Inspecting the roof is an essential task for a home inspector due to the potential for leaks and its requirement as per industry standards. In cases where the roof is inaccessible or poses a safety risk, the inspector may employ various alternative methods. These include utilizing binoculars, observing from different viewpoints, employing a drone, utilizing a telescopic non-conductive pole with a camera, or accessing the roof's edge with the help of a ladder.
If the roof covering is not visible to the home inspector, it is advisable to include a disclaimer in the inspection report regarding that specific system. It is recommended to describe it as an area that was not inspected and should be evaluated by a professional capable of accessing the roof surface.
In the role of a home inspector, it is important to thoroughly examine the roof covering, paying attention to any signs of deterioration or loosening of flashing. Additionally, it is crucial to identify any indications of damage to the roof covering material and be mindful of the presence of debris that may cause blockages in valleys and gutters. A meticulous inspection of the home's exterior walls and trim is necessary to detect any developing deterioration beneath the eaves of sloped roofs, particularly in cases where there are no overhangs or gutters.
Roofs are intentionally engineered to be highly water-resistant, although they are not inherently designed to be completely waterproof. Over time, it is inevitable that the roof system may develop leaks. The occurrence of a roof leak cannot be accurately predicted in terms of timing, location, or manner.
In the inspection report, it is important for the home inspector to provide a detailed description of the roof-covering materials. Additionally, any signs of active roof leaks should be promptly reported by the inspector as requiring correction.