Roof Inspection Cost

The average cost of a roof inspection is $450‚Äč. 

In this guide

Why get a professional roof inspection?
When should you have your roof inspected?
Roof inspector vs home inspector
Inspection process
Labor
Moss
Typical roof repairs
Roof leaks
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to inspect a roof?

Roofing is one of the most important parts of a home’s integrity and structure. The roof helps to protect a home from the elements, and is often the first line of defense against problems like wind and precipitation. Unfortunately, this can often mean that a roof may begin to deteriorate or develop problems that require repair.

A roof inspection helps to identify potential problems, offers solutions on what areas to fix, determines the longevity and condition of the roof, and can help you keep it in good repair. Conducted every few years or after a major storm, roof inspections can help you head off problems before they become large or expensive.

The average roof inspection of a 1,500 sq.ft. roof costs around $450 to complete. This cost can vary, however, depending on size, roof material, pitch, and roof condition.

Why get a professional roof inspection?

Many roof problems can be difficult to spot from the ground, even with binoculars. And several issues may also be difficult to spot if you don’t know what to look for.

In addition, it can be difficult to determine the condition of the roof underlayment 1 or deck, without lifting a few shingles 2 or tiles to take a peek. This can be difficult for a homeowner to do correctly or safely.

Roof inspections may be carried out by professional roofers. These differ from the “free” inspections given before a total roof replacement, which are meant to simply give you a quote on the job.

Roof inspections may also be conducted by an insurance agent if your roof has been struck by hailstones or other large falling debris. The insurance agent looks for strike marks to determine if the roof should be replaced. This type of inspection is usually free as part of your homeowner’s policy.

When should you have your roof inspected?

Most homeowners aren’t aware of just how frequently their roof should be inspected. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), homeowners should be carrying out their own inspections twice yearly, in the fall and in the spring.

When it comes to professional inspections, however, guidelines differ. According to the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association (NRCIA) you should be having your roof inspected every other year, while according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) you can wait and have it done every three years.

There are a few factors that may help influence how frequently you get your roof inspected. Obviously, if you see signs of leaks, such as water stains or mold growth, you may want to get it inspected sooner. If you live in a northern climate that has seen a lot of heavy snowfall during one winter, it’s a good idea to get it inspected in the spring. If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms, you may wish to have it inspected at the end of the summer to make sure it can withstand incoming tropical weather, or directly after a major storm to check for damage.

Roof inspector vs home inspector

If you’re in the process of purchasing a new home, you will likely hire a home inspector to take a look at the property for you, including the roof. However, most home inspectors will not actually climb onto your roof, preferring to take a look at it from the ground. So, while they may see some issues with the roof, there are others that they may potentially miss.

Roof inspectors are specifically trained to look at different types of roofs and roofing materials. They know what kinds of issues specific roofs face, and they can often spot them more easily than a home inspector can.

So, while a home inspector can often tell you if the roof is viable or if it needs to be replaced, they may not be able to tell you if it needs repair, or how many years your roof may have left before it will need replacement.

If you have specific questions about the roof, or if the home inspector sees something that they are unsure of, it may be a good idea to have an additional inspection carried out by a trained roof inspector as well.

Inspection process

A good roof inspection starts on the ground. Your inspector will begin by looking for obvious signs of roof damage or decay, such as missing or broken shingles 2, moss, buckling, humping, or curling.

The inspector will also assess the structural integrity of the roof, both from on top of the roof and from inside, looking at the attic. Your inspector may remove a few shingles or tiles from the roof to check the membrane below for moisture or tears. Or, they may use thermal imaging technology to check for moisture that can lead to weak spots.

Your inspector will also check the structure below the roof to look for movement, moisture, or rot. He or she may also check around openings in the roof, such as the chimney or skylights, to look at the flashing 3. The inspection will also check for a drip edge or lack thereof, to look for areas where moisture may penetrate.

A good inspection checks the roof from the ground, from the roof itself, and below the roof. While “free” inspections may just check the top of the roof or look at it from the ground, a thorough inspection should look at all areas and give you a detailed report of the findings, with a checklist of all areas searched and their conditions.

This report is often necessary when purchasing a home or making an insurance claim. The report may also help you get a better understanding of what work may need to be carried out, when, and how long the roof may last on average.

Labor

Roof inspections will vary depending on the roof material, the roof size and pitch, and the overall condition. Most inspections cost a flat rate that is determined in part by your roof’s size and the material. For example, a 1,500 square foot asphalt 4 roof will cost between $250 and $600 for an inspection, with an average cost of about $450. Costs can be higher if there are more than one layer of shingles 2 on the roof, if there are multiple skylights or protrusions in the roof, or if the pitch is excessively steep.

A slate 5 or tile roof may cost up to $800 for an inspection of the same size, due to the nature of the material.

Moss

While moss itself does not damage your roof, it may be a sign of a bigger problem. Moss grows well in moisture, so it could be a sign that your roof is deteriorating or that excessive moisture is below the shingles and in the membrane and deck. If you find moss on your roof, you may wish to have the roof inspected.

Otherwise, the roof can be cleaned using a long-handled brush, and cleansers designed to kill and remove the moss. Do not use a pressure washer, as this may bruise or damage the shingles. Inspect your roof regularly, and remove moss as you find it to prevent excess moisture build up, particularly in the spring and fall in northern climates. Alternatively, you can also have your roof cleaned for between $250 to $300.

Typical roof repairs

Your roof inspection may turn up a variety of different issues, all dependent on things like your climate, roof material, age of the roof, and whether or not a storm has recently passed through. Common problems that your inspection may turn up include:

IssueRepairRepair Cost

Missing, broken, or curling shingles

The square or section of roofing affected will be replaced

$650 per square or 100 sq.ft.

Bruised or cracked shingles (due to hail or impact damage)

The square or section of roofing affected will be replaced

$650 per square or 100 sq.ft.

Missing, cracked, or broken flashing

The flashing is replaced

$450 for flashing for a 1,500 sq.ft roof

Membrane bubbling, cracking, or excessive moisture

Total replacement of the roofing material and existing membrane

$6,000 for a 1,500 sq.ft. roof


Roof leaks

Often, the first sign that there is an issue with a roof is water infiltration or leaking. Leaking can take many forms: it may be a slow drip, a large sudden flood, or you may simply find evidence of water getting in after a storm, such as water stains or mold growth in the attic.

Leaks are often traced back to their source by following the path that the water took. The most common causes of leaks include broken or missing shingles, and broken or missing flashing. These types of repairs typically cost around $650 to fix.

Enhancement and improvement costs

  • If you have a flat roof, you may benefit from infrared inspection technology, which looks for moisture below the surface using heat. This adds an additional cost of around $200 to the cost of the inspection.
  • If the roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, your roof inspection may come up with the recommendation for a total roof replacement. Replacements typically cost about $6,000 for a 1,500 sq.ft. roof on average.
  • You may want to pair your roof inspection with a home inspection if you plan on purchasing a new home. A typical home inspection costs between $500 and $700, but is often not comprehensive when it comes to the roof.

Additional considerations and costs

  • If you are having a new roof installed, you can hire a third party to inspect the roof at the halfway point and then again at completion to ensure that your manufacturer’s warranty is upheld. This typically costs at least $250 per visit.
  • Call at least three companies to compare services and costs in order to get the best rates.
  • If you are purchasing a new home, you may request the seller to pay for the inspection as part of the terms of your offer.
  • Many inspectors have a travel fee if they arrive and find that they cannot inspect the roof due to inclement weather, snow, dogs, or other issues. This fee usually averages $250.
  • In many northern states that see high snowfall, it is often protocol to have the roof certified from the inspection. Always hire a reputable, local inspector to avoid any potential scams.
  • For DIY inspections, you can survey most of your roof with binoculars or from a ladder; it is not actually advised to walk on your roof. Look for curling, broken, or missing shingles 2, missing or broken flashing 3, or water stains in your attic.
  • Be sure to consider the lifespan of your roof; you may need to have it replaced as it approaches the end of this span, rather than to continuing paying for repairs.
  • Check if your inspection company carries errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. This type of liability insurance indemnifies homeowners if the inspector fail to report an issue that then becomes a problem.

FAQ

  • How do you inspect a roof?

Roof inspections are carried out from the ground, the roof’s edge, and beneath the roof in the attic. To inspect the roof, look for broken, curling, or missing shingles, broken or missing flashing, or signs of water infiltration on the roof deck.

  • How much does it cost to inspect a roof?

The average cost to inspect a roof is around $650.

  • Do home inspectors inspect the roof?

Home inspectors may inspect the roof from the ground, but are not trained to detect all potential issues.

  • What is a certified roof?

A certified roof is one that has been inspected by a licensed inspector, and which has a life expectancy of at least three years.

  • What is a certified roof inspector?

A certified roof inspector is a licensed professional who has undergone training in how to properly inspect a roof.

  • How much does it cost to get a home inspection?

The average cost of a home inspection is between $500 and $700.

  • Is a roof certification a warranty?

No, roof certifications are not given by the manufacturer, or installer, who are the only qualified parties to provide a warranty.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Underlayment: Roofing material laid underneath roofing tiles to seal the roof, preventing leaks
2 Shingles: A smooth, uniform, flat piece of construction material, available in a wide variety of materials and laid in a series of overlapping rows, used to cover the outside of roofs or walls to protect against weather damage and leaks.
3 Flashing: Pieces of sheet metal used on roofs to cover joints, such as where the roof meets the wall, or around a chimney or skylight, to protect them and prevent water leaking through
4 Asphalt: A viscous, black mixture of hydrocarbons often used for roofing and waterproofing. It is also used in asphalt for paving roads
5 Slate: A fine-grained rock, typically bluish-gray in color, that can easily be split into thin layers and is commonly used as a roofing material

Cost to inspect a roof varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Albany, GA
0%
Alexandria, VA
+2%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Billings, MT
-12%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Buda, TX
-14%
Chandler, AZ
-2%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Cleveland, TN
-20%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Durham, NC
-1%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Grand Rapids, MI
+7%
Greenwood, MS
-32%
Houston, TX
+24%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Leesburg, GA
-18%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
New Bern, NC
-19%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Panama City, FL
-20%
Pensacola, FL
-19%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pittsboro, NC
-35%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Portland, OR
+11%
Riverside, CA
+13%
Rochester, NY
+6%
Rockledge, FL
-16%
Sacramento, CA
+8%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
Sammamish, WA
-16%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Diego, CA
+11%
Scottsdale, AZ
-1%
Silver Spring, MD
+25%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
Sparks, NV
-1%
Sun City, AZ
-2%
Toledo, OH
+9%

Labor cost in your zip code

Last modified:   
Methodology and sources