Okay I'm only up to part two and I'm off schedule already. Forgive me , I live a busy life.
2. Roofing problems
As a home inspector we are constantly evaluating roofs. Last year I helped author an excellent textbook on roofing for Kaplan Professional schools. The book covers many aspects of roof inspection and was many chapters and pages but I will be less wordy here.
If a roof is asphalt shingles for the most part expect a life expectancy of 17-25 years. The thicker they are the more likely they might make it that long. Wood shingles rarely go much over 25 years and that really depends on the exposure to the weather and the amount of insulation and ventilation in the attic. Terra Cotta & Cement tile roofs can last many years 30 to 50 years, as can slate and asbestos roofs (sometimes they can go more). But they all need frequent re-inspection from someone with a keen eye.
While we work off an educated guess, most of the time even a brand new roof can leak and many times the common denominator is the supervision or lack of it on the job of the roofing companies owner or lead roofer.
Many roofs are snuck in without a permit or the building department might not make a big deal. But more and more big expenses for roofing and re-roofing are becoming the norm.
While I'm at it...it really doesn't matter how many layers of roofing are on the home...as all of them should be removed before another layer is installed. No ifs and or buts. Why would you want to nail thru a 20 year old material that is cracking and losing its weathertightness. Get rid of all the old stuff. Examine the plywood or whatever materials used for the roof sheathing and make sure it is not delaminating (coming apart). Then add ice and water shield to prevent additional water protection.
Putting a new and fully warranted roof on a home before you sell, is a brilliant way to make a buyer feel that the owner is taking good care of the home.
Inspection tips: for buyer's and sellers... wash the ceiling areas of a room with a bright beam from a flashlight. Look for water dripping, unevenness, plaster cracks or fractures and stains. Home sellers should disclose any previous leakage and offer quotes on items not yet repaired. Don't forget to look at the ceilings of closets. These are often never repaired.
Skylights, vent stacks, venting , chimneys and flashing details all need annual re-inspection.
New buyers don't want the hassle of shopping for a new roof, nor do they want to supervise or check quality control. They just want to know it's been done and there's a warranty.
Realtors should never make light of leakage or roofing issues as water entering can quickly escalate into mold mitigation, stored item damages and illness.
More shortly... can you guess what #3 is ... Think bugs!