Few buyers are aware of how important it is to make sure the roof on the home they are purchasing is free from defects and storm damage. After all, from the ground a roof is just...well a roof! Does anyone really pay attention to their roof unless they begin having leaks or issues?
If a roof has visible damage, a home inspector will usually note these items in their report. If the damage is minor, it may be possible to repair the roof by simply replacing the damaged shingles. If the roof is fairly new and the same like kind and quality shingles are available, the repair may be completed and be barely noticeable.
But a roof can be much more complex than many home buyers are aware of. The Atlas Chalet shingle was a very popular shingle that was used extensively in both new construction homes and reroof projects for older homes in the area. To the untrained eye, an Atlas Chalet is an appealing “architectural” shingle. Few Realtors and even fewer home buyers ever notice that an Atlas Chalet shingle is on a home that they are considering purchasing. This can be a huge problem.
The Atlas Chalet shingles have been discontinued because they are, quite frankly, defective. An Atlas Chalet was marketed as an architectural shingle but is actually a 3 tab shingle with extra granules that were glued onto the roof to get the appearance of a textural architectural roof. The shingles have proven that they will not stand up to the test of time resulting in:
Loss of granulation
Missing Shingles / Does not weather storms as expected
Since the Atlas Chalet is no longer available, if a roof experiences any of the above problems, the roof cannot be repaired. Any repairs made with a 3 tab shingle would be glaringly obvious, as would any repairs made with an architectural shingle. If a home with an Atlas Chalet shingle incurs the slightest storm damage, the repair will not be aesthetically pleasing, lowering the value of the home.
I recently spoke with a homeowner who has been impacted in multiple ways by purchasing a home with an Atlas Chalet roof. The problem started soon after they moved in their new home. A minor storm resulted in a leak because the Atlas Chalet shingles were easily raised and cracked allowing water to intrude her home. In addition, two shingles were blown off. Her insurance company was called, but the adjuster ruled that the number of “damaged” shingles were so small that the repair amount was less than her deductible and denied her claim. The homeowners made the repairs and used a shingle that did not match but felt that they really had no choice.
Less than two years later, another storm passed through and additional shingles were blown off. This time the insurance company agreed the cost of repairs exceeded their deductible and agreed to cover the cost of the repairs. Normally, this is good news for the homeowner because a full roof replacement is in order eliminating the defective roof because of the requirement that all repairs must be made using the same like kind and quality.
However, in this case the insurance company was able to actually find a warehouse holding a stockpile of old Atlas Chalet shingles. The price that this company charged to ship these shingles to the home was excessive and far exceeded the market price for new architectural shingles. Despite the inflated price, it was far cheaper for the insurance company to pay to have these damaged shingles replaced than to replace the entire roof. The damaged shingles were replaced, along with the shingles that were used after the first claim that did not match. The repairs were completed and barely noticeable. Sounds good?
Not really. You see the homeowners were still left with a roof that is comprised of Atlas Chalet Shingles which will be a never-ending problem of missing shingles, leaks, and blistering. This will definitely impact the value of the home and lead to a home with low curb appeal. Who wants to buy a home with a visibly ugly roof?
But the negative impact continues. After the second claim, the insurance company has decided that they will be cancelling coverage on this home due to a “defective and faulty roofing system.” This is a usual response by an insurance company, but they do have the right to do this. The homeowner, as well as the insurance company, are both painfully aware that this roof will not hold up over time and even minor storms will continue to result in future claims.
A roof is generally the most expensive single item a home's structure. It is so important for any buyer to be fully aware of what type of roof is on their future home! Always schedule a home inspection and ask the inspector to document what type of shingle is on the home. If they are unable to determine this, I strongly encourage you to have a roof inspection completed by a local reputable roofing company!
It may be determined that a roof replacement may be covered by the seller’s insurance. It is very common for Atlas Chalet shingles to be covered by insurance and a full replacement be granted. However, if this is not the case, it is critical that the buyer be aware of what they are buying and are prepared to absorb the out of pocket cost of a full roof replacement in the future.
If you are thinking of listing your Murfreesboro TN home for sale, or are a Realtor and have a Nashville TN home listed that you are concerned may have roof issues, I encourage you to contact MidSouth Construction at 615-712-8893 and schedule a roof inspection today!