Need advice about pre-sale home inspection; defective roof shingles


Good Morning! We are in the process of buying a house. We’re located in south Louisiana, if that’s relevant. The inspection was done last week, and the inspector identified what he calls “defective roof shingles”. This is his official statement in the roof section of the report: “The roof shows signs of aging by surface loss, exposed fiberglass membrane and staining. The shingles have many areas of premature failure with excessive surface loss. The damage appears
to be a manufactures defect.” He verbally told us there aren’t any leaks yet.

Now, according to the sellers, they put this roof on seven years ago. The shingles are asphalt. The inspector’s recommendation to us was to ask THEM (the sellers) to go back to their roofers and cite whatever kind of warranty they have (be it 20, 25 or 30 years) and demand that these defective shingles be replaced. We went back to the house yesterday for something else, and actually got to talk to the owner for a little bit, who is himself a contractor. We only briefly mentioned the roof issues, in an unofficial manner (meaning, not our official inspection response/requests) and he talked about how he knows, as a contractor, how impossible it is to make a roofing company make good on something like that. WTF? If they tell you a roof will last a certain number of years, and the shingles are already showing premature wear, with a professional saying they’re defective, how are they not responsible for that??

I also did some Googling on “defective roof shingles” and it looks like a few years ago, around the time this roof was put on, there was a very big, widespread problem with certain popular roof shingle manufacturers, who sold defective shingles. There were even class action lawsuits involved and the manufacturers, I think, went under. Now, I don’t know if this roof is made of these specific companies’ shingles or not, but I think the roofer should, right? Link to that info.

I lay out all this back story to ask, as potential home buyers, what should we ask/expect of the sellers? Would the roofing company who sold them this roof and put it on not be responsible for replacing the shingles? Because, since we didn’t put the roof on, we don’t want to have to buy the home first and then have to deal with a roofing company we didn’t work with. But if this guy is right, and it’s unlikely anything could/would be done, I want to know that. Perhaps we’ll have to ask for a drop in price on the house, to pay to replace them ourselves.

What should we do? We don’t want to walk away from the house over this issue. We just want to know what we should ask for from the sellers.

Thanks in advance!

(I also have some photos of the roof if that would be helpful.)


First, if you are buying the house you don’t have to accept damaged or worn shingles. The homeowner needs to make it right. Since you did get the inspector to acknowledge that the shingles are failing you have good grounds to go to the manufacturer for assistance.
Yes, shingle manufacturers have more lawyers than shingles to make it just as hard to get warranty money as possible. Most likely they will prorate the shingles and you will get the warranty less 7 years at original cost. Find out who the manufacturer is and contact their local representative and have him/her walk the roof.