The roof of a townhouse is just like the roof of a single family dwelling except that you have to contend with the other owners, whose attention to maintenance may not be on a par with your own. In some communities the roofs are the responsibility of the homeowner’s association (HOA) but many townhouse owners are responsible for their own roofing maintenance and repair.

Lack of regular maintenance is the biggest problem for townhouse roofing. An HOA that cuts their costs by using inferior repair materials or putting off regular inspections can wreak havoc on your roof. Before you buy a townhouse you should inspect the contract carefully so that you know your options if your HOA isn’t caring for the roof properly. It may seem like a small thing initially but without a sound roof your entire home is in danger.

You should not wait until you detect a leak in your townhouse before you ask for repairs. You should visually inspect your roof at least every few months, using binoculars at ground level. Look for discoloration that can be caused by mold, algae or water under the shingles. Also take note of any curling or cracks in the shingles or places at the edge of the roof that appear to be rotting. If you see any of these signs you should report it immediately before the problem progresses to the point that the roof needs total replacement.