How Much Does a Roof Inspection Cost?
Adding roof inspection into a home’s annual maintenance plan is a savvy move for homeowners. The average roof inspection cost is $215, with a typical range of $120 to $321.
- Typical Range: $120 to $321
- National Average: $215
A roof inspection is a visual examination of a roof’s materials and structure and should be considered a crucial part of any home maintenance routine. Inspections are typically conducted by a qualified professional and can be performed in person, with a drone, or with infrared. These methods can identify potential issues that require the homeowner’s attention, such as leaks, mold, or pests, and can help determine whether the roof is in good condition or needs to be replaced. Roof inspections help spot problems before they become serious and expensive to fix.
According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, the average price for a roof inspection is about $215, falling within a typical range of $120 to $321. The exact cost will depend on many factors, including the size of the property being inspected, the type of inspection being performed, the complexity of the inspection, and the amount of time it takes to complete.
Factors in Calculating Roof Inspection Cost
Just how much does an inspection cost? There are a number of factors that go into calculating roof inspection cost, including the type of inspection, the size of the roof, and the material it is made from.
The average cost of a roof inspection is $215, but the price can vary based on the type of inspection the homeowner chooses. There are three main inspection types to consider: physical, drone, and infrared.
Physical roof inspections are the simplest type. A professional climbs a ladder and physically examines a roof’s materials and condition. This type of inspection requires a flat or only slightly sloped roof that’s easily accessible. Physical inspections are also the most affordable with a price range between $75 and $200.
Drone inspections are used for roofs that are too steep or difficult to access on foot. In this type of inspection, a professional flies a drone with a camera around the roof and records footage of all the surface regions. Another professional on the ground then assesses the recording and makes the proper roof diagnosis. This type of inspection is a bit more expensive and costs between $150 and $400.
Finally, there are infrared roofing inspections. They have a higher price range between $400 and $600 because they include the benefits of infrared technology. This allows inspectors to spot potential issues in a roof that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye. Infrared inspections can catch signs of damage that both physical and drone inspections can’t.
Roof size plays a large role in determining the overall cost to inspect a roof. Generally speaking, the larger a roof is, the longer it will take to inspect. A professional may need to bring in additional team members to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time. Whether it’s longer hours or added employees, the requirements for inspecting a larger roof add up to more in labor and general costs.
Homeowners with larger-than-average roofs can expect to incur either a larger add-on fee for size or a higher price overall if the contractor charges by the square foot. Either way, a larger roof will just about always cost more than a smaller roof.
This is good news for homeowners with smaller homes. It can be more affordable to keep up with home maintenance with less expensive roof inspections.
Asphalt shingles are the most common residential roofing material because they’re economical and easy to install. Professionals are most familiar with asphalt shingles and best inspection practices, so there’s usually no additional cost with this type of roofing.
However, roofs made from other types of materials may cost more to inspect. Metal roofing, stone-coated steel, slate, clay, and unique green roofs can all cost a bit more to inspect. This is especially true if additional equipment is needed. Working around solar panels while inspecting a home’s roof can slow down the job a bit, potentially increasing labor costs.
Just how much more can different materials affect the cost of a roof inspection? Every material and situation is different. But the difference can be quite large. For example, inspecting a slate tile roof can cost almost four times as much as an asphalt shingle roof.
Roof Slope and Accessibility
Roof slope is a large factor in the cost of a roof inspection. In general, the steeper the roof, the more difficult it is to access. If the slope of the roof is mild, a physical inspection may still be possible, but homeowners can expect a professional to charge more than they would for a flat roof inspection. It may take longer to inspect a sloped roof, as extra precautions are required.
In roofs with extra-steep slopes, it may be impossible to inspect them in person. In these scenarios, a drone inspection is required. It takes more expensive equipment and an advanced level of technical skills and knowledge to conduct a drone inspection over a physical inspection, so these inspections tend to cost $75 to $200 more than physical inspections.
A home’s geographic location has a direct impact on roof inspection cost due to a few factors. First, climate plays a role in how fast a roof starts to show signs of deterioration. More humid climates can result in more moisture damage than dry climates. Certain areas of the country are more prone to severe weather, like hurricanes and tornadoes. Bad storms can often result in an impromptu roof inspection while certain climates make it extremely important to keep up with routine inspections to spot problems before they become serious (and expensive).
Other geographical factors that influence price include the local cost of living, average home size, and age of the town. Homes with a large number of historic buildings often have complex roof designs that can equal a higher inspection cost.
To give homeowners a better idea of what their geographic location means in terms of roof inspection cost, the following are some price ranges broken down by region. The East Coast has a price range for roof inspections between $170 and $370. In the Southeast, prices range from $190 to $200. Homeowners in the Southwest can expect to pay between $130 and $160 for a roof inspection, while those on the West Coast can expect to pay as much as $1,200 (but also as low as $250). Finally, the Pacific Northwest has a price range of $220 to $420.
Additional Costs and Considerations
The cost of a roof inspection is usually a flat rate, agreed upon between homeowner and contractor before the job takes place. But there could be additional costs to consider. Homeowners will want to be aware of such potential additional costs, like fees for attic inspections and roof repairs, before proceeding.
A roof certification is an inspection of a home’s roofing system for insurance purposes and typically costs between $75 and $200. There are three main reasons homeowners get their roof certified. The first is to provide proof to a buyer or potential buyer about the roof’s life span. This allows a potential buyer to buy with confidence, as they know the roof will last for some time still. Or it can show a potential buyer that they may need to factor roof replacement cost into their budget sooner than later after purchase.
Roof certifications are also sometimes required by mortgage lenders before funding is provided. A home is typically the collateral behind a mortgage loan, meaning that if the borrower defaults on the loan, the bank can take ownership of the home. A home with a bad roof can make for a risky loan.
Finally, some homeowners pay a bit more for a roof certification simply for peace of mind. Whether there’s been a natural disaster or they just want to make sure that their older roof is still performing properly, a roof certification can help a homeowner know that nothing perilous is happening on top of their home.
Commercial Roof Inspection
A commercial roof inspection is a bit different from a residential inspection. First, the cost can be much higher—between $200 and $500 on average. For some commercial properties, the inspection cost can be as high as $1,000 or more. This is because commercial properties can be quite large, resulting in more time and people needed to complete the inspection.
Some contractors charge by the square footage when inspecting commercial properties. This can cost between $0.05 and $0.10 per square foot. So a 5,000-square-foot commercial office space would cost between $250 and $5,000 to inspect, while a larger 15,000-square-foot warehouse would cost between $750 and $1,500. Commercial roof inspections can also cost a bit more than residential since they often come with more regulations, like a check for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines.
Not all roof inspections require a check of the attic. A homeowner who wants a professional to inspect their attic can expect an additional cost of approximately $120 to $200.
The benefits of an attic inspection can be well worth the additional cost. Attic inspections can help homeowners find out if they’re dealing with an animal infestation or if they have moisture and mold caused by a leak. An attic inspection can also determine whether the house is well insulated, has signs of fire damage, or has any structural defects.
A roof inspection covers the cost of spotting potential issues. But any necessary roof repair costs are additional fees a homeowner will need to absorb. In a perfect scenario, a roof inspection will find that a roof and its materials are in good condition and that nothing more than routine maintenance is required. But if missing, broken, or curling shingles are discovered, homeowners can expect to pay around $650 per 100 square feet to replace them. If flashing is missing or broken, the average repair cost is $450 for a 1,500-square-foot roof. Finally, in the worst case scenario, the entire roof may need to be replaced. This cost can vary greatly depending on several factors, but homeowners should expect to pay a minimum of $12,000 to replace a 3,000-square-foot roof.
Types of Roof Inspections
Roof inspections are essential for the safety of the home, and they are often necessary for insurance purposes. There are three main types of inspections: Physical, drone, and infrared. Each type has its own set of benefits and unique price range, but they all have one thing in common—they must be performed by a licensed professional who is insured against liability. Answering the question “How much is an inspection?” starts by knowing the type.
This type of inspection requires the contractor to physically climb up on the roof in order to assess it. They will then look for any signs of leakage, cracks, or other abnormalities that might indicate a problem with the roof. A physical inspection is beneficial because the inspector can get up close to the roof and its materials. They can actually touch the surface to confirm certain conditions, like if a shingle is overly dry or wet. They can also determine how the roof feels to walk on, which can provide clues drone footage can’t.
While not all roofs can have a physical inspection, flat and easily accessible roofs can be assessed using this method. This is good news because physical inspections are the most affordable type, costing between $75 and $200 on average.
A drone roof inspection involves using a drone equipped with a camera to fly over and around a home, inspecting the roof from all angles. Drone inspections work well for roofs that have steep pitches or are structurally unsound. If safety is a concern, a drone inspection is the best way to get eyes on a roof without the need for anyone to leave the ground.
A drone inspection costs more than a physical inspection at $150 to $400. Some insurance policies may cover this type of inspection, though not all do. It’s recommended that homeowners relying on insurance to cover the cost of a roof inspection reach out to a professional beforehand, especially if the inspection is anything other than physical.
This type of inspection uses infrared cameras or equipment to detect temperature differences on a roof’s surface, which could indicate leaks or other problems. This type of inspection allows professionals to see what’s happening under a roof’s surface without jeopardizing the integrity of the roof.
Infrared inspections need precise conditions to be successful. The roof must be flat or low-sloped, and it must be clean and dry. There must be little to no wind and the day should have been mostly sunny and warm. Infrared inspections are done at night so that the heat from the sun doesn’t throw off any readings. Infrared inspections are the most expensive type, costing between $400 and $600.
Do I Need a Roof Inspection?
While roof inspections are often part of a home’s routine maintenance, there are many signs homeowners should look for that could signal the need for an impromptu inspection. Here is a checklist of signs that homeowners should look for to determine if they need a roof inspection.
Recent Severe Storm
When a storm hits, it’s not just the ground that gets damaged; the wind can also wreak havoc on a roof. This is why it’s recommended that homeowners have a roof inspected for any signs of storm damage after the bad weather has passed.
Storms can cause various types of damage to a roof. The most common form of storm damage is wind-driven rain that penetrates the roof decking and leaks down into the house. The second most common storm-related roofing problem is hail. A hail-damaged roof can be identified by broken shingles, holes, dents, or cracked tiles.
If there’s any suspicion of roof damage after a storm, either from wind, rain, hail, or broken tree limbs, a roof inspection can either provide peace of mind or identify concerns before they become serious issues. Some companies may provide a free roof inspection to homeowners after storms have moved through the area to promote their services, but homeowners will benefit from getting a second opinion to make sure the recommended repairs are required before they sign a repair contract.
Water Damage Inside the Home
Water leaks are one of the most common home emergencies. While many immediately point the finger to a burst pipe or leaking appliance, a leaking roof can also be the culprit. If unexplained water is found in a home and there’s no obvious sign of where it’s coming from, it’s wise to inspect the roof.
A leaking roof can very quickly cause a lot of damage to a home. Leaks can damage plaster or cause an issue with the electrical system. A leaking roof can also damage rafters, ceiling joists, and wall frames. A roof inspection can find the source of the leak early and prevent repair bills from getting out of control.
Increased Energy Bills
A roof is one of the most essential parts of a house. It protects a house from rain, snow, and other harsh weather elements. It also offers protection from the sun and provides insulation for a home. Essentially, a roof helps keep the inside of a home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
An old roof can leak heat and energy, which can substantially increase energy bills. If a homeowner notices that their energy bills have increased without any changes to their heating or cooling system, they can search online for “roof inspector near me” to find a local contractor to assess their roof’s condition.
Roofs, like anything else, can wear out over time. Older roofs are more likely to have issues like leaks and rot. They also need more maintenance than newer roofs, which is why it’s always a good idea to have an older roof inspected.
Roofs are typically more susceptible to weather damage than other parts of a house because they’re exposed to more elements like sun, rain, snow, and wind. Older roofs also show signs of wear and tear much more quickly than newer roofs. All roofs have a limited lifespan, so matter how well maintained a roof may be, it will eventually need to be replaced. One of the easiest ways to minimize the financial hit of a new roof is to keep up with inspections. This becomes especially true with an older roof.
Insurance Claim Documentation
Insurance companies often require that homeowners have their roof inspected before they can receive reimbursement for damage after a covered peril. The inspection will involve looking at the condition of the roof, including any damage from wind, hail, fire, or fallen tree branches. The inspector will also look at the roofing materials used and how they were installed. They might also inspect the attic. They will then provide an official document that includes a report detailing the findings.
If a homeowner needs to submit documentation of their roof’s condition to their insurance company, a professional inspection is the best (and likely only) option available.
Home Sale or Purchase
A roof inspection is a crucial part of the home-buying or selling process and will likely factor into the home inspection cost calculator. When buying a home, it’s important for anyone buying a new home to make sure that the roof is in good shape and won’t need an expensive fix soon. If issues with the roof are revealed, potential buyers can use this information when negotiating the final sale price and contract terms.
A roof inspection is not just for the buyer, though; the seller may want to get a roof inspection before listing their house. This way, they’ll know if there are any issues with the roof and can adjust their asking price accordingly. If there are problems, they will likely need to be fixed before the property is listed. But if the roof is in great shape, the homeowner can use this knowledge to boost their asking price.
Roof Inspection: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
The cost of roof inspections can add up over time. For homeowners on a budget, a DIY approach is one way to save money, but roof inspections usually require the expertise of a professional from one of the best roofing companies.
First, there’s the matter of tools. A homeowner might not know what type of tools are needed for the job. And even if they do have an accurate list, it’s unlikely that they own all the necessary equipment. Buying or renting tools may be an option, but this can reduce or even erase any potential DIY savings.
Safety is also an issue. A homeowner who isn’t trained to climb roofs could end up seriously injured, and even if inspections take place from the ground via a drone, accidents can still happen.
There’s also experience to consider. A trained professional knows exactly what to look for when inspecting a roof. It’s unlikely that a homeowner will be able to spot every potential issue; and even if they can, they’re more likely to spot it once it’s too late and extensive damage has taken place. Professionals are trained to spot issues before they turn into big, expensive problems.
Finally, when it comes to home inspections taking place during a home sale, having the work completed by a licensed professional is usually required by the mortgage lender.
A DIY roof inspection can be dangerous and possibly even illegal. When it comes down to it, a homeowner is unlikely to have the proper training or equipment to do an accurate inspection, which could lead to costly and potentially dangerous mistakes.
There are many benefits to hiring a professional for a roof inspection. They can do a more thorough job as well as provide peace of mind that the inspection is being handled safely and correctly. Homeowners considering tackling their own roof inspections will want to consider everything a professional brings to the table, from tools to technique, rather than focusing on the price alone.
How to Save Money on Roof Inspection Cost
Roof inspections are necessary for homeowners because they can identify issues before they become costly and problematic. However, there is no need for homeowners to break the bank when it comes time for an inspection. There are a few things that homeowners can do in order to save money on their next roof inspection.
- Speak to more than one inspector about their rates, processes, and schedules. Rather than shopping simply by the lowest price or by the keywords “cheapest roof inspection near me,” homeowners can reach out to multiple professionals to ensure they are receiving great service at a fair price.
- When scheduling routine inspections, avoid prime time slots like weekends. Roof inspections are recommended during the fall and spring, but trying to schedule right outside the recommended window can avoid prime pricing.
- Stay up-to-date on inspections. While routine inspections may not offer vast savings right off the bat, spotting roof issues before they have time to develop further can save substantially in the long run.
- Choose the right type of inspection. Scheduling an in-person inspection for a slanted roof when it actually needs a drone inspection can end up costing a homeowner twice as much.
- Look for a contractor who offers discounts for multiple inspections and organize a group inspection date with neighbors.
- Keep limbs trimmed on trees near the house and avoid stacking items nearby that could cause damage during a windstorm. Taking precautionary steps to avoid emergency inspections is an easy way to save over time.
- Know what insurance covers, as certain types of inspections are included in some policies.
Questions to Ask About Roof Inspection
Finding the right professional for a roof inspection is a big undertaking. To help a homeowner with this sometimes overwhelming task, the following is a list of questions to ask contractors before, during, and after a roof inspection.
- How long have you been in business?
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Do you have a list of references?
- Will you be the one performing the inspection, or do you work with subcontractors?
- How are your employees trained?
- When can you schedule the inspection?
- What happens if the weather is bad on the day of inspection?
- How long will the inspection take?
- What type of inspection do you recommend?
- How do you present your findings?
- Can you estimate the age of my roof?
- Can you give me the specifics of any damage you found?
- Does my roof have multiple shingle layers?
- What materials have been used on my roof?
- Is it time to replace my roof, or will repairing a few spots buy me some more time?
- If repairs are recommended, which should I focus on first?
- If my roof is in good or fair condition, how many years do you think it has left?
- Are there any other issues you noticed that, while not roof related, require my attention?
- What type of roof maintenance do you recommend until the next inspection?
A solid roof is equally as important as a solid foundation for a home. Once a roof starts to fail, it can create a domino effect of frustrating, expensive, and even dangerous side effects throughout a home. That’s why routine roof inspections are an important part of any home’s regular maintenance protocol.
Roof inspection cost is worth every penny when a homeowner considers the costly repairs routine checks can help prevent. For the homeowner still unsure about the basics of roof inspections, the following FAQ guide may help.
Q. How long does it take to inspect a roof?
A professional roof inspection doesn’t take long at all. In some cases, an inspection can be as quick as 45 minutes. But the length of an inspection depends on the size of the roof, the specifics of the inspection, and the difficulty involved in accessing every part of the roof. For more involved inspections, homeowners should block out about 4 hours for completion.
Q.What does a roof survey involve?
There are a few different types of roof surveys, but in general, inspections involve checking a roof’s structure, materials, and interior portions. A physical inspection is the simplest type and involves an in-person examination of the roof by a professional. A drone roof inspection is ideal for steep or difficult-to-access roofs. Rather than physically inspecting the roof, a drone records close-up footage for an expert to assess from the ground. Finally, an infrared roofing inspection involves infrared technology, allowing inspectors to spot signs of damage that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye.
Q.How often do I need a roof inspection?
A roof should be professionally inspected twice a year. Ideally, these inspections should take place in the spring and fall. A roof should also be inspected if it’s hit by a heavy storm, especially one that includes wind and hail, or any other time damage to the roof is suspected.
Q. Does a new roof need to be inspected?
Yes. Unfortunately, new roofs can be poorly installed. This can be due to an inexperienced contractor or poor work ethic. Either way, once it’s been discovered that a roof isn’t up to code, it needs to be repaired. To avoid additional expenses and frustration, homeowners will benefit from having a new roof inspected upon completion and before the final bill is settled.
Q.Can I use a drone to look at my roof?
Yes; using a drone is often the safest way to inspect a roof. Either a homeowner can use their own drone to confirm suspicions of a roof issue (and then call a professional), or a professional can use their own drone to inspect a roof and provide an accurate repair estimate.
Q.How do I know if my roof is damaged?
There are many warning signs that signal a roof is failing. Though far from exhaustive, the following list can help homeowners spot a bad roof. Warning signs include missing or loose shingles, cracking or dry shingles, a sagging roof, exposed or loose nail heads, dark patches on the roof, or interior water damage.
Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack