What Is a Roofing Inspection and What Does It Include?

by Michael Franco
roofer inspecting gutters on a house

The roof over your head. Besides simply providing shelter, your roof is your first line of defense between you and unpredictable weather, extreme heat and cold, and other harsh elements of the outdoors. Because this roof plays a crucial role in keeping you and your family safe, you’ll want to make sure you take all the necessary steps to make sure it's in good shape.

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Perhaps the most important roof maintenance task you can do is to schedule regular roof inspections to make sure it is operating at its full potential.

What’s a Roofing Inspection?

It might seem like the roof over your head is a fairly straightforward operation: As long as there are no gaping holes or persistent leaks, you’re in good shape. That said, a roof is quite a bit more complex than meets the eye. In fact, it can be helpful to think about your roof as more similar to your home’s HVAC, plumbing or electrical systems. Just like these other important systems, your roof requires regular maintenance and inspections to make sure it’s functioning properly.

Roof inspectors examine all the various components of your roof to determine how your roof is performing and if any repairs are needed to correct any issues or improve performance.

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What’s Included in a Roofing Inspection?

A typical roof inspection will include a careful examination of every aspect of its design, including its structural, material and internal components.

First, the inspector will evaluate the condition and integrity of the structural elements of the roof. This means looking for any signs that your roof is sagging or could sag in the near future — including missing collar and rafter ties, cracked or rotted rafters and trusses and any exterior walls that tilt or lean.

Then, depending on the type of roof, the inspector will look closely at the asphalt shingles, slate or clay tiles, inspecting them for cracks, rust and water damage. The inspector will also investigate the condition of your soffit, fascia and gutters to look for any signs of damage. Finally, they’ll take note of the condition of your flashing and make recommendations based on its condition.

Also included in a typical roof inspection is a look at the interior aspects of your roof. If your home has access to an attic space, an inspector will want to look for signs of damage that aren’t visible from the outside. When checking the interior, an inspector will look for water stains, signs of pests, mold and even tiny holes in the walls and ceilings.

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How Much Does a Roofing Inspection Cost?

A traditional roof inspection typically will cost you in the ballpark of $200 (CAD 270), according to Angi. That said, how much a roof inspection costs largely depends on the type, size, and shape of your roof. A physical roof inspection requires a roofing contractor to climb onto your roof to examine it. That said, some contractors may offer a remote roof inspection, during which the inspector will fly a drone around your roof, recording detailed footage and noting any repairs that may be needed. Although this process is generally quicker than a traditional inspection, you can expect to pay between $150 to $400 (CAD 200 to CAD 535) for this service.

How Do You Know You Need a Roofing Inspection?

Generally speaking, you should have your roof inspected at least once every three to four years. That way, you can stay on top of roofing problems and have them repaired before they get worse. If you live in a climate where the weather can get extreme, you may want to consider having inspections more often.

However, as annual inspections are always a best practice, there are certain times during which you’ll want to schedule an inspection. For example, you may want to schedule a roof inspection if:

  • Your area has experienced any big storms that included hail or extreme winds.
  • You notice any damaged areas.
  • You are buying or selling your house.

In each of these three scenarios, a roof inspection is definitely warranted. A hail-damage roof inspection can help save you the headache and added expense of making the repairs after they get worse down the road. Similarly, having a roof inspection report prior to purchasing or selling a home can offer you unparalleled peace of mind by knowing the condition the roof is in.

Regular roof inspections are an essential part of home maintenance. Despite their simple appearance, they are often quite complex systems that deserve regular care and repair to function properly for their full lifespans.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.

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