How do I know if I need a new roof, or just a repair?

Have your roof inspected by a Certified Roofing Contractor, that is Licensed and Insured. He will explain, due to the age, condition and type of roof, if a repair can be made, or if a re-roof is the solution in your situation.

Shane, the question is “How do I know if I need a new roof, or just a repair”

As a Home Inspector it is expected that the Visual inspection of the roof system will reveal defects that can determine the recommendation for further evaluation.
A comprehensive Roof System Condition Assessment will provide the client with a thorough understanding of the existing condition to help ensure the roofing system will achieve the maximum projected life. Thorough inspection is the foundation for an idicator to possibly recommend further evaluation by professionals and corrective measures taken.
**Your Roof System Condition Assessment & Repair includes: **

  • Visual assessment of current conditions and anticipated life expectancy. Although not part of the SOP, a Home Inspector with former experience in roofing application would have some guesstimate of its longevity based on the visual inspection.
  • Detection of deficiencies (e.g. ridges, blisters, premature failure) and potential impact
  • Identification of potential roof warranty issues

A proven process, experienced Inspectors and knowledge of roofing design, construction and maintenance standards means you can accuratelty assess the roof system with confidence. Then, with this in mind shall one determine if an evaluation is required by a roofing specialist for further evaluation.

Hope this helps a little.

Marcel :):smiley:

Home inspectors are the experts at identifying and communicating defects in any of the home’s systems that they are inspecting.

Home inspectors step out of the realm of “expertise” and into the realm of “educated guess” when they try to prescribe a remedy.


Even experienced contractors will allow themselves a margin for error and explain to the customer, as they schedule a repair, that they may uncover additional damage that they do not presently see which could increase the cost of the repair or require a replacement of the system they are working on.

Keep this in mind before sticking your neck out and telling a prospective buyer that something can be “repaired” that, after the shingles/drywall/guttering/fascia, etc. has been removed by their contractor, additional damage is revealed that was not detected during the inspection.

Most questions come from property appraisers for the bank. The typical underwriter’s question is, “Will it last at least 3 to 5 years?” Home Inspectors can not guarantee or warantee any length of service since too many variables exist including predicting future weather conditions. Even then, a professional roofing contractor will be very hesitant to give an estimate of life remaining.

Home inspectors are neutral third parties and so have no financial interest in the results of the inspection but they have strong and weak points, depending on their background and education. Someone who was an electrician before they became an inspector may not have the background to competently inspect a roof. Find out what your inspector’s qualificiation are regarding roofs.

Contractors are not neutral third parties. I’ve never heard of a “Certified Roofing Contractor”. Who would certify them? They have a financial motivation to find problems with a roof. They should be recommended by home inspectors only when it appears that inexpensive work is needed.

Roof consultants are neutral third parties who have achieved certain designations by passing qualification tests. check out

All roof repairs are temporary and must be monitored over time.

When I see a roof that needs repair or replacement, I simply “recommend a roofing contractor to evaluate and estimate costs of repairing roof”. Let them decide on repair or replacement.

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