Should I Get a Roof Inspection Before Buying a Home?

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones in life. It is also a time of trepidation and uncertainty. There’s always another thing to check off your list and an endless stream of deadlines to meet.

One way to get peace of mind about the condition of the home you are about to buy is to have it inspected. Home inspections are common sense. But not everyone recognizes the value of a roof inspection.

Whether you are buying a home or selling a home, it is in your best interest to get a roof inspection.

When Do You Need a Roof Inspection?

Although roof inspections are an important precaution when it comes to buying and selling a home, these are not the only reasons to have professional roofers perform an inspection.

In fact, roof inspections are a regular part of responsible homeownership. Here are some of the reasons why and when you should get a roof inspection.

To Identify Roof Problems

If issues like roof rot and roof collapse sound like things you’d like to avoid, getting a roof inspection is an obvious answer. The roof is what protects a home from the elements, provides insulation, and keeps critters out.

When your roof shows signs of failure, you can’t ignore it. And roofs fail for all kinds of reasons. Even a brand new roof isn’t inherently impermeable.

When your roof fails, it can cause a snowball effect of damages. Hiring a professional roof inspector can mean the difference between catching a minor issue before it becomes a huge problem.

Getting a regular inspection every year or so means you won’t get caught unaware. Catching problems early can also mitigate damage and increase the lifespan of your roof.

Neglecting the needs of your roof will likely lead to spending more money on roof maintenance, repair, and replacement than is necessary.

For Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

Often, insurance companies require a roof inspection. To you, a roof inspection may not seem like a big deal. But, to an insurance company, it is the difference between approving or denying a homeowners insurance policy.

The purpose of insurance is to protect your equity after a loss. But, insurance companies expect that you will do your best to mitigate damage to the extent possible. That means keeping your roof in good shape.

A roof in poor condition will incur a higher premium cost. This is because the insurance company sees a damaged roof as a greater risk than an intact one. If your roof is damaged you may need to repair it to get insured.

The good news is, a required roof inspection won’t necessarily cost you anything. If your insurance company orders a roof inspection as part of a claim or the process of underwriting, you will not need to pay.

All the same, getting a roof inspection every few years, whether required or not, will only do you good.

How Much Does a Roof Inspection Cost?

The average cost of a roof inspection is around $200. But you could pay anywhere between $75 to $800.

The cost will depend on how thorough of an inspection you require. For example, a visual roof inspection and a physical roof inspection require different amounts of work. Therefore, the cost is different.

The type of roofing material and the design of the roof will also have an effect on the cost. 

What Happens During a Roof Inspection?

When you hire professional roofers to do an inspection, they will do a thorough examination of every aspect of your roof. This includes the structural supports of the roof, the materials, as well as the roof interior.

The inspector will check for any signs of damage in the roof, the walls, and the ceiling of your home. They will also calculate how long your roof will endure before it needs to be replaced.

During a roof inspection, an inspector may climb onto your roof to ascertain its condition. It’s also possible the inspector may not need to access the roof directly.

The inspector may visually inspect the roof from the vantage point of a ladder. Some inspectors use drones to view the roof from all angles. Other inspectors prefer to have physical access to the roof.

Whatever approach they take, an inspector will check the structure, materials, and interior of your roof. Here’s what to expect.


During the structural portion of the inspection, the inspector will confirm whether the roof’s structure is holding up well. They will look for signs of sagging, leaks, and rot.

The purpose of the structural inspection is not to find damaged materials. The purpose is to examine the condition of the major components of the roof system as a whole.

In addition to sagging beams, leaks, and rotting rafters, the inspector will look for tilting walls, as well as missing or damaged collar and rafter ties. The inspector may also check on your gutters, skylights, and chimneys.


The inspector will also check the condition of the roofing materials. This is mostly to do with the shingles or other type of surface that covers the roof’s structural supports.

The inspector will check for damage, missing shingles, and staining. They will also check for water damage and plant growth.

Finally, the inspector will check the flashing that lies underneath the roofing material. They will check for signs of leakage, cracking, and pest infestations.

Roof Interior

Your inspector will also check the interior of the roof for signs of damage. They will take a look in the attic, inspect the ceilings, and even check your walls for water stains, rot, mold, holes, and pests.

How To Read a Roof Inspection Report

When the inspector finishes the roof inspection, they will present you with a report. A good inspector will go over the report with you while pointing out the signs of damage they discovered.

An inspection report will describe the condition of the roof, any repairs needed, as well as any future concerns about the roof’s longevity.

If there is significant structural damage, it is possible the inspector will recommend you replace the roof. Some damages may only require repairs. In some circumstances, replacement ends up being the lesser cost overall.

Before You Buy: Get a Professional Roof Inspection

Getting a roof inspection is in your best interest whether you are buying a home or selling a home. Either way, you will want to know the condition of your roof and whether it is susceptible to roof rot or collapse.

Getting regular roof inspections is a good way to extend the life of your roof and avoid significant structural issues that develop due to negligence. Want to schedule an inspection? Call us for a free quote: 844.784.7663.

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