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How a roof inspection works

A roof inspection is a critical part of maintaining a home or building. It ensures the roof remains in good condition, helping to prevent leaks and damage that can lead to costly repairs. In the UK, there are several integral steps to a thorough roof inspection.

Pre-inspection Preparation

Before a roof inspection begins, the inspector, often a qualified roofing contractor or a chartered surveyor, will gather necessary information about the building. They will consider the age of the property, the type of roof, previous maintenance records, and any reported issues. This will provide the inspector with the necessary context for the inspection and enable them to anticipate potential problem areas.

Types of Inspections

There are two main types of roof inspections: a visual inspection and a more in-depth inspection involving tools and equipment.

A visual inspection generally does not involve any specialised equipment. The inspector will visually examine the roof from the ground, or sometimes from a ladder, looking for visible signs of damage or wear that could lead to problems. This could include missing or broken tiles, sagging, or visible damage to the chimney or gutters.

An in-depth inspection is more thorough and will typically involve the inspector accessing the roof to examine it closely. They may use tools to test the integrity of the materials, check for hidden leaks, and assess the condition of components like the underlayment and flashing.

Inspection Process

The roof inspection process involves several steps:

1. Exterior Inspection: The inspector will examine the exterior of the roof, looking for signs of damage or wear. This includes checking the condition of the roofing material (like tiles or shingles), flashing, gutters, and chimneys.

2. Interior Inspection: In some cases, the inspector will also check the interior of the building for signs of roof problems. This might include looking for water stains on ceilings or walls, checking for dampness in the attic, and assessing the condition of the interior roof structure.

3. Report Generation: After the inspection, the inspector will compile their findings into a detailed report. This will include information on any problems found, recommendations for repairs or maintenance, and sometimes an estimate of the remaining lifespan of the roof.

Safety and Regulations

Safety is paramount during roof inspections in the UK, and inspectors should follow the Work at Height Regulations 2005, which stipulates that work at height must be properly planned, supervised, and carried out in a manner that is as safe as is reasonably practicable.


While the need for a roof inspection can vary depending on several factors such as the age and condition of the building, it is generally recommended to have a roof inspection carried out every couple of years, or after extreme weather conditions. Regular inspections can identify potential problems early, saving money and preventing damage in the long term.

Remember, while it can be tempting to undertake a roof inspection yourself, it is always best to hire a professional. They have the training and experience to identify issues you may miss and can provide advice on the best course of action if any problems are found.

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