Roof Repairs

We are in escrow on a 4 plex and just got back the inspectors report. I’m seeing some examples of roof problems (ie. foam bubbling, evidence of prior roof leaks, etc.). We’re negotiating for concession with the seller on this, but I’m trying to get an idea of best & worst case scenarios with this.

Its about a 3200 sq ft roof area, single storey property, flat roof. I’ve spoken to a couple of roofing inspectors and of course they are saying I need a new roof and are quoting around $12,000 for this. Is this reasonable? It could be enough to make the deal go south, but at the same time I don’t want to inherit a lemon here either.

What have other property owners found with roof issues on properties? Are simple repairs enough, or is a new roof required most of the time?


Negotiate the full $12k reduction into the purchase price (plus maybe a little more buffer in case you find additional water damage). If it gets fixed cheaper than that you win. Get a few more quotes as well to make sure the guy you’re using is in line with standard pricing for your area.

Thanks. Yes, that is my thought on this. However I’m running out of time in the inspection period on escrow. And as this property has rental tenants in it, it means we have to give 48 hours written notice of inspections to the tenants for this. We’re trying to get an extension on the inspection period for this so I can get 3 quotes.


Flat roofs could be tricky. Do you know how old the roof is? How many layers? Generally people shy away from flat roofs but I would get on the roof and take a look at it for myself. The problem could be resolved with a $20, 5 gallon bucket of tar and a bit of flashing and you could have a roof that will last for many years. I’m sure you’ll be able to tell if it’s in really bad shape. If it’s in OK shape and you’re not affraid of getting a bit dirty, a once in a couple of years maintenance would extend its life significantly.

Hint: Charcoal lighter does wonders for cleaning tar from under your finger nails! :biggrin

This one is in Phoenix, and the property was built in 1977. So its probably seen its share of months of 110+ degree days each summer. I don’t know the lifespan of a Phoenix roof, but I guess we won’t know the full condition until Monday morning. We got an extension on the inspection period, but it will come down to the results of a roof inspection on this one.