What the heck is a "soft spot" in the roof?

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Old 04-27-20, 08:01 PM
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What the heck is a "soft spot" in the roof?

My son has put an offer in on a house. The owner put in the disclosure statement that the roof had a "soft spot". Neither he nor I have any idea what a soft spot means. I figure something is rotting out and a substantial rebuild will be required, bu really don't know.
There offer is contingent on inspecting the house, and specifically the roof.

What is this likely to mean? Any information would be appreciated.

I think my son has a soft spot for putting in an offer on a house with out knowing more about what could be a serious defect, but that is for another forum.
 
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Old 04-27-20, 08:18 PM
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It usually will be damage from a roof leak, either current leak or previous leak. Or maybe plywood was patched and oriented in the wrong direction (the weak axis of the plywood). I have also seen instances where frost in the attic has caused plywood to partially delaminate, making it feel spongy when you step on it... as if it were 4 layers of 1/8" plywood laying one on top of the other. Or it could be a weak, cracked, or rotted rafter. Really no way to know until you put eyes on it.

The repair would not likely be too involved, but it would at a minimum involve replacing plywood and patching the shingles. You could also consider reroofing just one side, or depending on the age of the roof he might possibly want to reroof all of the house if you want it all to match perfectly and be all the same age for insurance purposes.
 
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Old 04-28-20, 03:05 AM
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Is it feasible to view that area of the roof [underside] in the attic?
 
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Old 04-28-20, 06:02 AM
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House I just sold had a roof that felt soft all over it. It was set on 24 centered rafters and 1/2 plywood. To sell house we had to re roof the house but did not have to change plywood. All roofers said that soft feel was ok and did not need anything.
 
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Old 04-28-20, 07:04 AM
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I always ask the Seller/Seller's Realtor whether there are any PRIOR home inspection reports, either obtained by Seller or that were done by other potential buyers
(disclosure, I'm an Attorney & Realtor, but I'm not YOUR Attorney or Realtor)

Originally Posted by Toller
The owner put in the disclosure statement that the roof had a "soft spot". Neither he nor I have any idea what a soft spot means.
It's usually just a description - if you walk around on the roof, there's an area that is softer/springier than the rest of the roof. Could be many different things, from rotted rafter & plywood to a broken/warped rafter that only needs to be sistered. Can also be the result of a poor planning that leaves a butt-joint between plywood sheets in-between rafters.

Originally Posted by Toller
I think my son has a soft spot for putting in an offer on a house with out knowing more about what could be a serious defect,
Well, unless you Son puts in an offer, the Seller isn't just going to allow random people to go poking around their attic and climbing on their roof, are they? That's why you HAVE that contingency written into the contract.
 
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Old 04-28-20, 06:38 PM
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I wouldn't worry about putting an offer in. Have it inspected and get the home inspector's opinion.

Likely, isn't anything to worry about. And if it is, that's why you have your inspection contingency to go back and request $xx off the purchase price to repair/replace that section of roof. Or worst case, the inspector says it's awful and the house is going to fall down... you (your son) can walk away and get his deposit back.

But I'd bet that it's nothing to worry about.
 
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Old 05-03-20, 11:49 AM
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The inspection is tomorrow. The contract allows them to have a roofer inspect it if recommended by the inspector.
The owner says they have a rubber roof, so a soft spot doesn't really matter. It was there when they bought the house several years ago, and it has never leaked. They listed it just to be complete.
It is a normal house with a normal appearing roof. It has shingles, contrary to what I read about rubber roofs on google.
What the heck is a rubber roof?
 
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