate into the house and cause damage. Go in the attic to look for signs of water staining or leaks. Try to spot areas where the roof may look lumpy or like it is sagging.


People underestimate the importance that gutters have for a roof. They direct running water away from the house’s sides and foundation. Without an adequate gutter system, you may quickly find rot or worse, including cracked basement walls or foundation.

Look for:

Detached joins to the roof

Rusted holes

Loose joints

Downspouts that wiggle too much

When to Replace

After you have assessed to extent of any damage or wear, you can estimate the cost of repairs. Large swaths of broken or worn shingles are a bad sign, as is any severe water damage. If more than 15 percent of your roof is having issues, repairs will cost almost as much as a replacement.

If you are still completely unsure, have a reputable roofing contractor come out and give you a proper inspection. Be sure to gather several estimates from other contractors to find yourself the best deal.

Your Vancouver West Side property should be in a condition you can be proud of before you are ready to sell. If you would like some more advice on how to prepare your home for a sale, start by taking a look at our selling page.