When buying or maintaining a home, making sure the roof is in tip-top shape is key. Here are easy ways to check the condition of your roof

Time sure does fly. It seems like just yesterday, I was getting ready to go to senior prom with my high school sweetheart. Fast-forward to a few weeks ago, and I found myself saying yes to his proposal. Yup, we’re engaged! We are growing up, and I’d like to think that along with getting older, we’re getting a little bit wiser, too.


I can see small signs of it every day. No longer do we sleep in until noon and pig out on fast food. Instead, we operate on an early-to-bed, early-to-rise routine, and we try to make the most of our meals at home. Another sign we’re getting wiser: We’re looking at buying a home. Right now, it’s lackadaisical, visiting only the homes that might be too good to pass up, but we still look carefully while we’re there.


Instead of focusing on aesthetic and creature-comfort features as we did in the past, we now ask questions about property lines and roofing. New roofs can last up to 50 years or more, but if you need to replace one, you can easily spend upwards of $10,000. How can you tell the condition of a roof? Ask these questions:

1. Are the shingles curling? Take a good look at the shingles, especially in the sunlight. Look at the bottom edge to see if the shingle is curling upward or downward.

2. Do your gutters have granules in them? When shingles start to wear down, they shed. The granules will often appear in gutters, and they can look like sand.

3. How old is it? Depending on the type of material used and the location of the home, roofs can last anywhere from 10 to 50+ years. Check on the roof’s warranty to see how long it’s expected to last, and compare that to the age of the roof. If it’s more than 20 years old and it has visible damage, there is a good chance it will need replacing.

4. Can you see water spots? In addition to looking at the roof itself, check the ceiling, too. There may be water stains there, especially around any vents.

Whether you have a roof of your own or you’re house hunting, keep these questions in mind. If the roof shows signs of wear and tear, don’t panic. Often, roofs can be repaired before they need to be replaced entirely. Consult a trusted contractor or roofing expert to figure out the most cost-effective, lasting solution for your particular home.


Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.