How Much Does a Roof Inspection Cost?

Typical Range:

$120 - $321

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 2,249 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
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Published January 10, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Roof Inspection vs. Roof Certification Costs

On average, a roof inspection costs $221. Most homeowners pay between $120 and $321 for an inspection, although that range can go as high as $600. Your budget might change for specific types of investigations like drones or infrared.

A roofing certification typically costs between $75 and $200, and differs from an inspection in a number of ways:

Roof InspectionRoof Certification
Cost$120 - $300$75 - $200
PurposeUncovers potential problemsEstimates lifespan
SequenceDone first or in isolationComes after inspection

When you are buying or selling a home, you should know the age and condition of your roof. An inspection is important at any time to determine its condition. This will help you better understand whether any work needed and how much you should budget for roof repairs or replacement.

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National Average $221
Typical Range $120 - $321
Low End - High End $75 - $800

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 2,249 HomeAdvisor members.

Roof Inspection Costs by Type

average cost to get a roof inspection is $210 or $75 to $675

The price range of $120 and $321 is typically a flat rate for a standard inspection. That rate may fluctuate depending on the size of your home, slope of your roof or type of material.

The cost may also vary based on the expertise needed for a given type of roof. Different roofing materials have different issues:

  • Wooden shingles: rot

  • Metal: rust

  • Fiberglass: cracks

The climate of your home will change the inspection as well. More humid climates require an emphasis on moisture damage. Areas with frequent storms, like Florida Kansas, need inspections for blow offs. It is important to get a roofing inspector experienced with inspections in your specific locale and for your specific type of roof.

Physical Roof Inspection Prices

The most common type of examination ranges between $75 and $200. It involves a certified roofing professional simply taking a ladder and examining the materials and condition in person. Your total price may increase beyond the typical range if the expert also checks out the underside of your roof from the attic.

Drone Roof Inspection Costs

If the space is difficult to access, your contractor can use a drone for a price between $150 and $400. The drone can capture close-up footage of all surface areas for the expert to analyze. Be sure to hire only a pro who is or works with a certified unmanned vehicle (UAV) pilot.

Infrared Roof Inspection Costs

A thermal roof inspection costs between $400 and $600. This approach is typically more expensive than a standard checkup because of the technology involved. Typically, it includes a drone that captures thermal imagery of the surface.

Like a typical drone inspection, this alternative works well for roofs that are difficult to access. It adds a layer of complexity in that the thermal imagery allows for an estimation of where both the surface and the insulation need replaced. Especially in colder climates, it can help you optimize your home's heating in addition to finding leaks.

The pro will not need to physically access the roof or even have to touch the surface to determine its integrity. Instead, infrared rays assess the higher and lower temperatures of different parts of the roof. The footage helps to determine if heat is escaping in some areas more than others, which indicates wear and weakness in that portion of the room.

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Commercial Roof Inspection Costs

Most commercial roof inspections range between $200 and $500, but that price can be $1,000+. That higher price is largely because commercial roofs are typically bigger than their residential counterparts.

As a result, many commercial contractors charge by the square foot instead of by the project. Expect a price between $0.05 and $0.10 per square foot, meaning a small 10,000 square foot warehouse will range between $500 and $1,000.

Commercial projects also come with more regulations, like a check for OSHA guidelines. That's another reason for the higher price.

Roof Inspection Forms Cost

The price average of $200 should include a roof inspection report that summarizes all findings and goes into detail on any problems. That report is different from a certification, which comes with its own price.

Roof Inspection Reports

After your inspection, typically within seven days, you will get a report that typically includes:

  • Introduction: includes address, time, general findings, overall condition

  • Scope of work: work done, and areas not covered in the inspection

  • Itemized findings: written descriptions and photographs

  • Recommendations: next steps, both complex and simple, sometimes with price quote for repairs

  • Optional statements: safety guidelines, insurance notices, and more

This form should never be a contract to start the work immediately. A reputable pro will provide you this information separate from any sales effort on the work that needs done.

Roof Certification Letters

A certification letter describes the general condition of the surface and materials and draws a conclusion from it. Typically, that conclusion comes in the form of an estimated lifespan for the roof.

A contractor will certify that the construction and shape will hold up for anywhere between two and five years. The certification is usually a single page letter or certificate. That means it won't go into as much detail as an inspection report.

Finally, it's not a binding guarantee but a qualified opinion from an expert for interested third parties like lending institutions and home buyers.

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What is a roof inspection?

A roof inspection is a way of determining the level of wear and tear on the space. It helps you consider whether the area needs or will need repairs now or in the near future. The process involves looking for signs that indicate the wear on shingles and other roofing materials.

Roofing inspectors don't need to remove any part of your roof. They are trained to correctly assess its lifespan visually. When they cannot physically get to a specific spot, they may use binoculars or other equipment instead.

An inspection also involves looking at your chimney and the surrounding flashing to assess wear, as well as examining gutters, downspouts, and anything else that attaches to the roof. Inspecting your roof is necessary if you want to expand its lifespan or simply have the peace of mind that it won't leak.

How often do you need to get a roof inspection?

The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends self-checking your roof at least twice a year. In addition, you can benefit from a professional inspection every few years throughout the lifespan of your roof.

Regular checks can play a significant role in how long your roof lasts. It allows you to find issues early and before they turn into major problems. The periodic professional check helps you find less obvious issues, like subtle wear and tear or a leak that hasn't made its way to your living space.

How much does a 5-year vs. 2-year roof certification cost?

The certification cost of $75 to $200 doesn't change for two years compared to five years. Paying more will not lead to a longer lifespan estimate. Certification will take the same work no matter its outcome, and the condition of the space will determine how long the pro believes your roof will last.

What does a roof certification mean, and do I need one?

A roof certification letter describes the condition of the surface in general terms and assigns an estimated lifespan to it. Roofing inspectors order it from a contractor as part of the inspection. On its own, it costs between $75 and $200.

Most homeowners get a certification for one of three reasons:

  1. Third-party proof on the lifespan for a home buyer

  2. Documentation required by some mortgage lenders

  3. Peace of mind that your home will be protected

Is a roof certification a warranty?

A roof certification is not a warranty. It's an informed opinion by a pro on the lifespan of the space but comes without guarantees attached to it. Should the roof last less than the given lifespan, there will be no liability.

How long does it take to inspect a roof?

Most roof inspections take between 45 minutes and 4 hours. Where on that range you land depends on:

  • square footage

  • ease of accessibility

  • roofing materials

  • Whether or not the attic is included in the inspection.

After the checkup, expect to receive the report within 7 days.

Can I do my own roof inspection or certification?

You can take a look at the surface, but a certified roofing professional near you will be more thorough. A combination tends to be best: check your own roof twice a year in spring and fall, with a professional inspection every three to five years.

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