How Much Does It Cost to Inspect a Roof?

Average Cost
(internal and external inspection of a 1,500 sq.ft. sloped roof)

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How Much Does It Cost to Inspect a Roof?

Average Cost
(internal and external inspection of a 1,500 sq.ft. sloped roof)

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Reviewed by Irene Pomares. Written by

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 cost for a roof inspection is $100 to $600, with most homeowners paying around $350 for an internal and external inspection of a 1,500 sq.ft. sloped roof. This cost can vary, however, depending on size, roof material, pitch, and roof condition.

Average Costs of Roof Inspection

Roof Inspection Costs
National average cost$350
Average range$100-$600
Minimum cost$75
Maximum cost$700

Roof Inspection Cost by Project Range

Basic inspection on a flat roof
Average Cost
Internal and external inspection of a 1,500 sq.ft. sloped roof
Plus thermal imaging

Roof Inspection Cost by Roof Material

Not all inspectors are well versed in every type of roofing material. Shingle or flat roofs have different specifications than metal, tile, and slate. Check with the inspector to ensure they can inspect your roofing material. Slate or tile roofs are long-lasting but should still be inspected annually for cracked materials before leaks appear. Slate and tile roof inspections can be more expensive, but with drone technology, it should not be too much more than the average.

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Roof Inspection Cost by Type

The roofing material plays a significant role in hiring a roofing inspector. Tile, slate, metal, flat, and shingle roofs each have different requirements and stress points. Ensure your roofing inspector is certified for your roofing material. Inspectors have many tools at their disposal, including drone technology to provide a thorough view of problem spots.

Roof Inspection Cost

TypeAverage cost
Physical Roof Inspection$75 - $250
Drone Roof Inspection$150 - $400
Infrared Roof Inspection$400 - $650

Physical Roof Inspection Prices

A physical roof inspection normally involves the inspector climbing on the roof and observing the condition of the building material. This involves inspecting the flashing around roof vents, chimneys, and downspouts and checking the valleys for water accumulation or other signs of wear and tear. If you have an attic and a more thorough inspection, the roofing specialist might check inside for water spots or air leakages. The average cost of a roof inspection is $75 - $250.

Drone Roof Inspection Cost

If your roof is particularly steep or more difficult to access due to its location, the roofing inspector may offer to fly a drone with a camera attached over your roof. This captures close-up footage of all surfaces, after which the inspector will study the footage and provide recommendations. An average price for this service is $150 - $400.

Infrared Roof Inspection Cost

Most roof inspections concentrate on the roof’s surface to catch the obvious problems, but an infrared, or thermal, roof inspection goes to a deeper level. A drone is used with a special thermal imaging camera. They look for problems like leaks of warmer or cooler air coming from the interior of the home, which may indicate a weakness in the construction. The average cost of this inspection is $400 - $650 for an average-size roof.

Importance of Roof Inspections

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.

How Often 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.

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Roof 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 3 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 2 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 Costs to Inspect a Roof

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

Worker inspecting roof

Roof Certification Cost

Certain circumstances, such as when selling or refinancing your house, require a roof certification letter. The condition of the roof and an estimate of its lifespan are included. The cost for this document is an extra $75 - $200.

Roof Moss Removal Cost

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 3 and in the membrane and deck. If you find moss on your roof, you may wish to have the roof inspected. The cost of removing algae can be about $150 - $850 or more, depending on the thickness of the materials and the method used.

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 3. 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.

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Roof Repair Cost

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 Leak Repair Cost

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.

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.

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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.
  • Most roof inspections just cover the outside, but if you suspect bigger problems, an attic inspection is a good idea. The inspector will climb in your attic and check for leaks and drafts. Expect to pay an additional $125 - $3,200 for this service.

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.
  • A roof inspection form or letter is sometimes required when selling or refinancing your home. It will include comments on the condition of the roof and how long until replacement is recommended.
  • Roofing inspections might depend on the size of your roof and how many surface areas are to be inspected.
  • Roof accessibility is key. If the inspector cannot safely get up on the roof, they will recommend a drone service.
  • Have your roof inspected after major storms if you suspect damage may have occurred. Roofing inspections in the winter in a snowy climate will not be very accurate.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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.

  • What is included in a roof inspection?

A roof inspection normally includes a visual inspection of the roof including shingles, flashing, and gutters. Inside your home, an inspection of your ceilings and attic may also be included. An experienced inspector can provide a good estimate of the cost and what is included with a few simple questions.

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
glossary term picture Shingle 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.
glossary term picture Flashing 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
glossary term picture Slate 4 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.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources
Roof inspector looking at the roof from the inside of the house
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Cost to inspect a roof varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources