This is a guest post about the four different types of roofs and the most overlooked symptoms of them needing repairs by Robert Anderson at Phoenix Roofing Team.

When people buy real estate they often get caught in the glitter and glamor of the place they’re about to buy. They become swept off their feet by the shiny hardwood floors, the brand new cherry wood kitchen cabinets, and the two car garage and they start to visualize their future life within its doors.

It’s a symptom of what psychologists call confirmation bias – we quickly reach the point where we start convincing ourselves that the home is right for us and stop looking for any potential problems. Our horse blinders are set. We’re galloping at a few dozen miles per hour and there’s no stopping us now.

Ironically, few things are as overlooked as roofs in real estate. It’s ironic because your roof is precisely the thing that will protect your cherry wood cabinets, your valuables, and your wallet from substantial damage. It’s the shell on the tortoise’s back. If it leaks, you can face serious damage to your home: large sections of drywall ruined, mold, etc.

From my experience, few people know how much a good roof will cost until they have to have one replaced. Full roof replacements usually surpass the five figures mark.

Imagine how long you would have to work to save that much money.

So, when you’re looking at the outside of the next home you want to buy, pay careful attention to the roofing material above and look for the following symptoms based on which type of roof you see.


1. The first thing you should look for is missing shingles. If shingles are missing, you’re clearly dealing with a major roofing problem.

2. The second thing you should look for is discoloration to the shingles. If some shingles are a slightly different color than the others, this may indicate someone has attempted to repair the roof in the past. Find out when the repair occurred. If it occurred soon after the roof was installed, the roof probably had low quality workmanship. Shingle roofs in Arizona should last at least ten years before needing repairs. Sometimes discoloration can also occur because of mineral deposits from A/C units. This isn’t healthy for your roof either because constant exposure to water lowers the strength of the asphalt material.

3. The third thing you should look for on a shingle roof is for cracked or curling shingles. If shingles are not flat against the roof but stick up a little bit, your roof probably won’t last very long. Likewise, if your roofing shingles are splitting down the middle or have small tears on them, watch out!


1. The first thing you should look for on a tile roof is debris. If the tile roof looks cluttered with dust and materials, it’s a sign that the roof may not last as long as you might hope. Tile roofing materials can last for centuries on their own without breaking down. What causes tile roofs to leak is their underlayment. Peeling back a few tiles is often the only way to check on the status of a tile roof underlayment.


1. The first thing you should look for on a metal roof is for dents, dings, or missing sections. Metal roofs are worth their weight in gold because they are ultra durable. In fact, they can often last for more than fifty years. They need very little maintenance and, out of all of the materials, should cause the least concern.


1. The first thing you should look for on a foam roof is for popcorn style texture. If the foam roof has lots of little holes in it, watch out!

2. The second thing to look for is discoloration in the foam. If it’s turning yellow, you are probably facing huge problems.

3. The third thing you should look for is if water collects and stays in one area of the foam roof without leaving for many hours. While foam roofs are great for adding insulation, they require recoatings every five years.

Diagnosing roofing problems takes years of experience. So, if you spot any of the above issues and you are serious about the home, it’s a good idea to call a local roofing company to have a look. Most companies offer free quotes!