A damaged roof exposes your home to leaks, mold, rot, and pests – and exposes your wallet to high roof replacement costs. Avoid damage by hiring a pro to inspect your roof at least once a year, especially after high winds or hail storms.
You can pay from $120 to $320 for a typical roof inspection, with most homeowners getting an average bill of around $215. What you get is a thorough examination of all roof elements and a written inspection report with the findings. This helps you plan roof repairs and fill in insurance claims.
Prices vary with inspection type, roof size, accessibility, and damage extent. You’ll pay more for a drone or infrared survey and less for a physical one. A DIY inspection might save money, but it’s not the best idea.
We’ll cover all of this in-depth in this article.
Table of contents:
- Average Costs
- Cost Estimator by Size
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Related Services
- Cost by Location
- FAQ About Roof Inspections
Average Roof Inspection Costs
|National Average Cost||$215|
|Typical Price Range||$120 – $320|
|Extreme Low-End Cost||$75|
|Extreme High-End Cost||$700|
The average roof size in the U.S. is 1,700 square feet or 17 roofing squares (1 roofing square = 100 square feet). So, we estimated this roof size’s typical price range for the national average cost of a roof inspection. We used a medium price of $0.13 per square foot, with a typical price range between $0.07 and $0.22 per square foot.
A roof inspection might be closer to the high-end of that price range if:
- You need a thermo-scan to find hidden damages.
- The roof is over 3,000 sq. ft. or hard to access (steep, complex structure, or very damaged).
- The roofing materials you choose are atypical for your area and require an expert.
- You need to add asbestos testing or a chimney inspection.
You can save money on roof surveys by:
- Working with the same roofing professional on a long-term deal.
- Keeping your roof in good shape (routine, standard inspections cost less).
Roof Inspection Cost Estimator by Roof Size
|Roof Size||Average overall cost|
|1,000 sq. ft.||$75 – $190|
|1,700 sq. ft.||$120 – $320|
|3,000 sq. ft.||$210 – $660|
All certified inspectors take roof size into account when making an offer. Some give a price per square foot; others use a flat fee for size intervals. For example, an inspector might have a set price for roofs under 1,500 square feet, another for roofs between 1,500 and 3,000 square feet, and a different fee for roofs over 3,000 square feet.
Keep in mind that we estimated the costs listed in the table above based on the typical price range. Your actual cost could vary depending on quite a few factors (which we’ll talk about below).
Other Factors that Affect Cost
While roof size counts a lot in deciding inspection fees, other factors can also change the price quite a bit. See below how much inspection type, extra testing, and certification can modify your budget.
Roof Inspection Type
The most affordable and popular roof inspection is the traditional physical one. Still, in some cases, it might not be enough. You might need a drone survey for a high, steep roof, and hidden damage can require an infrared inspection.
|Inspection type||When to use it||Typical price range|
|Physical roof inspection||The standard choice for small and average-sized roofs with low steepness and easy access||$75 – $200|
|Drone roof inspection||For hard-to-access roofs; to check places not visible from the ground, a ladder, a balcony, or another available observation point||$150 – $400|
|Infrared roof inspection||Used to identify trapped moisture in flat and low-sloped roofs; also good for spotting cracks in insulation||$400 – $600|
The most common type of roof inspection is the traditional physical one, in which an inspector will climb on a ladder and check the exterior of your roof. The inspection also includes your indoor walls, ceiling, and attic. A physical inspection for an average roof can cost from $75 to $200.
Keep in mind that the inspector is not obligated to go up on your roof or do anything that is not safe. If you have a steep roof or areas that are more difficult to access, you might need to ask for a drone inspection. Drone survey average cost ranges from $150 to $400. The drone pilot must have a valid FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) license to conduct surveys legally.
An infrared roof inspection is also known as an infrared thermo-scan, costing around $400 to $600. It’s handy for detecting hidden damage and wet insulation.
Roof Slope and Accessibility
Your roof’s slope can affect how much you spend on an inspection. For example, inspecting a flat roof costs less because the surface is easy to access and examine. You might pay more for a physical inspection if:
- Your home has a steep slope or pitched roof (generally a pitch over 18 degrees).
- The roof has a complex structure, with many valleys and ridges that make the survey difficult.
- Your house is tall (more than one story), so it’s riskier to climb a ladder to the roof.
Roof inspectors follow similar survey steps regardless of roofing material. The difference comes from their experience in identifying damage specific to different materials, such as:
- Asphalt shingles
- Metal roofing
- Wood roofing
For example, asphalt shingles are flexible. When loose, they will bend under strong wind and rupture in time. Slate roofing tends to lose layers. Rust is a significant concern for metal roofs. For wood roofing, algae, moss, lichens, and decay are the main issues to look for.
An inspector familiar with your roofing style can catch damage others might miss. But if it’s a less common material in your area, you might pay more for this expertise.
Professional roof inspection prices do not always include the attic automatically. Check this when you compare fees because an attic inspection can add $150 to $550 to your cost.
Attic inspection includes looking for:
- Mold, condensation, and other signs of poor ventilation
- Evidence of leaks, like water stains, mildew, or rot
- Pest droppings and nests
- Damaged HVAC ducts, bathroom, kitchen, and dryer vents
Asbestos testing costs $225 to $785. It is not part of the standard roof inspection, so you must ask for it as an extra service.
Do you live in an old house and haven’t tested for asbestos recently? Plan to include it with your next roof survey/inspection. Asbestos was used before 1980 in shingles, siding, and cement roofing. It is dangerous when airborne and can cause asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung, larynx, and ovarian cancer.
As part of a roof survey, the inspector will take a look at the exterior of your chimney (if you have one) to make sure:
- Chimney flashings are present and in good shape
- The chimney cap is not rusted
- There is no missing mortar at the joints
If you want to prepare for winter and get a complete chimney examination, you need to pay an extra $250 to $600.
A roof certification differs from a roof inspection report, and you’ll pay an extra $75 to $200 for certification. The certificate describes the condition of the roof (age, materials, old repairs, etc). It also predicts roof lifespan. Most certify the roof is moisture-proof or leak-proof for 1 to 5 years.
You can get a roof certification letter from a licensed roofing contractor or a roofing company. In both cases, you must take care of all necessary repairs before certifying.
Consider certifying your roof if you:
- Want to sell your house (a certified roof will help attract people interested in home buying and fetch a higher price)
- Need to make an insurance claim
- Plan to take out a high loan-to-value mortgage (most lenders require it)
A roof certification is also different from a roof warranty. The roofing company issues a warranty as a guarantee for new roof installation, roof repairs, or replacement.
Most issues discovered by a roof inspection will lead you to need some related services. Roof cleaning, repair, and replacement are the most important. See below how much these services cost and what the benefits are.
|Related service||Why you need it||Typical price range|
|Roof cleaning||Prevents damage from salt, moss, algae, and fungi||$374 – $606|
|Gutter cleaning||Clean gutters support good roof drainage||$120 – $203|
|Roof repairs||Solve the problems identified during roof inspection to prevent further damage||$348 – $1,186|
|Roof replacement||When roof inspection indicates serious issues with roof layers||$5,706 – $11,185|
|Home inspection||Helps you identify construction problems in a newly bought house (includes roof inspection)||$270 – $450|
Roof Cleaning Cost
Cleaning your roof once a year helps prevent salt, moss, and algae damage. Don’t neglect it, especially if you live in a damp climate or your roof is shadowed by nearby trees. Professional roof cleaning cost ranges from $374 to $606, with an average of $374 for a medium-sized roof.
Gutter Cleaning Cost
Clogged gutters fill with liquid and overflow, making it easier for water to infiltrate the eaves of your roof. In time, you might see leaks and mold in your ceiling. If the inspector finds leaves and other debris in your gutters, he will recommend removing them to ensure good roof drainage. You can clean gutters yourself or hire a pro. Professional gutter cleaning costs $120 to $203.
Home Inspection Cost
The cost of a home inspection typically ranges from $270 to $450, with a national average price of $350. It’s wise to ask for one when you buy a new house so you’ll know right away what to expect and what repairs are most urgent and important.
Home inspections include a roof survey, but the roof survey is less thorough in this case. Home inspectors don’t go up on the roof, so it’s usually a basic visual evaluation from the ground.
Roof Repair Cost
A thorough inspection will help you plan for roof repairs. Don’t postpone needed repairs too much, especially if winter is near. A small crack can become a leak and create water stains and other potential problems inside your home. Roof repairs cost, on average, between $348 and $1,186. Look for a roofing professional in your area and get repairs rolling ASAP.
Roof Replacement Cost
If an inspection discovers extensive damage, you might need to replace most or all of your roof. The cost of a full roof replacement ranges from $5,706 to $11,185, with a national average of $8,446.
Price varies depending on:
- Roof size and shape
- Roofing materials
- How much of the roof needs to be replaced
For example, a flat roof is easier to work on, so the replacement cost is usually lower than that of a slate roof.
Roof Inspection Cost by Location
Locations with more aggressive climates require more frequent roof inspections and a higher annual cost. Do you live in tornado alley? You’ll probably need to inspect your roof more often for missing or loose shingles and hail damage. Rainy and humid regions require more frequent roof inspections because they’re at a higher risk of moss, algae, and water infiltration into the insulation layer.
FAQ About Roof Inspections
There are four main situations when you should think about getting a roof inspection:
● When you buy a new home
● Before the wet season
● After a strong wind or hail storm
● If you see signs of roof damage, such as wet spots or mold on your ceiling; broken, curled, or missing shingles; rusted or missing flashings; or tree branches on your roof
Roof inspection takes between 45 minutes and 4 hours, depending on the size of the roof, steepness and complexity, and the degree of damage.
Roof inspections are performed by licensed roofing inspectors. Use online reviews or personal recommendations to find an experienced professional familiar with your roofing style who knows what to look for.
We do not recommend taking it upon yourself to climb on the roof and inspect or repair it because you might:
● Lose insurance coverage if the inspection is not done by a professional
● Fall down and get hurt
● Miss some important repairs
● Damage your attic or roof if you don’t know what you’re doing
What you can do is notice if you have torn shingles on your lawn or a lot of asphalt shingle granules in your gutters. You can also observe from the ground for signs of damage such as:
● Broken tree branches on your roof
● Missing tiles or flashing
● Bald or discolored shingles from moss or algae
● Loose gutters
You can also examine the house for:
● Wall cracks
● Water stains on ceilings
● Mold in the attic
Call for a professional inspector to do a thorough roof survey if you notice any of these signs of damage.
Roof inspectors start the examination from the ground up. Some get up on the roof; others do this from the ground or a ladder. If you choose a drone survey, a drone is launched and directed around the top of the house.
Inspectors look for signs of wear and tear, such as:
● Clogged gutters and downspouts
● Mold and rot signs on eaves and fascia
● Missing, cracked, curled, or bald shingles
● Damaged flashing around the chimney, skylights, and vents
A professional inspector will continue inside the house, checking for:
● Leaks and water damage on ceilings or walls
● Signs of water penetration in the attic (mold, damp odors, rot)
● Compression cracks in walls
A few days after the inspection, you receive a report detailing the observed damage and recommended repairs.
Roofing shingles cost between $128 and $190 per roofing square (1 roofing square = 100 square feet). Asphalt shingles are the most popular and offer excellent protection in southern states. With granules reflecting sunlight, they protect the other roof layers and help house insulation beat the heat.
Find a Roof Inspector Near You
Roof inspection costs, on average, $120 to $320 and can save thousands of dollars in repairs if done right. The National Roofing Contractors Association advises checking your roof:
- Twice a year, in spring and fall
- After every heavy storm
- Or whenever you see signs of damage
Don’t wait too long before your next roof inspection, or you might regret it! Look for a professional roof inspector in your area and get a quote as soon as you can.