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Comprehensive Guide on Roof Inspection: What to Expect

Discover how professional roofing companies perform a thorough roof inspection! Scheduling a proper roof inspection once per year can help a homeowner avoid a costly roof replacement. But what is a roof inspection, and how do the pros do it? Let’s find out!

What Is a Roof Inspection?

A roof inspection is the process of checking roofing materials like shingles, gutters, and flashing to ensure they remain in good condition. If these and other roof components are damaged or missing, it can lead to water damage that affects the roof, attic, and interior of the home. For this reason, a homeowner’s insurance company may demand policyholders schedule an annual roof inspection. 

Why Do You Need a Roof Inspection?

Homeowners need roof inspections for various reasons. Sometimes, the law requires a roof inspection. Other times, homeowners schedule regular roof inspections as a matter of course. Some of the most common reasons why you might need a roof inspection include:

  • Leaks and water damage
  • Annual inspection
  • Winter preparation
  • Recent storm
  • Roof certification

The Top 5 Best Roof Inspector Tips

As roofers gain experience working for a roofing company, they pick up tips and tricks that make a roof inspection more effective. Because there is so much to know about roof inspections, these tips make it easier for them to find potential issues when they inspect your roof. Find some of the best roof inspection tips below.

1. Get Up Close and Personal With the Roof

A real roofing professional will climb a ladder for an up-close roof check. This approach provides an opportunity to examine the flashing around the chimney, vent pipes, dormers, and other roof penetrations. This part of the roofing material inspection allows roofers to quickly find some of the most common causes of roof leaks. If the flashing appears in good shape, checking the asphalt shingles may uncover the source of the leak.

2. Search for Curled, Cracked, or Missing Shingles

Even on the most well-maintained roof, damaged shingles can cause leaks that produce water stains inside the home. A professional roofer will check the entire roof for curled, cracked, or missing shingles. Homeowners often schedule roof inspections after a storm with high winds, heavy rain, hail, sleet, or snow because these conditions often cause roof damage.

3. Look for Algae and Other Organic Matter

When you get your roof inspected, the roofer will scan the whole roof system for algae, moss, leaves, and other debris. The accumulation of organic matter on the roofing material traps moisture on the surface, which seeps into the roof structure and causes mold and wood rot. Specialized shingles and herbicides can keep fungus and plant growth at bay.

4. Check for Any Sagging of the Roof

A sagging roof is a sign that it needs a structural inspection. Professionals will look for any unevenness or soft spots in the roof deck. This simple visual inspection can identify significant damage that requires immediate attention. If sagging or soft spots are found, a more thorough attic inspection will follow.

5. Inspect the Attic

As part of an interior inspection that focuses on the ceiling and walls of a home, an expert roofer will also enter the attic to look around. The main components that the roofer will examine include the rafters, joists, and roof deck. Any wood rot represents a threat to the roof’s structural integrity. Roofers will also check the insulation for moisture retention and mold growth.

What Else Does a Roof Inspector Look For?

In addition to covering all the basics of a roof inspection, roofers will check each component individually. Depending on the size and location of the house, some of the components the roofers will examine include rain gutters, chimneys, and soffits. Sometimes, the insurance company will dictate which components the roofer must inspect.

Roof Penetrations

Roofers always check penetrations because they are often the location of an unidentified leak. The extra holes in the roof surrounded by flashing represent weak points that may allow water seepage as the materials degrade over time. Some of the most common penetrations include:

  • Vent pipes
  • Exhaust fans
  • Swamp coolers

Rain Gutters and Downspouts

While standing on the roof, a roofer will check that no standing water, plant debris, or other blockages remain in the rain gutter. The extra weight caused by undischarged water can break the gutter or even cause it to fall to the ground. The gutters will also be checked for cracks and leaks. The downspout must stay firmly secured with brackets. 

Fascia, Soffits, and Drip Edges

A roofer must check the soffits while standing firmly on the ground because they sit under the eaves or other overhangs. Then, on a ladder, the roofer can inspect the integrity of the drip edges and examine the fascia for signs of water damage or pest infestations. Any damaged component must be repaired or replaced for a roof to satisfy the building codes.

Skylight and Chimneys

Skylights and chimneys represent two of the biggest culprits when identifying a roof leak. An experienced roofer will look at these large installations to ensure all the flashing remains intact. Inspecting the skylight and chimney prior to replacing the roofing material can save time, money, and frustration if they turn out leaky.


Flashing does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping the interior of a home dry and comfortable. Anywhere there is a joint or valley in the roof, flashing serves as an essential extra layer of protection. In most cases, flashing consists of a bent metal sheet. However, sometimes they consist of plastic. All flashing must satisfy building codes to certify a roof.

How Often Should You Check the Roof?

You should check the roof at least once a year to ensure it did not sustain damage during the winter. Most roofing experts will recommend homeowners schedule a proper inspection in spring to confirm the roof’s condition. A home inspection in late fall will also ensure the roof remains sturdy enough to make it through the next winter.

Expert Roof Inspections | Mighty Dog Roofing

Now that you read through our roof inspection guide, you know why roof inspections are necessary and what they entail. Our expert roof inspectors take their time when examining our clients’ homes, completing an exhaustive checklist that leaves nothing to chance. If you think you may need a roof inspection, call Mighty Dog Roofing today at (844) 726-1294 for a free consultation. 

About the Author

With a passion for helping people succeed and the opportunity to change the perception of the roofing industry, combined with 25+ years of home and construction industry experience — three of the nation’s top entrepreneurs formed Mighty Dog Roofing. Our roofers have and always will consistently deliver excellent customer service, top-of-the-line technology matched with innovative products and services, and leading manufacturers and warranties.

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