roof inspection

Everything You Need To Know About Roof Surveys And Inspections

Within this article, I will cover all the key questions when it comes to roof inspections and surveys. Roofs are an integral part of our home and we should take good care of them to ensure the safety and protection of our homes. If we encounter any issues or notice anything odd about our roofs, then it could be the right time to call in the professionals to survey the roof and inspect it thoroughly. A quick Google search for roof inspection near me will help you find someone suitable for the job.

roof inspection drone

We’ve come across issues with our roof in both our current house, our previous house and another property we are in the process of selling. For us, it seems to be quite a common issue that requires immediate attention. That’s why I’ve decided to share my experiences with you in this article. It should answer some or all of your questions.

What is the difference between a roof survey and a roof inspection?

When you’re buying or selling a house, a roof survey is a standard step in the process. You usually have two options: a standard survey that covers the basics, or a more comprehensive one that thoroughly examines the roof’s construction and overall condition.

Roof Inspections on the other hand a generally undertaken when a property owner suspects and issue with their roof. Perhaps there is a leak, a recent storm caused damage, the tiles don’t look right or there is a sag in the roof. This is when a homeowner might request an inspection of their roof. These inspections go beyond the surface and provide a deep analysis of your roof’s health, although they tend to come at a higher cost. Roof inspections cover every aspect of your roof’s condition and potential problems. They typically provide comprehensive reports, detailed photographs and breakdowns of each part of the roof.

How long does a roof inspection take?

A roof inspection isn’t a one-size-fits-all operation. Its duration hinges on numerous variables: the roof’s expanse, its age, type of roofing material, and existing damage severity. Even factors like roof accessibility and prevailing weather conditions can significantly impact the inspection’s length.

Roof inspections are systematic. They generally commence with:

  • Visual Assessment: Inspectors begin with a ground-level evaluation, noting visible irregularities.
  • Exterior Examination: They then physically inspect the roof’s exterior, assessing shingles, flashings, chimneys, gutters, and other installations.
  • Interior Inspection: The attic is the focal point here. Inspectors look for insulation issues, moisture accumulation, mold growth, or any signs of light intrusion.
  • Structural Assessment: This delves deeper, analyzing the roof’s underlying support structure. Documentation: Every finding, minor or major, is meticulously documented, often supported by photographs.

The average duration for residential roof inspections

Residential roof inspections, on average, span between 1 to 3 hours. Smaller homes with uncomplicated roof structures might edge towards the lower end, while expensive homes with intricate roofing might require more time. However, the timeline can vary based on the roof’s condition and the aforementioned factors.

How much does a roof inspection cost?

When we started looking into the cost of roof inspections there were a number of different types and options available to us, so the cost of a roof inspection can vary quite a bit. Here’s a breakdown of some of the options we were offered:

  • Flat Roof Inspection: These typically start at around £150 and usually take anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours. Constructed from rubber roofing these types of roofs can become problematic but are not always difficult to repair.
  • Drone Roof Survey: I once opted for a drone roof survey, which set me back £200. Similar to the flat roof inspection, it took about an hour to complete.
  • Roof Inspection: For a standard roof inspection, I was quoted around £250. The time needed for this inspection was consistent, ranging from one to four hours.
  • Roof Survey: When selling one of our properties we needed a more detailed roof survey, which cost £500. The time commitment was around two hours.
  • 3D Mapping: Lastly, I explored 3D mapping for my roof, which falls in the price range of £650 to £1,500. This can be a bit overkill for a domestic property but can give you a very detailed interpretation of the roof quality and structural integrity.

The cost of a roof inspection really depends on the type of inspection you need, whether it’s for a residential or commercial property, and the extent of detail required. It’s essential to consider your specific needs and budget when deciding which type of inspection to go for.

How can I determine if my roof requires an inspection?

Assessing whether your roof needs an inspection is an important step in maintaining your home. Here are some signs and considerations to look for when determining if it’s time for a roof inspection:

  1. Age of the Roof: Roofing materials have a limited lifespan. If your roof is approaching or has surpassed its expected lifespan, it’s a good idea to schedule an inspection. For example, asphalt shingle roofs typically last 20-30 years.
  2. Leaks or Water Stains: If you notice water stains on your ceiling or walls, or if you see signs of water intrusion in your attic, it’s a clear indication that your roof may have a problem that requires inspection.
  3. Damaged or Missing Tiles or Shingles: Inspect your roof from the ground or using binoculars to look for visible signs of damage, such as cracked curling, or missing shingles. These issues can compromise your roof’s integrity.
  4. Sagging or Uneven Roof Lines: A sagging roof or areas where the roof appears uneven could be a sign of structural problems or weakened decking underneath the shingles.
  5. Damaged or Crumbling Brickwork: Asses the quality of the chimney stack and other crick work around your roof to ensure quality and stability.
  6. Gutter Issues: Check your gutters for an excessive amount of granules from asphalt shingles. This can indicate shingle deterioration. Also, if you find a lot of debris in the gutters, it may suggest that your roof is shedding material.
  7. Moss or Algae Growth: Moss and algae can trap moisture, leading to roof damage. If you notice extensive growth, it’s a good time to have the roof inspected.
  8. Visible Light in Attic: If you can see daylight through your attic roof boards or notice any visible holes or gaps, it’s a clear indication that your roof has openings that need to be addressed.
  9. Increased Energy Bills: A roof in poor condition may not provide proper insulation, leading to increased heating and cooling costs. If you notice a sudden spike in your energy bills, it could be related to your roof.
  10. Previous Storm Damage: If your area has recently experienced severe weather, such as hail, heavy winds, or a hurricane, it’s wise to have your roof inspected even if you don’t see immediate damage. Roof damage may not always be visible from the ground.
  11. Roofing Material Warranty: Check your roofing material warranty. Some warranties require regular inspections and maintenance to remain valid.
  12. Safety Concerns: If you’re concerned about the safety of your roof for any reason, such as loose or deteriorating materials, it’s best to have it inspected by a professional.

Keep in mind that regular roof inspections, ideally conducted annually, can help identify issues before they become major problems, potentially saving you money in the long run. If you notice any of these signs or have concerns about your roof, it’s advisable to contact a qualified roofing professional for a thorough inspection.


Regular roof inspections are not just advisable; they’re essential for the longevity and security of your home. By arming yourself with knowledge and seeking professional assistance when needed, you ensure that your roof remains safe and sturdy, shielding you and your loved ones from the elements. So, don’t hesitate to take that proactive step in roof care – it’s an investment in the safety and well-being of your home.

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