Buying and Selling: Home Inspections vs Roof Inspections

Does A Home Inspection Cover Roof Condition?

A qualified home inspection may be vital to a home purchase as it can reveal problems with the property that a home buyer would not otherwise know about. However, a home inspector has a license that, according to Florida Statute 468.8311, “…means a limited visual examination of the following readily accessible installed systems and components of a home: the structure, electrical system, HVAC system, roof covering, plumbing system, interior components, exterior components, and site conditions that affect the structure, for the purposes of providing a written professional opinion of the condition of the home.”

Limited Visual Examination vs Complete Roof Inspection

Home owners just learning of this limited visual examination limitation are not alone as Stephanie Vanderbilt, owner of Coastal Windows & Exteriors says to prospective homeowners that their roof, “…may have incurred more damage than an untrained eye can see.” And in order to assess the roof completely, Hayes,of Hayes Roofing states that, “A professional roof inspector can give you a complete and accurate assessment of the condition of your roof.” And for that, you have to go beyond a limited visual roof covering examination and conduct an interior and exterior inspection of the roof by assessing the entire roofing system.

Assessment Of The Complete Roofing System

A hands-on roof inspection and assessment requires that the roofing professional inspect the roof for the following types of concerns:

  1. improper flashing in the valleys, side walls, eves and rakes

  2. leaks or the potential for leaks based on condition

  3. roof deck rot and mold or algae accumulations

  4. structural failures such as the roof deck sagging

  5. shingle deterioration from age, defects, or storm damage

  6. loose, missing or mis-leveled gutters and downspouts

And although some of these concerns can be seen visually, many of them will require a hands-on approach to make a more accurate assessment as things like wind damage may require the roof inspector to gently lift up the shingle to determine if the nail has torn through the shingle as illustrated in the image.

Free Roof Inspections vs Paid Home Inspections

Although Brad did a wonderful job picking a beautiful home in Hunters Creek, had he not also brought in a qualified roof inspector, he would have inherited a storm damaged property which the regular home inspection would not have revealed.

As roof inspectors have the coveted CCC Certified License to perform re-roof work, they have extensively more experience handling roof concerns. Brad had to pay for his home inspection but was spared the cost of the roof inspection as many contractors will first inspect for free in the hopes of an opportunity to do the work. In Brad’s case, the Seller was able to have the roof replaced by their insurance company as the roof underwent significant storm damage not specifically identified by the home inspector.

Andrea Pack