Written by Royal Mabati


For a homeowner, a brown spot on any part of the ceiling or the roof is bad news. It could mean that a leak exists and could cause damage before you even see the evidence. To protect your home’s structural integrity, it is vital to take great care of your roof.

Most Kenyan residential roofs are covered with fiberglass or metal shingles. These materials are easy to install and play a great role in repelling water. Depending on the grade, fiberglass has a guarantee of about 20 to 30 years while metal can last for more than 50 years.  It means that the type of roofing material used has a limited lifespan. Therefore, it is important that you first familiarize yourself with the grade of shingles and know when the roofing was installed.

Check with a Home Inspector

When purchasing a home, the seller should tell you when the roof was installed. However, it is advisable to hire a home inspector for a professional assessment of the condition of the roof and get a clear range of the number years left for it to be replaced. You will want to be sure there are no chances of being blindsided by brown spots on the ceiling.

Have the inspector tour the house to look for missing shingles as that’s an obvious sign of an underlying problem. Note that metal shingles should have a shiny surface therefore if they appear dull it could be a sign of wear. It is also a bad sign if the edges of the shingles appear curled. Curling signals replacement of the roof because once this process begins, it cannot be reversed.

Cracked Shingles

If the shingles are cracked, you will have to replace them before moving into your new home. Cracked shingles can easily break further damaging the roof. Moss growing on the shingles should not be ignored as it is a bad sign. When it thrives on the shingles, it means there is enough moisture to support the growth. Sealing with tar is just temporary and does not guarantee a permanent solution.

Replacement Costs

Once you decide to have the roof replaced before settling down, get several estimates ensuring the quote given includes the costs of removing the old shingles and disposing of debris. It was a common practice to see new shingles nailed in over the old ones in the recent past. Today, however, professional roofers will not have new shingles replaced before removing the old ones. In fact, this is a practice that may void manufacturer warranties. What you pay for your new roof materials will depend on a lot of variables such as the number of layers currently on the roof, the pitch and the square footage of the area to be worked on.

Like most homeowners, you may be tempted to purchase cheaper materials in order to cut costs. However, understand that the amount may be lower upfront while with time you may have to undergo high costs as a result of numerous repairs and quick replacement. As a homeowner who intends to live in a newly purchased property for decades without the need to repair or replace the roof, it is wise to invest in quality metal roofing from a credible manufacturing company.