Roof Inspections – Are They Necessary?

By HomeAdvisor

Updated November 30, 2016

Roof inspections

In many states, especially those that see a higher amount of snow and hail, when buying a home it is usually requisite to have the roof certified from inspection. Matter of fact, many lenders required this to be done before they will cut a check. In most states, a properly ventilated roof can last 20 years or more. In states where the snow is heavy, they often have to be replaced every five years. While having a secure roof is one of the most important parts of a home, it can also be a very expensive investment, especially if you bought a home under the guise that everything was on the up and up.

Roofing Inspections

Roof inspections are simply inspections that determine the integrity of a roof, how long it may last, and when it will need to be replaced. Roof inspectors are not going to climb up on your roof or the roof of a home you are thinking of buying and pull up shingles or tiles. Roof inspectors have special procedures wherein they can determine the lifespan of a given roof without tearing into it. At first glance it might seem that roofing inspectors would have to pull up part of the roof to do a thorough examination, but if you consider your own roof, you would not want anyone tearing holes in it just to see if it was in good shape.

Are Roof Inspectors Different From Home Inspectors?

Roof inspectors also have super-technical techniques like infrared roof inspections where they don’t even have to touch the surface of the roof itself to determine a roof’s integrity. This process uses infrared rays to locate parts of a roof that are at higher or lower temperatures than the rest of the roof. These “hot spots” can show a roof inspector just exactly where heat is escaping.

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Play it Safe

Because replacing a roof can be quite an investment, insurance companies and lenders require that this has been checked off. It makes sense for these companies to protect their investments, but you as the homeowner should want this to be secured as well. You don’t want to be stuck with a bill that you weren’t expecting, and you also don’t want to sell a home to a family and put them in the same spot.

Roof inspections are not all that expensive, and these roofing inspections can give you and your lenders and insurance carriers peace of mind. Because when the rain is coming down or there is a foot of snow weighing down your roof, you want to sleep comfortably knowing that you are secure from above.


  1. Juliann Bradshaw, August 26:

    But where do you find a roof inspector? I keep being told to just call a roofing company but they have a product to sell and can’t be completely objective.

  2. Judith antoine, November 28:

    I have the same question as Julian Bradshaw. You’ve convinced me a roof inspector is a great idea but where can I find a completely free-lance unbiased inspector in Marin County.

  3. Andrea, December 5:
  4. Desiree Perry, January 20:

    I am faced with so much uncertainty deciding whether or not I’m in need of a roof replacement. Some pros say I could get one while some say I might need one. I think I really need a roof inspector. Please tell how to get in contact with one.

  5. Rich, October 17:

    When you’re looking for a roof inspector contact a roofing contractor and request an estimate for roof repair. When they ask why you’re calling state the reason you are requesting an inspection as well as the slope of your roof, the sq feet, and the last time it was shingled.
    Hope that helps,

  6. Manon Elliott, October 18:

    I had several estimates, some companies said I could repair the roof but it wouldn’t last too long and others said it needs to be replaced, I don’t want to spend $2000 or more to fix it and a year later I ‘ll have the same problem!

  7. Lynda Wood, January 14:

    We just had a new roof installed and it has been a nightmare. The roofing company did not order enough shingles and we had half our roof covered for almost 3 weeks and it rained and snowed during that time. Then they did not order enough shingles for the ridge line and had to wait several weeks for that to be completed. Really concerned about the integrity of the roof. What recourse or recommendation do you have?

  8. Very informative! I would like to add some points here like checking for home inspector’s certification, knowing about what inspection services cover, remembering all about paperwork’s, and also attending your home inspection personally. Remembering these will help buyers take full advantage while getting the home inspected.

  9. Brandon General Contractor, March 9:

    Hire a TRUSTING person with their HAAG certification and Insurance Adjusters license. These are qualifications that most contractors you call won’t have. They should tell you who is responsible for the current state your roof is in. You or your insurance company.

  10. Matt Worthy, September 20:

    Scheduling regular home maintenance and roof inspections will allow us to catch minor problems before they become costly repairs.

  11. Elmer Hutchcraft, March 11:

    I am have been in the roofing business for 38 years between installation and inspection and waterproofing. Trained by several major roofing companies in DFW. If you have a problem or concerns about what your roofer tells you get a second opinion. Most are honest and some not so honest.

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