Roofing Inspection Checklist for Homeowners

By Stephanie Holmes

November 9, 2017   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

roof inspection

Performing preventative maintenance on your roof can make your life a lot easier. Many of today’s repair orders could have easily been avoided by a simple roof inspection by the homeowner.

However, some people aren’t comfortable climbing a ladder and standing on top of a roofing system. If you are one of those people, it’s a good idea if you can get your roof inspected by a professional. It will be less costly than waiting for an actual problem to happen.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at the most common inspection techniques you can actually use.


Sloped roofs are the most common residential structures since they easily repel rain with an associated gutter system. They are mostly required by homeowners’ associations with strict building guidelines.

The surfaces considered here are mostly composite shingles- the most common roofing surface for residential homes. Finding broken shingles can even be done on the ground, as it is really easy to spot a missing shingle from even a few yards away.

Cracked shingles may be a little more difficult to spot, so getting up close and personal may be the only way to go. You will see a dark seam on the outside. When you get up close, be sure to peel it back the best that you can and see if it has any give to it.

It should not fold or crease as you peel back; it should remain sturdy. Anything less than a solid, seamless shingle should be considered cracked or damaged and should be replaced asap.


Another part of the surface that can be cracked is the caulk around the base of the flashing. Inspecting the flashing seals are extremely important as these are the number one cause of leaks over time. You may also notice some rusted spots on the caulk, which can result in cracks shortly so make sure to repair and replace quickly.

The rubber boots are the pieces around the vent pipes, mostly near the apex of the roof. Check to make sure that there aren’t any cracks in these pieces either, as there could be a significant leak resulting from such instances.

Replacing these parts can be a bit difficult, so consider calling in a professional should you spot any issues.


Finally, you could find organic growths on and around the roofing surface in the form of moss, algae or mold. This indicates that there is decay occurring on the plywood that supports the shingles.

moss on roof

Plywood can become decayed if exposed to too much water, so any areas with cracked or missing shingles are usually a good place to look for such decay. Decay can’t only damage your roof but it can also affect someone’s health if gone unchecked for too long.

Final Thoughts

If you are hesitant to go up and do your own roof inspection, don’t do it. The fear of being up there can paralyze your balance and result in injury. You may want to hire someone else to climb atop your home and do the roof inspection.

In fact, a great way to get this inspection done correctly is to request a roofing quote by a local roofer. This may sound a bit expensive but it’s actually not. You can actually end up saving more if you do.

inspecting roof

And if your local roofer finds a problem, he can give you an estimate of the severity of the damage as well as the overall cost of the project.

The most important thing here is that you pay attention to the condition of your roofing system and perform preventative maintenance whenever possible. This will ensure a long life and an ease of any larger concerns down the road.

See Also: Roof Issue: Why Metal Is Better Than Asphalt Shingles And Tiles

Stephanie Holmes

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