A Handy Roof Inspection Checklist For New Homeowners
roof inspection checklist being performed by roofing contractor

The Ultimate Roof Inspection Checklist For Homeowners

Maintaining your home and looking for issues remains a challenge for most homeowners. Not only should you get your roof inspected, but you must ensure you remember each part of the process. 

As you create a roof inspection checklist, you’ll make it less stressful and remember everything. The process includes ten key steps: having a reputable roofing contractor, four steps for interior checking, four steps for exterior checking, and performing inspections regularly.

Commercial vs. Residential Inspections With a Roofing Contractor

First, you must realize the differences between performing a commercial versus a residential inspection. Residential inspections ensure the home remains in good condition while looking into issues.

While a commercial inspection involves the same process, commercial buildings must work around different schedules and consider their employees. As such, a commercial roof may require the business to address the problem sooner than a residential homeowner.

top view of flat commercial roof before inspection

Commercial roofing inspections also take longer since they require reputable roofing contractors to perform the inspection. However, if you have a contractor performing commercial roof inspections, ensure they have fall insurance before they start.

If you own a residential home, you may not require a contractor, but you should consider an inspection to help you. Commercial building inspections ensure a thorough commercial inspection occurs rather than having someone inexperienced glance it over.

Since a business will have a commercial roofing checklist, you should make one and go through it. As you do, you can have a contractor come by to check on your behalf since they know about roof types and what to look for concerning your roof.

Checking the Interior

As you review your roof inspection checklist, you should check the inside of your home. Doing so could help you identify a roof leak, issues with the ceiling, and similar problems, so ensure you check your entire home and look for an existing leak.

Water Leaks and Ceiling Damage

If you have your interior roof inspected, you should look for water leaks and ceiling damage. For example, if your ceiling forms into bubbles, you may have issues with standing water. The same applies to roof leaks and tiny cracks on the top.

If you have any leaks or signs of standing water, you should seek roof repairs immediately.

Air Leaks

Alongside water leaks, you could deal with air leaks in your home. Air leaks refer to minuscule holes in your roof, causing air to enter your home. While they may seem insignificant, wind related cracks can cause problems in cold weather and noise from passing vehicles.

The cold air will get into your home, causing fast weather cooling, which will conflict with your heater.

Light Cracks

roof inspection checklist starting inside attic with light cracks

As you perform an interior roof inspection, you should look for sources of light entering your house. Even if you can’t see the hole, if a bit of light enters your home, not through a window, you have a light crack in your roof.

Since you can’t determine their exact location, you’ll need a professional to help you with your roof.

Wet Insulation

Another sign of roof issues is damp insulation. If it looks wet, you should contact a roof professional to help you. Not only must you replace the insulation, but you’ll need to fix your roof to avoid further issues.

Checking the Exterior

Your detailed roof inspection must include the exterior. As you look for broken shingles or roof damage, you’ll identify what you must address. As you perform lawn maintenance, you may want to check outside your home and take care of any problems.

Roof Shingles

As you perform a roof inspection, you should look for signs of missing shingles. They could be on your yard, or you may find bald spots on your roof, indicating a problem. Sometimes, shingles get blown loose after a bad storm, so always look at your roof and yard afterward.


Gutters can quickly build up, so always check them during a roof inspection. Doing so will help you identify clogged gutters on your roof, which can lead to roof damage and build-up. You should also check their condition to ensure your gutters work properly and don’t have problems.

The Surface and Corners

contractor repairs roof edge after completing roof inspection checklist

You should also look at your roof corners, and the surface, and take a good look at your overall roof. If you have a safe way to reach higher ground, you could get closer during your roof inspection, but don’t put yourself at risk by checking the edge detail and other areas.

Review the edge materials and identify standing water on flat roofs during your roof inspection.

Environmental Factors

Even though you should check your roof field and other areas, you must consider environmental factors. For example, if you notice overhanging branches above your house, you must address them to avoid damage.

You should trim overhanging branches or hire someone to protect your drainage pipes.

Perform Inspections Regularly on Your Roofing System

As you hire a roofing contractor for a more thorough inspection, you’ll wonder if you should have these inspections performed regularly. While you should check your roof often, you may not know how often you should seek these routine inspections.

As a general guideline, you should have a professional evaluation of your home every year. If the inspector believes you have defective flashing, slow draining lines, or problems with your parapet walls, you should address them and have consistent winter roofing maintenance.

They can inspect terminations, perform a flood test, ensure you have properly sealed shingles, and properly secure the roof. That means while you should check the roof yourself every couple of months, you should have a professional inspect roof surfaces when possible.

As you work with a professional and contact roofing companies about any issues, you can keep your roof in good shape. Once you have a complete inspection, you can get any structural damage repaired prior to severe problems.

If you don’t have a roofing inspection regularly, you could end up with expensive structural damages and roof failure.

Final Remarks

A roof inspection checklist simplifies the process and helps you take care of your residential or commercial roof. Ensure you perform a roof inspection regularly to identify issues, protect your home, and address problems before they grow.

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