How to Evaluate Roof Damage in 5 Steps

How to Evaluate Roof Damage in 5 Steps


Roof damage can lead to a host of problems, from leaks and water damage to structural instability. It’s crucial to evaluate roof damage as soon as it’s suspected to prevent further damage and costly repairs. This article will guide you through the process of evaluating roof damage in five comprehensive steps. It’s important to remember that while these steps provide a good starting point, professional inspection and assessment are often necessary for a complete understanding of the roof’s condition.

Step 1: Initial Visual Inspection

The first step in evaluating roof damage is a basic visual inspection. This involves scanning the roof for visible signs of damage from the ground level. Look for common signs of damage such as missing or cracked shingles, sagging areas, and debris accumulation. Pay close attention to the areas around chimneys, vents, and other roof penetrations, as these are common spots for leaks to occur. Other indicators can include discolored patches on the roof, growth of mold or moss, and piles of granules at the end of downspouts.

Step 2: Check the Attic

After the external inspection, it’s time to check your attic for signs of leaks or water damage. This step involves examining the underside of the roof deck and the frames for any signs of damage. Dark spots on the wood, damp insulation, and daylight shining through where it shouldn’t be are all signs of potential damage. Moisture marks, stains, or discolorations are strong indicators of leaks. This step can help you pinpoint the location of a leak and understand the extent of the damage.

Step 3: Detailed Roof Inspection

The third step involves getting onto the roof for a more detailed inspection. It’s important to take safety precautions when doing this to avoid injury. You might need to use a ladder, safety harness, and other safety equipment. Look for less obvious signs of damage such as loose or exposed nails, damaged flashing, and granule loss on shingles. Be sure to check the condition of the gutters and downspouts as well, as they play a crucial role in keeping water away from the roof and house.

Step 4: Document the Damage

Once you’ve identified the damaged areas, it’s crucial to document them thoroughly. This step ensures that you have a record of the damage, which can be useful when talking to insurance adjusters or contractors. Take pictures and make notes of all damaged areas. Describe the extent and type of damage in your notes. If possible, try to estimate the size of the damaged area. This documentation will be useful if you need to file an insurance claim or explain the damage to a roofing professional.

Step 5: Consult a Professional

Finally, after conducting your own inspection, it’s recommended to have a professional roofer or inspector confirm your findings and provide further evaluation. They can provide a comprehensive assessment, estimate repair costs, and recommend the best course of action. Professionals have the training and experience to spot subtle signs of damage that you might have missed. They can also help you understand whether the damage warrants a simple repair or a full roof replacement.


Evaluating roof damage can be a complex task, but by following these steps, you can gain a better understanding of your roof’s condition and take the necessary steps to repair and protect it. Remember, these steps are meant to help homeowners identify obvious signs of roof damage. For a complete evaluation and to ensure the longevity of your roof, it’s best to hire a professional.