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Your Guide to Roof Inspection Before Buying a New House

Before you go traipsing off to buy your next house, make sure to inspect every aspect of the property.

You will probably hire professional home inspection services to carry out a complete inspection of the house.

However, it is important to know that a standard home inspection does not include a roof certification. A seller can include roof inspection as part of the purchase but, by law, they are not always required to provide roof certification to potential buyers either.

So Then, What Happens in Roof Inspection?

The roof is superficially checked for its:

  • Construction
  • Leaks
  • Framing
  • Ventilation
  • Gutters

A professional roofing company will perform a thorough roof inspection and provide homeowners with a room certification as well.

Roof Certification

In order to provide a roof certification, professional roofers will first check:

  • Roof shingles for staining and discoloration
  • Cracked, warped, loose or missing shingles
  • Rust and sagging in flashing
  • Gutter leaks
  • Mold, mildew or pest infestation
  • Clogged vents or drains
  • Damage around the chimney, vents or skylight
  • HVAC units and mounting


They will then carry out repairs accordingly. This can take around 72 hours.


If no repairs are required, the roofers will give homeowners an estimate of the roof’s remaining life and official certification for the inspection. This certification lasts for around two to five years. Roof certification in Arizona lasts two years.

Factors That Affect Roof Inspections

Carrying out a roof inspection for certification depends on several factors. These include:

Type of Roofing Material

  • Wood
  • Rubber
  • Concrete
  • Slate
  • Metal
  • Shingle

Age of the Roof

The material used and its age will determine whether repair or replacement needs to be carried out. A general lifespan of roofing materials is as follows:

  • Composition Shingles:12-20 years
  • Asphalt Shingles:15-30 years
  • Wood Shingles:20-25 years
  • Rubber Roofs:30-50 years
  • Metal Roofs:50-75 years

Roof Pitch

A roof’s pitch is its steepness. It is calculated by measuring how many inches the roof rises vertically for every 12 inches horizontally.

The greater the steepness, the higher will be the pitch number. If a roof’s pitch is quite high (around 12), a roofing company might charge extra for the roof inspection and repair.

There might be cases where a roofing contractor will refuse to issue a roof certification. This is usually if a roof has been damaged by natural disasters or improperly installed skylights or solar panels. Make sure to check if your home insurance plan covers these areas.


Property buyers and sellers are both recommended to carry out a roof inspection and provide roof certification before a transaction. Hiring a professional roofing contractor will ensure that roof tiles, shingles, gutters, leaks, materials, construction, and any damage are inspected thoroughly. Roof inspection depends on the types and ages of roofing materials and roof pitch.