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Podcast: How A Certified Roof Inspection Can Save You $90K

Posted June 10, 2017 by Patrick Morin

In this episode, Patrick discusses the importance of having a roofing contractor who is clued-in to the real-estate market, as well as the codes and ordinances for your town and state. This is especially important when it comes to real estate inspection. Find out why a bad inspection cost this client over $90,000!

Podcast Transcription- RoofLifeB022-174:

Shayla: Thank you for joining us today for the Roof Life of Oregon podcast. I’m talking with Patrick Morin today. Patrick, I want to talk about a specific roof today. You say he didn’t really know what condition his roof was in when he bought the home. Tell us a little bit about that.

Patrick: There was a client in a historical town called Aurora where everything has to be done to certain specs to meet the historical criteria and so he bought this beautiful home and along with it a shop and he did not have the roof inspected. He bought it under assumption that his general inspector would’ve give him a heads up that anything was a problem. So he purchased the home and then he called Roof Life of Oregon out to do roof well care on these cedar shingles. When we went out there, we found that the shingles were just pulling out by hand. Meaning that when we were just inspecting it, we walked on the roof, they were moving with our feet. So we made a short video for him and showed him that the fasteners that were used were not the right ones for that roof and they had, the person that put the roof on, well, there was two things. They used too small of fasteners, small headed fasteners for a cedar shingle. You need to be using a bigger headed fastener nail and when they did it, they over drove the nails. So I’m sure when they put it on, it was barely hanging on there, because they blew it half way through those quarter inch shingles, and then as the wood swelled or aged, there was nothing hold the roof on, except that it’s laying on top of each other. So it looks really normal from the ground, but when you get up on it, all the shingles have started to slide down everywhere. And he said, “Oh no! What is that going to cost?” And I said, “Well, let me figure out, what are our options?” And he said, “Well, we have to go with this type of roofing.” And it just happened to be 5x cedar shingles, which is one of the most expensive roofs, because of the amount of nailing and the cost of the wood product. It was over ninety thousand dollars that had he hired Roof Life of Oregon on a real estate certification level, we would have charge him $300 that he could’ve applied to any work that was done, but he did not call us. And instead, he has now, he has to put on a ninety thousand roof and he’s just flipping. He’s just so mad at himself that he didn’t do that.

He was a little distraught that the general inspector didn’t recommend a licensed roofing contractor look at that roof, because of its value. Lots of times homeowners don’t understand the value of a roof. We had another lady that was buying a home, so she was now the buyer, but hadn’t struck the deal yet, but had an inspection period, she called Roof Life, we went out and the entire south side of the roof was blown, this was a shake roof. The back of the house was really gimey, but it was really hard still and we could clean it off. And she had me figure out how much it would be to replace the front of the roof and new roofing to match the back and it was forty-eight thousand dollars. And so she took that information, went to the seller, present the solution and she got a credit of forty-eight thousand dollars. And the roof is still operable, it’s just not certifiable. But if you try to do anything with it, it’s going to fall apart. I wouldn’t certify it, so she’s planning on moving in there, which she has now, and then just replacing the roof.

So these roof certifications for real estate transactions are really important, both for the buyer and the seller. This certification is required by the people who fund the purchase, the lenders. You may have a buyer that says, “I’ll take the house as it is,” but unless he’s paying cash, someone who’s on the hook for that house mortgage is going to require a roof certification. That’s where the deal falls apart or the deal continues and then concludes. So it’s really important to have, both as a buyer and a seller, to get this certification. You don’t need anything big and fluffy and warm and cuddly about how well you’ve taken care of it and what kind of roof it is. They don’t really care. What they care about is, is that roof certified and will someone take care of it if it fails in the next five years, at no cost to me? To the lender means that their person that they’re lending the money to is going to be able to handle any roof issue that comes down the pipe. If water gets through this roof, and it ruins our investment, which is what a lender looks at, it’s going to overwhelm our buyer and then it’s going to possibly cause us to lose our deal- a foreclosure, give up the house, whatever. Their asset is going to diminish, so they really like to have a roof that’s certified before they lend money on it.

Shayla: I want to talk about HOAs too, because you may not be buying this huge historic home, but an HOA could have roof requirements that if you don’t ask and you don’t know, that could cost you too, right?

Patrick: Oh, exactly. That is true. Make sure and check on the HOAs, because they will require certain types of roofing to be used and then call and find out the value of that roof. It’s only a $300 charge to get information. Information is power. We can tell them what we know is going to happen, present it as a certified roof and don’t make a big deal out of it. The bigger deal you make out of it, the bigger deal they make out of it and you could lose your deal. So the thing is you find someone who loves your home. You want the roof to be a moot point. You don’t want it to be an issue, because they find another issue, and then they find another one, and pretty soon you’ve got issues, and the last thing you need in a real estate transaction is more issues, because there’s a lot to happen there. So we try to make the roof a non issue, whether it’s just information.

I had a client just the other day called me out and he had almost a twenty year asphalt shingle, under the trees, huge roof, just retired from a professor at Portland State. They’re moving up to Whidbey Island up in Seattle. And he was just like, you could see it in his face, he was just clenched, and I got off the roof and I said, ” That is a really well cared for roof. There is nothing that needs to be done. I’ll certify it.” And I thought the guy was going to lift off the ground. He was so elated. He goes, “Oh, my heavens! I’m so excited. I can’t believe that.” And I go, “Well, you did it. You took good care of this roof and kept it going in the right direction.” So it’s really an emotional time when you’re either buying a dream home, selling your home and moving up. Lot of stress on you and what we try to do is bring a little bit of solace to you that, hey, at least I can take on thing off my list of concerns that are pulling at my heart.

The ones that I’ve done I just think it’s a really good value to the homeowner, whether we do anything for you or not, just the inspection, to know where the roof is at. And the biggest thing is don’t assume. And it goes both ways. “Well, I don’t want to spend anymore money.” Well, that’s an assumption. You could spend a little bit and get a huge return. So don’t assume when it comes to your roof. It’s one of those things that you cannot verify yourself so people make these broad, sweeping assumptions, and those broad, sweeping assumptions can cost you thousands and thousands of dollar in home equity that you’ve built and we want to help you keep it, or for a buyer, to know what they’re getting into so they don’t lose their equity that they’re bringing to a deal. And that’s our real estate certification.

Shayla: Alright, so get that peace of mind during that stressful time of a real estate transaction. if you have any questions about anything Patrick talked about today, or want to schedule that roof certification, reach out to Roof Life of Oregon. You can find them at or just give them a call. Thanks, Patrick.

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