What to Expect for Your Roof Inspection (Homeowners Guide)

May 16, 2022

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Have you noticed yellow or brown water stains forming on the ceiling inside your home? This could be an indication that your roof is leaking. The only way to know for sure is to have a professional roofing inspection done by a reputable roofing company. But it would be best if you didn’t wait until you see visible signs of problems inside your home to call out the pros. Most roofing professionals suggest that you proactively get roof inspections once a year. And if you live in a climate with extreme weather conditions such as hail or heavy snow, you may want to get roof inspections more often. When you order a roofing contractor to inspect your roof, what are they looking for, and how do they present their findings? Read on to learn more. 

How Do Contractors Perform a Roof Inspection? 

Each company may perform roof inspections differently. For example, some roof contractors will use a ladder to get on the roof and inspect it for damages. This is usually when a roof has a low to moderate pitch. However, if the roof slope is too steep, they may use cameras, video technology, or other tools, such as drones, to help perform the inspection and avoid injury. 

roofing contractor inspecting a roof

What Roof Contractors Look For When Inspecting a Roof

Whether roofers get on a roof to perform the inspection or use some other means, they will be looking for key factors that could indicate that your roof may need repairs or replacement. The InterNatchi (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) provides more details about what’s involved in a roofing inspection. Here is a brief list of some of the things that roof inspectors look for during inspections.


One big problem that could mean that other issues are brewing beneath the surface is the presence of microorganisms. When inspecting the roof, roofers may look for moss, black algae, or lichen. These microorganisms may look harmless, but they are living entities that can take root in the roofing shingles and start to damage them. This could cause shingles to fall off or be exposed, allowing water to get into the decking and cause leaks. 

Missing Shingles

Another thing roofers will look for is missing shingles. This is not evident from the ground. So you may not notice that a storm has blown a section of your roofing shingles off, which could be why you are seeing water damage inside your home. A roofer will inspect the roof's perimeter looking for broken, missing, or otherwise damaged shingles. 

Bad Decking

Over time, missing shingles may have subjected your roof decking to moisture exposure. As a result, there may be some wood rot on your decking that could be causing leaks in your home. This is dangerous not only because of the leaks but because if the wood gets too saturated, the damaged decking could collapse. Water exposure may not be the only reason you have bad decking. It could be that it is very old and needs replacement. 

Problems With Flashing

Roof flashing redirects water away from specific areas of your roof, such as the chimney or the skylights. However, if water isn’t correctly channeling away from the areas, the flashing can become damaged, leaving these areas vulnerable to moisture problems. For example, bad flashing in your skylights may cause leaks. But bad flashing on your chimney may cause water to get into your chimney. This could create mold problems, structural damage, and more. 

inspecting a metal roof

Attic Ventilation

Another essential thing that roofers will check for during your roof inspection is the ventilation in your attic. If your roof is not “breathing” correctly, this can create all kinds of problems with moisture. There will be too much heat that can’t escape in the summer, and in winter, vice versa. This lack of proper air distribution can cause moisture issues in the attic, which can take a toll on your roof decking and cause premature roof replacement. 

Gutter Issues

Another critical area that roofers will check is gutters and the roof parts near the gutters, such as the fascia. Your roofs mustn’t have a buildup of gunk and leaves, which could trap water and cause moisture problems. Also, if your roof gutters are old or aren’t appropriately attached, this could cause your gutters to fall during a wind or snowstorm. Fallen gutters could prevent water from draining away, which could eventually cause foundation problems such as leaks in your basement or crawl space. 

Hail Damage

Hail damage, which is typically a covered peril under insurance, is another problem they will look for when performing an inspection. If you’ve recently had a hail storm, you have up to a year to file a claim for hail damage. 

While this is not an exhaustive list, roofers look for some of the items to determine if your roof has problems. 

What is a Roof Inspection Report and What’s In It

After a roofer has performed a thorough inspection of your roof, they will compile a roof inspection report or an assessment. This will include all their findings, including hail damage, broken shingles, damaged flashing, the state of the roof decking, and more. Some reports may even include images. Roofers may use this roofing report to help prepare a roofing estimate that will provide all the necessary repairs or replacements that they suggest based on the roof inspection report. 

best roofing company for inspections

Getting a thorough roof inspection is critical to discovering what is wrong with your roof and working on a plan to repair or replace it. In some cases, the repairs on your roof may be minor, costing only a few hundred dollars. However, if an inspection report reveals extensive roof damage in which you may need new decking, gutters, flashing, and shingles, you may need roof replacement which could run thousands of dollars. 

If you need the help of a reputable, licensed and insured roofing company serving Cranston and surrounding areas, The Cranston Roofers can help. For over 20 years, they have provided all types of roofing repairs and replacements and guarantee their workmanship. Call (401) 208-2324 today to schedule a roof inspection and get an estimate on roof service in the local Cranston area. 

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