Knowing Your Home
So I am driving up the road and, as usual, my eyes wonder as I sit at the stop light waiting my turn. Sometimes it’s the car next to me or people walking down the street. More often though I am looking at the houses around me and it is incredible how many homes have asphalt shingles on their roof that are failing.
Yesterday, for example, I was on Markham Road in Scarborough. I look to my left at some fairly new (maybe 10 years old) townhouses. The units all have the same shingles and the same deterioration. Curling, lifting and showing very clear signs of old age (at ten years old they should not be showing these signs, but that is another story). What is worse is several of the units have missing shingles. These shingles may have been torn off in a wind storm but the fact that they are missing indicates that the home owners are most likely getting some water penetration to a certain degree.
This simply underlines the absolute need for you to not only maintain your home but to also know what is happening with your home. Most often home owners see the front of their home when they approach in the car. They may even see part or all of the roof. They see the driveway as they step out of the car, the walkway as they approach the front door, some brick work or siding at the porch and finally the door itself. But ask yourself this…when was the last time you looked closely at your windows? When did you look at the roof from the back of the house? When did you walk around the home and look closely at the foundation?
I am sure most people would answer that it has either been a long time or they have never done it. A home owner once told me that the roof on the house is fine. I asked him how he knows and he stated that it looks fine. So, I asked him to show me and he proceeded to take me to the front of the home where he proudly pointed out the shingles that were in good condition. I had to concur that the roof did in fact look very good. Then I further pointed out to him that his home faced north. The south facing rear of the home receives the most sunlight/elements and therefore would deteriorate faster than the front. We proceeded to the rear of the home, looked up and saw shingles that were….you guessed it, deteriorating.
As a home owner there are many things you can do to prevent damage to your home. There are things that you can look for that will keep your home safe. There are many other things that you will not know to look for and that is where a home inspector and a thorough home inspection comes in. A qualified and experienced home inspector knows what to look for. He/she knows what signs to look for identifying potential and underlying defects. A home inspection is your best defense against high repair costs from unchecked damage.