Do you think you may have roof damage from a recent storm? Or do you know your roof is nearing the end of its life and you want to know how much it’s going to cost? If you’re in this position, you may wonder whether you need a roof estimate or a roof inspection. It makes sense that the difference between these services can be confusing. After all, they both involve someone taking a look at your roof and providing you information about it. But the truth is, they are not the same thing and serve different purposes. Here are the differences and how to discover which is right for your situation.

What is a Roof Estimate?

There’s a reason why most roofing companies offer free estimates. They’re quick, they’re easy, and they usually are the precursor to getting a new roof installed. A roof estimate is basically a cost estimate on a roof replacement and is usually only requested by a homeowner if they intend to get a new roof. In some cases, the estimator will actually get onto your roof, but he’s not looking for problems. Instead, he’s just gathering information to accurately quote your project.

You can ask questions during the roof estimate process. Some common questions are whether or not you can just repair your roof instead of replacing it, if you can replace just parts of your roof, and the cost differences between roofing materials. Though you probably want to ask the estimator if they think you need a new roof or can put it off a few years, it’s likely they can’t answer that question accurately. Why? We’ll explore that in the next section.

What is a Roof Inspection?

So what’s a roof inspection? It’s a thorough examination of your roof and is meant to identify if there is damage or wear and tear that warrants repairs or a replacement. Inspections are typically not free of charge. They require roofing specialists to get on your roof and to do some close examination. Of course, no inspector can determine the extent of roof damage until they acutally tear off a roof and see what’s underneath. However, they can look for common signs of roof damage such as missing or damaged shingles, water stains inside the house, and signs of mold and mildew.

To get back to our earlier question, those who perform an inspection can more accurately answer your question of if you need a new roof because they are trained to know the signs of a compromised roof.

When Do You Need an Estimate and When Do You Need an Inspection?

If you know you will need a new roof in the near future, you should get a roof estimate. This will provide you with the different options for your project and a projected cost. While you’re not obligated to go with the roofing company that provides the estimate, it’s generally understood that getting an estimate means you’re interested in purchasing a new roof.

Don’t be tempted to get a free estimate when you really need an inspection. An inspection is necessary after a big storm or when you notice signs of roof damage. As mentioned above, an estimator isn’t looking for damage — he’s simply estimating a cost.

To put it in simple terms, you need an inspection when you’re unsure about the condition of your roof and you need an estimate when you know your roof needs to be repaired or replaced. No matter which service is right for you, the knowledgable professionals at Hometown Roofing can help! Call now for your inspection or estimate.