We start the roof inspection outside. We determine first, how we can access it, whether the roof can be traversed on foot and if, in fact, it is safely walkable. Some roofs are too steep, have too much deterioration, are too high above ground level or are tiled with slippery and dangerous material such as slate. In such cases we can use binoculars at ground level and we would use a ladder at the edges and report on as much as is visible from that vantage point.
We can tell what type of material is used such as asphalt or fiberglass shingles, metal and rubber. Some roofs use a combination of 3-4 different types of materials.
We look for any signs of water penetration from the roof at upper levels and into the attic, if the attic is accessible from the roof , and we report on our observations. We observe drainage, flashings, signs of leaks, skylights and chimneys among a host of other roof related items during the inspection.