Roof Inspection 101

Roof Inspection 101

A roof inspection is a vital part of maintaining your home or commercial property. A roofing inspection can help you identify potential problems early on before they become costly repairs or a complete roof replacement. But what exactly is a roof inspection? And how often should you get one? Why should you care about your roof? Read on to find out everything you need to know about roof inspections.

What is a Roof Inspection?

A roof inspection amounts to a comprehensive analysis of your roofing system, including each component from the shingles and flashing to the gutters and downspouts. A roof inspector will evaluate for any damage or early stages of wear as well as any potential weak spots that could turn into problems if not addressed soon.

What Does a Roof Inspection Include?

Roof inspections can vary from company to company but at its core is a visual, non-intrusive inspection that will cover several topics including:

  • A rough estimate of how much life is left on the roof.
  • What type of roof system do you have.
  • What issues may need to be repaired (shingles, fascia, venting, flashing, chimney, underlayment, and more.)
  • If repairs are needed, it should cover the type of repair including cost and timeline.
  • If there is enough damage to your roof or its pass its typical lifespan, they may lay out options for a complete roof replacement.
  • If you’re roof was damaged due to wind, rain, hail or a storm then it may be covered by your homeowners insurance and a quality roofer will be able to access the viability of a insurance claim and help you throughout the process.

All this should be presented in an easy-to-digest report with included pictures in case the roofer’s verbiage is not understood. Make sure to ask any prospective roofing company what’s included in their roofing inspections or if they offer to differ inspection services.

Reasons To Get a Roof Inspection?

Although there are numerous benefits to getting a roof inspection, we will focus on specific situations where it is an absolute necessity for homeowners or those considering buying a home.

Selling Your Home

Home inspections can often be stressful for sellers, as buyers may find potential issues with the home that were not previously known. To avoid any surprises or headaches during this process, it is smart for sellers to address any possible issues ahead of time. This way, the entire inspection process will run more smoothly. Some roofing companies even offer roof certifications and warranties (provided all issues are addressed), which can add value to your home sale.

Buying a Home

Always have a professional roofing contractor inspect your roof instead of solely relying on your home inspector. Home inspectors are excellent at their jobs, but they might not be as familiar with issues that could lead to leaks or other problems in the future. Usually, home inspectors won’t get on the roof for safety reasons. In these situations, they can only guess from what they see from the ground or standing on a ladder at the eaves. If repairs are needed before escrow closes, a lot of time would be saved by having this information beforehand.

Also, if you only get a home inspection and the inspector finds problems with the roof, you’ll have to find a roofing company anyways. This is because home inspection companies usually cannot give hard quotes or do the repairs that you need.


Seeing missing or damaged shingles on the roof of your home can be a major sign you need a roof inspection. It’s important to assess the situation quickly; while the occasional missing or damaged shingle may not instantly cause a leak, if the damage is widespread then it may be a sign of underlying problems like water leaks, an old roof past its prime, or critter infestations. Taking preventive measures before problems worsen will help you avoid significant damage and exorbitant repair costs down the line.

Moreover, if your roof is displaying an adequate amount of shingle harm, it could indicate a storm-induced issue that may be applicable for compensation from home insurance coverage. A quick response is important as insurance typically will not cover any wood damage that may occur after the storm has damaged the roof as they see this as a failure to maintain the roof. This can lead to heavy out of pocket expenses even if insurance pays for a new roof.

However, the definitive method to understand the condition of your roof is by securing a professional roofing inspection. Experts can assess your roof, identify whether the damage to the shingles was a result of wind or hail, or simply due to wear and tear not covered by insurance, and then offer you the most suitable solution.

Need a Roof Inspection - Missing Shingles


Having a roof covered in moss or algae can be an unsightly annoyance, but it can also present a serious risk to the stability of your roof. Not only do these growths look bad, but they could also cause leakage from moisture and other problems that will cost you money in the long run. Moss and algae are often caused by a combination of damp and humid conditions, so the region in which you live can play an important role. If you see moss or algae growths on your roof, it’s time to call a professional for an inspection.

Moss and Algae - Roof Inspection 101


If the flashing around your chimney or vents is cracked or missing, it’s important to fix it right away. Without properly functioning flashing, your home and chimney may be vulnerable to water damage; this could lead to expensive and time-consuming repairs in the future. The best way to make sure that the flashing is installed correctly is by hiring a professional contractor with experience in this area. Not only can they advise you on what needs to be done, but they can also ensure that the job is done properly and safely – after all, with something as important as chimney repairs, you don’t want to take chances.

Chimney Flashing - Common Issues


Fixing a leak in the ceiling or attic is not a task to be taken lightly. Hiring a roof inspection professional to assess the extent of the damage and offer suitable solutions is essential. In many cases, properly repairing a leaky roof requires replacing shingles, patching up holes, or replacing wood as well as investigating plumbing or drainage issues that may have caused it in the first place. If not fixed quickly and effectively, serious repercussions such as structural damage can occur, creating more costly repairs and possibly jeopardizing your family’s safety. Therefore, do your research before hiring a contractor, check reviews for quality and if you don’t like your initial inspection, seek a second opinion to compare it to.

Not hiring a roofer to do the repairs and instead using a handyman will most likely lead to the problem occurring in the future as most handymen will use temporary measures like smearing sealant on everything. It’s like putting a band-aid on a broken bone.


Granules - Roof Inspection 101

The gutters on our home are an important part of the overall protection for your roofing system. If the gutters become clogged or full of debris like shingle granules, it can lead to serious problems. One, shingle granules in your gutter are a sign that your shingles are failing themselves. Two, with clogged or full gutters, rainwater can back up under the eaves and onto the roof itself. This creates dampness in areas that could result in uncomfortable indoor humidity as well as potential health and safety issues related to mold and bacterial growth.

Discovering granules in your gutters suggests it’s time for a professional inspection, as your shingles may be failing and could be eligible for insurance coverage.

It’s Been a Long-Time (Or Never) Since Your Last Roof Inspection

At the very least you should have your roof inspected every 3-5 years. The more the better though. A yearly inspection would be ideal. A few things that may increase the frequency of inspections are:

  • Is your home located in an area with extreme weather conditions? Storms, snow, severe heat? All these can increase damage and wear on your roof.
  • Is your home is surrounded by large trees? Debris like leaves and branches can clog gutters and damage shingles.
  • Do you have pigeons or other birds spending a lot of time on your roof? Bird droppings are corrosive and will eat through the shingles over time.

Get your roof inspected more regularly if you experience any of these issues. Letting too much time go by without inspection risks undetected damage, which will cost you more money in the long run.

Your Roof is Older than 10 Years

The typical asphalt shingle roof can be given a longevity rating of 20 to 50 years, depending on the quality of the shingles and how much wear and tear they experience over time. However, it’s important to note that these upper age ranges are not realistic. Shingles come with different lifetime guarantees from their manufacturers, most of which fall in the 20, 30, 40 or 50-year segments.

It is rare for a shingle roof to last as long as the manufacturer claims it will. For example, a 30-year product’s expected service life with proper maintenance and no major weather events is only 25 years. If not maintained properly, installed correctly or if there isn’t enough attic ventilation, the roof might only last 10-15 years. That is why it is so key to get a roof inspection, a inspector can carefully examine your roof and tell you the true age of your roof and if any issue can be fixed or if you will need a complete roof replacement.


As a homeowner, it’s crucial to have an insurance policy that safeguards your home against unexpected damages or disasters. Your policy may cover repairs or replacements for your roof if it’s damaged by natural events such as hail, heavy winds, or severe storms. To ensure proper coverage and avoid potential issues with your insurer, regular roof inspections and maintenance by a professional are recommended. A professional can determine if your issue is covered by insurance and assist in filing the claim. They can provide an independent inspection report, which can be used to compare with the insurance adjuster’s report. This support can be invaluable if the insurance company attempts to deny the claim or undervalue the cost or scope of repairs.

Do Roofing Companies Charge for Roof Inspection?

Usually, the answer to this question is no. Many roofers will come out and do a free roof inspection to sell you either a new roof or repairs for your current one. Some more honest companies will give you an accurate evaluation of your needs and let you know if it’s truly time for a replacement or if some simple repairs would suffice. To avoid any potential issues, always use a reputable roofing company that has been in business for years and holds up well in customer reviews and feedback.

Ready To Get Your Roof Inspection?

Make sure to schedule regular roof inspections to keep your home in tip-top shape. By catching problems early, you can save yourself time and money down the road. So, if it’s time for an inspection, reach out to a trusted local roofing contractor today.

If you live in Tennessee or Georgia, then Roof MD is here to help. We offer FREE and detailed roof inspections and can be on-site within 48 hours to access your roof and give tangible solutions to fix your roof. Plus we work with homeowners insurance if applicable to fight for a roofing claim.