There are multiple reasons why you would need a roof inspection. It could be to track a roof leak, for a general inspection to see how your roof is performing, or to get a quote for a new roof.
No matter the reason, you probably have one question about a roof inspection, how much it’ll cost. Because we believe in being fully transparent with homeowners, I’ll give you an idea of how much a roof inspection could cost you.
For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners understand what a roof inspection entails. Now we’ll take it a step further by answering the cost question.
I start this article by diving right into how much a roof inspection costs. After that, I’ll give you 6 things that every roofing contractor should look for during a roof inspection.
How much does a roof inspection cost?
Just like everything else cost-related in the roofing industry, it’s impossible to give you an exact cost number for a roof inspection. Every roofing contractor is different, so the pricing varies from company to company.
But I can at least give you an idea based on the reason you’re getting a roof inspection. For a general roof inspection, you can expect the cost to be around $120 to $400.
This is a wide price range, but I think you’ll find that most roofing companies fit in the numbers above. However, there are a couple situations where a roofing company could handle an inspection fee differently.
Some companies charge a service fee to inspect and track a roof leak, and then you’ll pay what it costs for repairs on top of it. If you’re looking for a roof replacement, a lot of companies will actually inspect your roof and give you a quote for free because there’s a potential for a sale.
Like I said earlier, every roofing company is different. So, the price you’ll ultimately pay for a roof inspection depends on the roofing contractor you hire.
6 things a roofing contractor looks for during a roof inspection
Now you have an idea of how much a roof inspection costs. Remember, every roofing contractor’s inspection price will be different.
But there is one thing that every roofing contractor should have in common, what they look at during a roof inspection. Let’s get to 6 things a roofing contractor looks for during a roof inspection.
1. Proper attic ventilation and the condition of your roof vents
One of the first things a roofing contractor should check during your inspection is your attic’s ventilation.Adequate attic ventilation is absolutely crucial to the lifespan of your roof and even your home’s energy bills.
Without proper ventilation, the damage caused by trapped hot and cold air will drastically shorten your roof’s lifespan. Improper ventilation can even void your roofing material warranties.
The roofing contractor will also inspect the actual vents on your roof. They’ll check for any obstructions and damage to ensure they’re still functioning properly.
Just know that not every roofing contractor gets in your attic to check for proper ventilation. If this happens during your inspection, ask how your attic’s ventilation system is doing to ensure it’s still functioning properly.
2. How many layers your roof has (asphalt shingles only)
When your contractor first gets on your asphalt shingle roof for the inspection, they’ll check how many layers of shingles there are. If they find more than one layer, your roof replacement estimate will include the number of layers that need to be torn off.
Depending on how old the home is, you may even see some roofs with 3 or 4 layers. Just know the more layers that need to be torn off increases the labor and waste cost for your roof replacement.
3. The condition of your roof decking (sheathing)
Your roof decking (also called roof sheathing) is the foundation that holds your entire roof system. Because of this, it’s absolutely crucial that any rotten or damaged decking be replaced.
That’s why a roofing contractor should always inspect your roof decking. To do this, they’ll test whether it’s spongy or solid underneath their feet.
They'll also check the nails in your decking to ensure they're still holding firm. Unfortunately, your roofing contractor can’t tell how much (if any) decking needs to be replaced until the old roof is torn off.
As long as your roof was installed properly, it should get as close as possible to its maximum lifespan. But you won’t know how much life is left until you get a roof inspection.
During an inspection, the roofing contractor will check out the condition of your roof and determine if it's time for a roof replacement. For an asphalt shingle roof specifically, they’ll look for things like granule loss, moss growth, and missing, loose, cracked, blistering, or buckling shingles.
If your roof still has plenty of life left, this is also the opportunity to repair little things like backed-out nails that could cause potential leaks. Just be aware some roofing contractors will say you need a new roof even if you don’t need one.
A roof penetration is anything sticking out through your roof. When your roofing contractor inspects your roof, they’ll check all your roof’s penetrations, including pipes, skylights, and chimney, to ensure they’re staying leak-free.
For roof pipes, they’ll inspect the neoprene boots around the pipes for cracks that will cause a roof leak. For skylights, they’ll check the flashing and the condition of the seal to spot any potential for a leak.
For a chimney, they’ll check the flashing, the condition of the mortar, and the condition of the chimney cap. Just know a roofing contractor can diagnose and repair chimney problems caused by flashing issues, but some chimney repairs require calling a chimney company.
6. The integrity of your roof flashing
Roof flashing is metal placed anywhere your shingles butt up against a wall, chimney, in open valleys, and other problem areas. It’s a crucial roofing material that every roof needs to have.
During the roof inspection, the roofing contractor checks all of the flashing currently installed on your roof. They’ll look for rusting and make sure the integrity of the metal can still hold up to the elements.
It also gives them a chance to make sure there’s flashing in the places that need it. If everything checks out, you may not have to replace your current flashing when the time comes for a new roof.
But if the flashing has damage, rust, or if you’re upgrading to a new roofing material, it’ll need to be replaced. To be safe, you should always expect some, if not all, of it to be replaced during a roof replacement.
The tips you need to find a great roofing contractor
Now you know 6 things that every roofing should look for during a roof inspection. Just know this isn’t everything that will be inspected, but these are the main things they should look at.
After reading this article, you should be ready to call a local roofing contractor for an inspection. Whether you’re looking for a general inspection, a roof leak inspection, or an inspection for a roof replacement quote, it’s absolutely crucial to hire the right one.
But the truth is, this can be harder than you think with all the options available in your area. That’s why you need to know how to spot a great one from one that could potentially take advantage of you.
Because of this, we have another article that gives you tips to help you find a great roofing contractor for all of your roofing needs.
Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided roof inspections to thousands of homeowners in Nashville and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas. No matter why you need an inspection, you can count on us to give you an honest evaluation of your roof.