How Much Does A Roof Inspection Cost?
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Roof Inspection Cost Guide
Updated: Jan 01, 1970
A storm leaves a few shingles on the lawn as it blows through your neighborhood, and you’re wondering if it could’ve done more damage to your roof than you can see. At times like these, a professional roof inspection is in order. But even if you don’t suspect damage, the roof is one of the most critical parts of your home’s structure, and regular roof inspections often catch problems before they become one.
In this guide, we'll walk you through the cost of a roof inspection based on these factors, so you can plan to stay within your budget.
The average cost of a roof inspection
On average, a roof inspection costs $426, depending on your region, the roof's size, and other factors.
Cost to inspect a roof
National average cost
$307 - $571
Factors that influence roof inspection costs
Typically, a roof inspection costs $307 to $571, depending on where you live and a few other factors. Below, we look at those factors to determine how they apply to your situation.
Roof inspection types
Most roof inspections fall into three categories: physical, drone, and infrared. Let’s see which type of inspection is right for your home.
Physical roof inspection
The most popular type of roof inspection is one where the roofing contractor climbs onto the roof and looks with his eyes at what’s happening up there. While this is the most accurate way to diagnose problems with the roof, not every roof is well suited for it. For an excessively steep roof, you may opt for a drone inspection.
Drone roof inspection
If you have an exceptionally steep roof, multiple stories that make a physical inspection unsafe, or roofing materials that cannot take the weight of a human, ask your roofing contractor if they offer drone inspections. As the technology has grown, drones can be surprisingly accurate, protecting your roof from further damage.
Infrared roof inspection
Primarily reserved for commercial roofs, an infrared inspection looks for signs of leakage where a human cannot go. If your home has a flat roof with no attic, your roofing contractor may recommend an infrared inspection.
As expected, the roof's size contributes to the inspection cost. As would the number of penetrations like skylights or chimneys. In other words, the more there is to look at, the more the inspection will cost.
Roof inspectors follow a similar checklist of items to inspect, regardless of your roof material. Each material will have different weak points or signs to look for that indicate wear and deterioration. So, if you don’t have the most common roof–asphalt shingles–ensure the inspector has experience with the type of material your roof is made of. If it’s not common in your area of the country, you may pay more for their expertise.
The most common roofing materials include:
- Asphalt shingles
- Metal roof
- Wood shakes
Roof slope and accessibility
The more complicated your roofline, the more your inspector could charge. High-pitched slopes, slippery metal or slate, delicate tiles, and high elevations pose more danger to the inspector. In addition to the cost of setting up additional safety equipment, they may charge more to cover the higher risk.
To thoroughly inspect your roof, the inspector should look in the attic at the condition of your roof deck and check for moisture. While an attic inspection should be included, some roofing companies may charge extra. So, ensure you know what’s included when asking for an estimate.
Why you may need a professional roof inspection
Granted, you could climb up on your roof to see if everything looks okay. But a few things could prompt you to need a professional roof inspection. In times like these, there are better ways to go than DIYing.
- You have a leak. If you’re lining up buckets to catch rainwater in the dining room, it’s time to call in the pros. Even if it’s not that bad–you see a moist spot on the ceiling–you still want a professional roofer’s input.
- You have storm damage. If you find pieces of shingles littering the lawn after a storm or suspicious-looking spots after hail, it’s time for a roofer to inspect your roof.
- You need to seal a deal. Whether you’re refinancing your home, selling it, or changing insurance companies, you may need a roof certification. This paper assures potential homebuyers, lenders, and insurance companies that your roof has some life left. If you need a certified roof, let your inspector know beforehand.
What to expect during a roof inspection
A roof inspection is to check for signs of wear and tear to the roofing components, any sign of failure or leakage, and to determine the remaining lifespan of the entire roof. They will let you know if you need a new roof or have any problem areas. Some companies will advertise a free roof inspection, but you should always ask what that includes. Some contractors will use that to lure you in and then upsell what they should be looking for anyway. A trustworthy roofing contractor looks for the following during an inspection.
- Condition of the roof covering – An experienced roofer can tell you how much life your shingles have left by looking for signs of wear.
- Condition of the roof deck and attic framing – They’ll look inside the attic for signs of leakage, water damage, mold, or moisture.
- Condition of gutters, downspouts, fascia, and soffit – Improper maintenance and placement of gutters can cause water to overflow, allowing the fascia board to hold moisture that leads to rot.
- Condition of any penetrations – Cracked skylights, chimneys, or vents are often the source of leaks.
- Condition of the flashing – Flashing is made of thin metal strips, and channels water away from crucial areas, like where two roof planes meet.
- Proper attic ventilation – Poor attic ventilation contributes to a failed roof. So, the professional will ensure your attic vents are not blocked, air flows freely, and the vents are in good condition.
Download our roof maintenance and inspection checklist
How to pay for your roof inspection
Unless you find roof damage from an unknown leak, most homeowners pay for a roof inspection out-of-pocket. However, if you learn your roof needs to be replaced or repaired, discuss payment options with your roofing contractor first. Or, consider withdrawing funds from your home equity line of credit (HELOC). If you don’t have a HELOC, speak with your lender to get one set up.
Other factors to consider
A few items that could incur additional costs during a routine roof inspection include the following.
- Location – The cost of any home improvement project or professional inspection varies from one area of the country to another. Call a local roofing contractor for the most accurate pricing for your home.
- Repair costs – If the inspection raises any need for roof repairs, they will add to the overall cost.
- Maintenance – Performing routine roof maintenance tasks will ensure your roof lasts as long as it should. If your home is well-maintained, the chances of necessary repairs are lower.
- Warranty – If the inspector concludes you have signs of damage or need a roof replacement, check your warranty to see if your roof’s lifespan is expired or if you may have a warranty claim.
Can I DIY a roof inspection?
Before hopping up on the roof to peek, you have to know what you’re looking for. A professional roofing contractor knows what signs to look for in each type of roof material, indicating wear and tear that leads to a shortened lifespan. They also know how to diagnose where a leak is coming from and what is causing it. If you don’t have this type of training, looking at your roof does nothing but put you at risk of a fall.
Regular inspections keep you covered
Having routine roof inspections gives you peace of mind that your home is adequately protected. Don’t wait until you notice missing shingles or a roof leak. Schedule one today.
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.