Do you have an older roof and are worried it might need replaced soon? Or you have just experienced a heavy storm and think your roof may have sustained damage from wind or hail? If you are in either of these situations, you may be confused about whether you need a roof estimate or a roof inspection. Many homeowners confuse these two services which are used for different purposes. Here are the differences between the two and how to choose which is the right one for your needs.
What is a Roof Inspection?
A roof inspection is a comprehensive examination of your roof by a trained expert. He or she will need to get on your roof and closely inspect it. The purpose of an inspection is to identify if there is damage or excessive wear and tear that requires repair or replacement. The expert will look for common signs of damage including mold and mildew, damaged or missing shingles, or water stains inside the house. Though they can catch many warning signs of roof damage, they can’t get a full picture of the condition of your roof until they tear it off and see what’s underneath it.
In most cases, you will be charged for getting a roof inspection. After it’s finished, the inspector will be able to give you his professional opinion on any repairs that need to be made or if he believes your roof needs to be replaced.
What is a Roof Estimate?
Roofing estimates, as opposed to roofing inspections, are usually free and are the first step toward getting a roof replaced. A roof estimate is offered by roofing companies and gives you a ballpark cost on what it will cost to have your roof replaced. These are commonly requested by homeowners who already know they need a new roof but are either trying to get a good idea of how much it will cost or are shopping around for possible contractors to perform the work.
Depending on the situation, the person performing the estimate will either survey your roof from the ground or actually get on your roof to get a better idea of the scope of the project. Unlike during an inspection, the estimator is not looking for signs of damage when he is looking at your roof. He is just gathering the information he needs to give you an accurate quote on your project.
After the expert provides you with his or her quote, you can always ask if a replacement is necessary or if repairs would suffice in making your roof safe and sound. You may also ask if you can replace just parts of your roof or if you can hold off on replacing your roof for a few months (or years.) However, keep in mind that the estimator, like the inspector, cannot get a full picture of the condition of your roof until it is torn off.
Which Do You Need: An Inspection or an Estimate?
Once you know the difference between the two services, you can easily make a decision about which you need. If you think (or know) your roof has damage, you should schedule an inspection. If you know that the time for you to have your roof replaced is drawing near and you want to get a good idea of the cost or are trying to choose a contractor to perform the work, you likely need an estimate.
Keep in mind that the two services are quite different. Don’t think you can get away with a free estimate when what you really need is an inspection because estimators are not looking for damage and can easily miss something an inspector would be able to catch.
Do you know you need a new roof or are you worried about roof damage? Reach out to the expert team at Siefken Contracting for more information on how we can help.