Roof inspection costs vary by the type of inspection.
Physical roof inspections cost $75–$200.
A drone roof inspection costs $150–$600.
Have a pro inspect your roof at least annually.
Some signs of damage are visible without climbing a ladder.
A healthy roof is one of the secrets to battling leaks, mold, ventilation issues, and even high energy bills. Whether you're in escrow for a new home, recently weathered a rough storm, or simply want to confirm your roof is ready for the winter ahead, hiring a professional roofing expert is the way to go. The national average cost of a roof inspection is $210, but some roofing contractors will offer very basic inspections for free before performing work.
Roof Inspection Cost by Inspection Type
The National Roof Certification and Inspection Association recommends calling your roof inspector in four common situations:
You're about to close or purchase a home
You're about to enter the wet season
You suspect damage to your roof
Right after a major rain or wind storm
Overall, this means you should have a certified and trained inspector taking a look at your roof at least once a year for potential problems. You also will want to have an inspection after a major storm.
Roof inspector bills are typically quite straightforward, and most professionals charge a flat fee. Afterward, you should receive a basic report included in the inspection cost. Certifications—which we'll touch on more below—will cost a bit more.
Expect your cost breakdown to include:
the fee for the inspection
fees for additional experts such as the drone operator
certification letter fees
No matter the reason, today's top inspectors will likely offer three options for your visit.
Physical Roof Inspection Cost
Relatively flat and easily accessible roofs will receive a traditional physical inspection. These will cost between $75 and $200 on average. Check with your insurance to see if it covers the cost of this inspection. During the visit, the inspector will inspect the roof, interior, and related structural elements for signs of:
Moss, mold, or algae
Worn building materials
Holes or storm damage
“These basic inspections usually consist of checking your roof for any holes or areas of visible damage,” says Eric Gonzalez, Angi Expert Review Board member and president of Regions Commercial Roofing, with locations in five states. “Other things contractors check for are hail damage, wind damage, or if a manufacturer’s defect exists.”
Drone Roof Inspection Costs
If your roof is too steep or possibly unstable to walk on, an inspector may use a drone to help. This type of inspection allows everyone to stay safe on the ground as the flying robot checks the exterior for damage while taking pictures for you, your contractor, or your insurance company. These inspections will run from $150 to $400. Your insurance could potentially cover this type of inspection.
Infrared Roof Inspection Costs
Some roof issues are nearly impossible to detect until they've caused significant damage. But infrared technology can speed up the process, catching leaks and cracks long before they become a more critical issue for your home. Due to their complexity, expect to pay between $400 and $600.
A qualified UAV pilot will send a drone over your roof equipped with infrared technology. The photos will capture areas with unbalanced levels of heat and moisture, all of which can be a sign of saturated insulation, cracks, or breaks in the seal of your roof. Sometimes contractors use third parties to perform these inspections so the cost is a little higher.
Here's a quick note on "free" home inspections: Some roof contractors will offer free inspections during the estimate process before writing up a quote for the work. Depending on the service, this may not be as extensive of an inspection or meet the requirements of your lending or insurance company.
What Factors Influence the Cost of a Roof Inspection?
Like all home renovations, your unique abode can sway the cost of a roof inspection, depending on factors such as:
Your roof’s square footage
The extent of the damage
Shingle and roofing style
Slope and accessibility of your roof
The type of roof inspection
What’s Included In a Roof Inspection?
Wondering what you should expect in a roof inspection? It should involve both a structural inspection and an inspection of the shingles.
The structural inspection will involve checking the supporting components of the roof structure, such as trusses and rafters. The inspector usually can see these items by visiting the attic. Sagging in the ceilings or leaning walls also may indicate a structural problem.
The inspection of the shingles will involve looking for any missing, loose, or torn shingles. Rust stains or staining from algae or moss may indicate problems with the shingles. The inspector may also look at the flashing, soffits, fascia, and gutters.
How Much Do Roof Inspections Cost Near You?
We all know that prices run the gamut across the country for everything from groceries to real estate. Standard home services like roof inspections act the same way. You'll find different price ranges in your region depending on the cost of living, the common sizes of homes in your area, and if your town has a large number of historic buildings with complex roofs.
Let's look at a few popular regions:
|Eastern Seabord||$170 – $370|
|Southeast||$190 – $200|
|West Coast||$250 – $1,200|
|Pacific Northwest||$220 – $420|
Can You Inspect a Roof Yourself?
For your own safety, you should never attempt to perform a roof inspection yourself, especially if you are unsure of the stability of your roof. Additionally, many banks and insurance companies will not accept a self-inspection to move forward on a project.
However—and this is a big however—you can and should perform simple inspections of your roof from the ground. Look for loose shingles, stray branches, or damaged eaves, particularly after a storm.
You can also regularly perform a thorough search for issues inside your home, particularly in the attic and where the eaves meet the edges of your walls.
Roof Inspection vs. Certification
It's not uncommon to confuse a roof inspection with a roof certification. As we mentioned above, a standard roof inspection runs between $75 and $800. This will include a write-up several days after the inspection with details of the current status of your roof and recommendations for repairs.
Certification, on the other hand, predicts the longevity of your roof. Add between $75 and $200 to your inspection fee to receive an official certification. While this document does not typically provide a warranty on the current state of your roof, some organizations like the NRCIA offer special programs to do so.
How do I hire a roof inspector?
Your roof inspector should have certified experience and extensive training to perform an inspection on your home. For example, Gonzalez recommends looking for an inspector with certifications from the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA).
Once you've narrowed down your list of local roof inspectors, peruse recent customer reviews to ensure past clients had a smooth process from appointment to payment. “When it comes to roof inspections and cost, property owners should seek to create a long-term relationship with a reputable contractor,” says Gonzalez. “This can help save costs in the long run as contractors may seek to establish long-term relationships that in turn can provide property owners with better year-to-year inspection costs.”
If you are hiring a roof inspector for an upcoming repair, call your home insurance company to see if they have a preferred specialist.
How do I know if I need a roof inspection?
A roof inspection is a good idea after a major storm that included severe wind or hail. Absent a storm, some of the physical signs that you may need a roof inspection include:
Large branches landing on the roof
Loose or sagging gutters
Torn shingles blown onto the ground
Large amounts of asphalt shingle granules in the gutters
Severely discolored shingles from rust, moss, or algae
Water stains on the ceiling
Active leaks during a storm
Mold in the attic or on the attic insulation
Damp odors in the attic
Is a roof inspection the same as a home inspection?
Home inspectors may look briefly at your roof, but certified roof experts will be more thorough. Hiring a roof inspector can give you a better sense of any underlying concerns as well as longevity.
Is a roof certification the same as a roof warranty?
A roof certification is a bit like a warranty, but it does not involve installation of a roof. You will receive a roof certification after a roof repair job. The roofer gives you a limited warranty, guaranteeing the repair work for a certain period of time, usually a year or more. This can be helpful if you are trying to sell your home after completing roof repair work.
The roof warranty is part of a new roof installation. It protects you against defects in the materials for a certain period of time, usually 20 years or more. Many roof installers include workmanship warranties, which protect you against installation errors, usually for five years or more.
What other projects should I do at the same time?
A handful of annual home inspections typically happen around the same times of year—before and after the winter. When you set up your annual or bi-annual home inspection, call your chimney inspector, electrical inspector, and—if you've had issues in the past—a pest control specialist.