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What Do Home Inspectors Look for on a Roof?

A home inspection can help you avoid serious problems and get your house ready for sale. Learn more about what inspectors look for on your roof.

Home inspectors provide an important service to Texas homeowners. They can find potential problems before they grow into something expensive or dangerous. They can help homeowners get their homes ready for sale by identifying areas in need of attention. Some mortgage programs require buyers to get a home inspection, which will include the roof.

The roof is one of the most important and expensive parts of a house, so roof problems should be of particular concern to homeowners. A roof in prime condition can help a homeowner fetch the highest possible price for their home. What parts of the roof do inspectors look at, and what are they looking for?

Photo by Tina Nord from Pexels

Another question to ask is whether a home inspector is the best person to take a close look at a roof. At RoofCrafters, a comprehensive and free inspection by our knowledgeable roofing professionals is part of our standard service package. Some mortgage programs require buyers to use certain inspectors, and our inspection will not meet this requirement. For other purposes, however, our inspections look for everything on a home inspector’s list.

Should you inspect a roof on your own?

An important consideration before conducting a roof inspection is whether it is possible, or advisable, to climb onto the roof. Here at RoofCrafters, we never advise our clients to climb on their own roofs.

An individual can damage a roof merely by stepping on it, so it is important to make sure that an inspector knows what they are doing. Climbing a ladder onto a roof also presents safety hazards, as does walking across a sloped roof. You might ask your inspector about alternative ways to inspect a roof that will not risk injury to the inspector or damage to the roof.

What to inspect

An inspector is primarily looking for problems that could lead to damage to the house or indicate existing damage.


Photo by ​​Sery Content Development MT from Flickr [Creative Commons]

Shingles are a roof’s first line of defense against the elements. They prevent water from entering the home where it can cause all sorts of damage. An inspector will look for broken, split, or curled shingles, as well as exposed areas where the shingles are missing altogether. They will check the eaves to see if the shingles extend far enough to channel water off the roof. They will also look for growths of moss or lichens, which can be a sign of decay or rot under the roof’s surface.


An inspector will look at gutters and downspouts to see that they are fully attached to the house and not clogged with debris. If a gutter becomes partly detached, it can allow water to flow somewhere water should not be. A clogged gutter or downspout can result in water flowing back onto the roof, where it can cause damage over time.


While not as prominent or well-known as shingles, roof flashing is just as important. Flashing covers joints between the roof and other surfaces, as well as seams where two parts of a roof meet. Broken, damaged, or missing flashing can quickly lead to water leaks in the house. Rusty flashing can indicate existing water damage.


Photo by Walmart from Flickr [Creative Commons]

Skylights are a frequent source of water leaks. A specific kind of flashing is required for many skylights. Even if the flashing around a skylight is intact, it might not be the right kind of flashing. Cracks in the skylight itself can also lead to leaks and other damage to the house.

Chimneys, vents, and other roof penetrations

Roofs are most vulnerable where something, such as a chimney or vent pipe, extends through the roof’s surface. The area where the two surfaces meet requires carefully-installed flashing, and the vent or chimney must be in good repair.

A damaged chimney can cause further damage to the roof and can allow water and moisture into the home. A damaged attic vent can allow not only water to enter the home, but also vermin such as insects, squirrels, or rats.

Get a free roof inspection!

The experienced roofing professionals at RoofCrafters provide unmatched workmanship and service to homeowners throughout the greater Austin area. Contact us today to schedule your free roof inspection, whether you represent a business or your own home.

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