How much does a roof inspection cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a roof inspection cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a roof inspection cost?

$100 – $400average cost of roof inspection
$75 – $200average cost to add roof certification

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$100 – $400 average cost of roof inspection

$75 – $200 average cost to add roof certification

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Tamatha Hazen
Written by
Tamatha Hazen
Edited by
Kristen Cramer
Fact-checked by
Tom Grupa

Roof inspection vs. roof certification cost

A roof inspection costs $100 to $400 on average, depending on the roof size, complexity and if it’s a physical appraisal, infrared, or drone inspection. Adding a roof certification costs $75 to $200 and estimates the roof’s lifespan. Roof inspectors provide a report 1 to 2 days after the inspection.

Roof inspection cost vs. certification - chart
Roof inspection cost vs. certification - chart
Roof inspection vs. certification cost
Factor Roof inspection Roof certification Roof report
Cost $100 – $400 $75 – $200 Included with inspection
Purpose Detects potential roof problems like leaks and structural damage Estimates the roof's expected lifespan for insurance or real estate Explains the findings and includes repair estimates
Timing A stand-alone service or a first step for a roof certification Issued if roof is expected to last at least 2 to 5 years after passing inspection. Delivered 1 to 2 business days after roof inspection

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Average cost for a roof inspection

The following table shows the average cost for a roof inspection:

Average roof inspection cost - chart
Average roof inspection cost - chart
Average cost for a roof inspection
National average cost $280
Minimum cost $75
Maximum cost $1,200
Average cost range $100 to $400

*Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.

Roof inspection costs by type

A residential roof inspection costs $75 to $600, depending on the type and time required. A physical inspection requires climbing on the roof, while drone and infrared inspections use remote-controlled camera equipment for easy accessibility.

Roof inspection costs by type
Type Average cost Description
Physical roof inspection $75 – $200 Most common, requires climbing on the roof with no specialized equipment.
Drone roof inspection $100 – $450 Requires special camera equipment but are faster and safer.
Infrared roof inspection $400 – $600 Uses expensive thermal imaging scanners mounted on drones.

Physical roof appraisal cost

A physical roof appraisal costs $75 to $200. An appraiser examines the roof and attic to check the roof's condition. The appraiser evaluates the structural integrity and estimates how many years the roof is likely to last. A physical inspection poses some safety risks, especially on high-pitched roofs.

Contractor performing physical roof inspection
Contractor performing physical roof inspection

Drone roof inspection cost

A drone roof inspection costs $100 to $450, depending on the roof’s size and complexity. Drones improve accessibility and eliminate the safety risks of climbing a high-pitched or multi-story roof. Drone inspections require favorable weather conditions since wind and rain damage the drone cameras.

Infrared roof inspection prices

An infrared roof inspection costs $400 to $600 and uses high-resolution thermal imaging scanners to locate trapped moisture. Since wet areas retain heat longer than dry areas, the wet spots appear hotter to the scanners than the surrounding dry areas. Mapping these hot spots pinpoints the roof's problem areas.

Roof inspection report cost

A roofing contractor includes a report with the roof inspection to detail their findings, recommendations, and estimated repair costs. A quality inspection report is 3 to 4 pages in length and includes the following information:

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  • Introduction – includes the home address, date and time of the inspection, and the inspector's name and contact information.

  • Scope of work – describes (often in legalese) the inclusions and limitations of the inspection.

  • General description – includes the roof details, including size, material, and pitch. This section also gives a brief statement about the roof's overall condition and life expectancy.

  • Itemized findings – lists the specific areas inspected with a description of the findings for those areas.

  • Photographs – attached or included in the report to illustrate areas of concern.

  • Summary/recommendations – lists the problem areas and repair steps needed, and highlights any urgent repairs.

  • Repair estimate – details the cost of roof repairs averaging $300 to $1,400 or roof replacement costs of $5,700 to $16,000. Some contractors provide the estimate in a separate quote.

  • Optional statements – includes information about safety guidelines, insurance notices, warranty information, change orders, and other information.

Roof certification cost

A roof certification costs $75 to $200 on average. An inspector appraises the roof's condition for insurance or real estate purposes and issues a letter indicating the condition and life expectancy of the roof. A roof must be leak-free with 2 to 5 years of useful life remaining to be certified.

The inspection takes 30 minutes to 1 hour, and the certificate includes the following information:

  • Roof age

  • Roof material

  • Roof pitch

  • Number of layers

  • Square footage

  • Quality of past repairs

  • Signs of damage

Roof inspection cost factors

Roof size and age are the primary cost factors for a roof inspection. An older house typically has more roof problems, requiring a longer inspection and consultation with the homeowner.

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Other factors impacting the cost include:

  • Slope of the roof – A steeper roof pitch is more hazardous and inaccessible, requiring a more costly drone or infrared inspection.

  • Accessibility – Multi-story homes and inaccessible attics increase the inspection time and costs.

  • Climate – Winter weather increases inspectors’ rates as hazardous snow makes physical inspection impossible. Inspecting in the rain is risky but helps detect problem areas quickly.

  • Interior attic inspection – Most inspectors check inside the attic for water intrusion and material damage as part of a roof inspection. A separate attic inspection costs $200 to $500 and looks for issues with the home's structure, insulation, and ventilation.

Commercial roof inspection costs

A commercial roof inspection costs $200 to $600 on average or $0.05 to $0.10 per square foot. Many commercial roofers offer free inspections in hopes of securing the roofing job after the assessment.

Frequently asked questions

What do roof inspectors look for?

Roof inspectors look for structural damage, water intrusion, failing materials, and work quality on the roof and inside the attic. A comprehensive roof inspection includes checks for missing or aging shingles, loose chimneys or vents, failing rain gutters, and poorly installed materials.

Roof inspection checklist
Inspection element Inspectors look for:
Structural failure
  • Cracks or leaks
  • Integrity of chimneys, skylights, and roof vents
  • Security of fascias, drains, gutters, and downspouts
  • Sagging and areas of water collection
  • Evidence of termites
Water intrusion
  • Cracks or leaks in ceilings, walls, attics, and crawl spaces
  • Signs of water damage like stains, mold, and rot
Material condition
  • Weather damaged materials like rusted metal or rotted wood
  • Cracked caulking
  • Damaged or missing flashing (material used over roof joints to prevent seeping and water damage)
  • Missing, curled, or cupped shingles
Work quality
  • Overall appearance of the roof, both exterior and interior
  • Condition of the roof for its age
  • Quality of installation (nail patter, overhang, shingle position)
  • Presence of high-quality underlayment material

Are roof inspections free?

Some contractors offer a free roof inspection with a roofing estimate in hopes of getting the job. An insurance company schedules a no-cost inspection to investigate a claim, which may affect insurance premiums and continued coverage.

Who pays for a roof inspection?

The buyer pays for a home inspection in a real estate transaction, and the home inspection typically includes a visual or physical roof inspection. Homeowners seeking new insurance coverage pay for a roof certification inspection.

How long does a roof inspection take?

A professional roof inspection takes 45 minutes to several hours, depending on the roof size and the extent of the damage. The inspection report is typically available 1 to 2 business days after the inspection.

How often should I get a roof inspection?

A roof self-check is recommended twice per year and immediately after a significant weather event to evaluate possible damage. Professional inspections are recommended every 3 years for a shingle roof and every 5 years for a tile roof.

Additionally, a professional roof inspection is necessary:

  • After installing a new roof during construction

  • After replacing an old roof

  • Before buying a house

  • When switching to a new home insurance company

Who does roof inspections?

A home inspector, roofing contractor, or licensed builder performs a roof inspection. A certified home inspector has no financial interest in roof repair, while a roofing contractor benefits from finding damage.

Does a home inspection include the roof?

A home inspection costs $250 to $400 and includes a limited visual or a full physical examination of the roof covering. Most inspectors check the underside of the roof when evaluating other systems in the attic during a home inspection.

Can buyers get a mortgage to purchase a house that needs roof repairs?

Getting a home mortgage for a house that needs roof repairs is difficult. Many mortgage lenders require the roof have at least 3 years of useful life as determined by a home or roof inspector. Many insurance companies won't cover the home until the roof is repaired or replaced.

Hiring a certified roof inspector

When finding and hiring a roof inspector near you, be sure to:

  • Look for a roof inspector that has been in business for more than five years.

  • Choose an inspector certified by the International Association of Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) or the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association (NRCIA).

  • Browse their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Get at least three estimates of the same inspection type to compare.

  • Avoid selecting the lowest quote as quality may suffer.

  • Beware of companies offering unsolicited free inspections as they may be part of a common roofing scam.

  • Never pay in full upfront. Make the final payment upon receipt of the inspection report.

Questions to ask

  • How many years have you been inspecting residential roofs?

  • Are you InterNACHI or NRCIA certified?

  • What is included in the roof inspection?

  • Do you do a physical inspection or use a drone?

  • Do you offer thermal imaging scans of the roof?

  • How long will the inspection take?

  • Do you provide a thorough inspection report with photographs to explain your findings?

  • Do you offer discounts for semiannual inspection contracts?

  • Will you provide a list of references with contact information?

  • May I have a copy of your insurance policy for my records?

  • Do you guarantee your work or offer an extended warranty?

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