roof replacement - what do I need to learn now?
So it seems that someone who was taking care of the house before we bought it was caulking up leaks in the roof, if I understood correctly, and that the structure of the roof might not be strong enough to hold the weight of the layers currently up there (at least 3). After my discussion with the (very knowledgeable) neighbor, I starting thinking maybe we shouldn't let the roof go another year or 2. I plan to get some people out to take a look and give us repair and replace quotes in the next couple of weeks to see what's what. In the meantime, I have some thoughts/questions floating around in my brain (as always).
1. We had an energy audit recently. One of the things in the report is: "Your attic space is technically ventilated, but there's so much vaulted ceiling area and so few vents in the soffits that it's doubtful the ventilation is having much effect anyway. You may as well open up the main ceiling to be vaulted as well." This is an interesting concept to me. Any comments?
2. We haven't seen any signs of the roof leaking, but obviously that doesn't mean it isn't. Apparently the previous owner knew there was leaking, because he tried to "fix" it. How worried would you be about this? We did have the roof inspected, though he didn't actually get up there (sadly), he did say it needed to be replaced. He also indicated the ... underlayment? seemed to be in good condition as seen from the attic access. Is this a "throw the emergency fund at it" type of repair? Or do we wait until we see visible signs? By that point, how much additional damage have we done by waiting?
3. If this is a 'do NOW' type of thing would you do the following. Put it on the empty credit card with 5.99% interest (until April 2010) and a 3% "balance transfer" fee. I can't say if it would be paid off by then or not since I don't actually know how much this would cost. While I'm not keen on taking on additional debt right now, I'm even less keen on the idea of the roof unknowingly leaking and causing more problems later.
Any thoughts, comments, advice, knowledge? Anything would help at this point, as this is not one of the areas I've studied up on yet.
Here is a link that might be useful: our house