How To Hire a Roof Inspector

A roof inspector is trained to inspect and effectively assess the quality of a roof. Their reports might identify the damage or suggest tools for long-term care. While a general home inspector will do a cursory check for any immediate signs of leaks or roof damage, a licensed roof inspector takes a more detailed approach that can help a homeowner be informed when negotiating for roof repair and replacement services.

Licensed and Certified Roofers will know how to use equipment like drones and infrared tools to assess water behind the walls and in hard-to-reach places. There are many types of roofs—flat, shed, butterfly and more, so an inspector provides valuable insights to help homeowners navigate selling their home, buying a new one and maintaining the long-term upkeep of a residential or commercial building. If you’re confused about how to hire a roof inspector, here are a few things to know before you start.


The term “certified” carries a heavyweight in the roofing and insurance industries. Many roof inspectors have decades of experience in their trade and other adjacent fields, like plumbing, HVAC,  and engineering. Certified instruction tends to focus on three major areas:

  • Commercial Roof Inspector Certification identifies all kinds of major damage to a commercial or industrial building. Certified professionals can assess problems and propose repairs. Some will provide general estimates, but others will expect you to use the report to negotiate your own prices.
  • Residential Roof Inspector Certification focuses on the roofing system in a residential building. This training assesses how residential roofing systems interact with the weather, such as storms and hail, and how different materials and ventilation systems affect the integrity of a home.
  • Wind Damage Inspector Certification provides an inspector with advanced knowledge about a major threat to structural integrity. Wind events, like storms and tornadoes, can destroy a roof. This certification helps inspectors decide what kind of damage is salvageable and what needs a complete replacement.


In 1995, the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association (NRCIA) was established as an offshoot of the home inspection industry. When a home inspector spots a problem, an NRCIA certified roofer could take a deeper dive to assess the extent of the issue. The NRCIA has grown to become the leading organization in the roofing industry, but they are not the only licensing body. In fact, each state has different licensing rules, so work with a real estate professional—a lawyer or agent—who might have a good handle on the requirements that you should observe.

Services that a Roof Inspector Offers

A roof inspector inspects and determines the state of the roof of a commercial or residential building. By training, a roof inspector observes the downspouts, chimneys, gutters, and all aspects of the roof, and then records the level of wear and tear. They can identify weak spots that an untrained person may not be able to observe. It is their job to assess when a roof is nearing its life expectancy.

They will provide a detailed report with photos. This information will let you know whether you should initiate an immediate repair or save for one later down the line.

How to Hire a Roof Inspector

You can start by asking around for recommendations. Neighbors, family and associates who recently sold or purchased a home in your area will be great resources. You can also go online and search for a roof inspector that services your zip code.

Questions to Ask a Roof Inspector

You should ask your roof inspector the following questions:

  • How old is my current roof?
  • What is my roof made of? What materials were used to install it?
  • Are the ventilation and insulation systems in good condition?
  • Do the gutters need to be cleaned, repaired, or replaced?
  • How long will the project take and how many people will be on-site?
  • What are my options for types of roof materials, warranties and patches for repairs?
  • Is there damage to the chimney, foundation, or siding, due to the problems with the roof?
  • When performing repairs, how will you protect the driveway and yard?
  • Will you need to get into my home at any time?
  • Are all your workers certified and trained? If there are any slips or accidents, will your company assume responsibility for the insurance and medical costs to your staff?

Choosing the Right Roof Inspector

  • Write down recommendations and where you found them – friends, neighbors, websites, etc.
  • Ensure that the providers have an online presence and visible customer reviews.
  • Look at the recent customer reviews. From the reviews and ratings, you can identify the best roof inspector in your area whose services are both efficient and budget-friendly.
  • Narrow your list down to about three options and request quotes.
  • Confirm, in writing, that inspectors have the requisite training and licenses for your city and state.
  • Decide which company can do the work in the time frame and the price point best for you.

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