Maximizing Energy Efficiency: How Your Roofing Choices Can Save You Money


In our modern world, where rising energy costs are a burgeoning concern for many, embracing energy-efficient solutions becomes paramount. In this endeavor, it is critical to recognize the significant role played by one crucial component of any structure – the roof. A carefully made roofing decision can have a far-reaching impact on energy consumption. It is fundamental to recognize the importance of energy-efficient roofing practices, as they can translate into meaningful financial savings and environmental benefits over time. By making smart choices about your roofing materials and design, you can reduce heat loss in the winter, minimize heat gain in the summer, and ultimately lower your energy bills.


The Importance of Insulation and Ventilation



Your roof plays a crucial role in regulating the temperature inside your home. Proper insulation prevents heat from escaping during the colder months and blocks heat from entering during the warmer months. Additionally, adequate ventilation ensures that excess heat and moisture are released from your attic, preventing damage to your roof structure and improving air quality.


When adding insulation to the roof, it is important to guarantee that the roofing substrate is strong enough to support the additional weight of insulation. As such, it is a good idea to consider applying metal b-decking to the roof substrate, which provides shear support and increases the load bearing capacity of the roof.

Roofing Materials for Energy Efficiency



There is a wide range of roofing materials on the market, each with its own set of energy efficiency properties. Some of the most prevalent roofing options today include:


  • Asphalt shingles: Asphalt shingles are a popular and affordable roofing option. Dark-colored shingles absorb more heat from the sun, which can be beneficial in colder climates. However, it’s important to choose shingles with a high solar reflectance index (SRI) to minimize heat gain in warmer climates.
  • Metal roofing: Metal roofing, such as aluminum or steel, is highly reflective and durable. It effectively reflects sunlight, reducing heat absorption and keeping your home cooler. Its durable fabrication makes it unlikely that a metal roof will need any repairs or maintenance for at least 50 years, greatly reducing the lifetime cost of ownership.
  • Tile roofing: Clay or concrete tiles are excellent insulators and provide a natural cooling effect due to their thermal mass. They absorb heat during the day and release it slowly at night, keeping your home comfortable.
  • Slate roofing: Slate is a natural stone that offers superior insulation and durability. Its high thermal resistance prevents heat transfer, reducing energy consumption in both cold and warm climates.
  • Composite roofing: Fabricated from a combination of fiberglass, recycled paper products, and asphalt, composite tiles are a highly durable product that will not break down in the face of inclement weather. This helps prevent leaks and air transfer that could cause structural damage and HVAC overload.


When choosing a roofing option, it is essential to consider your local climate to arrive at the material that best maximizes energy efficiency for your region.


Roof Design and Energy Efficiency


Apart from materials, the design of your roof also plays a significant role in energy efficiency:


  • Roof slope: A steeper roof slope allows for better water drainage and reduces heat absorption. In warmer climates, a steeper slope can help reflect sunlight more effectively.
  • Roof color: As mentioned earlier, darker roof colors absorb more heat, while lighter colors reflect it. Choosing a lighter roof color can significantly reduce heat gain in warmer climates.
  • Overhangs and eaves: Overhangs and eaves provide shade for your home’s exterior walls, reducing heat absorption and keeping your home cooler in the summer. To guarantee proper attic ventilation, be sure to explore aluminum soffit colors to prevent unwanted moisture damage in these overhang areas.


On top of these design components, don’t neglect the gutters. Clogged and inefficient gutters can lead to damage that results in poor roof efficiency.


Other Energy-Saving Roofing Components


In addition to roofing materials and design, consider incorporating the following components into your roofing system for enhanced energy efficiency:


  • Radiant barriers: Radiant barriers are reflective materials installed under your roof deck. They reflect radiant heat from the sun, preventing it from entering your attic and home.
  • Solar shingles: Solar shingles incorporate photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity, reducing your reliance on the grid and saving you money on energy costs.
  • Green roofs: Green roofs involve planting vegetation on your roof, creating a natural insulation layer and reducing heat absorption. They also help improve air quality and reduce rainwater runoff.
  • Reflective coatings: Reflective coatings are a highly effective way to improve the energy efficiency of your roof. They are designed to reflect sunlight away from the roof’s surface, thus reducing heat absorption. In addition to lower HVAC consumption, they also increase the lifespan of your roof by reducing wear and tear caused by intense sunlight. Reflective coatings can be directly applied to existing roof surfaces, making them a cost-effective solution for enhancing energy efficiency without requiring a complete roof replacement.


Finally, do not overlook the importance of routine cleanings and regular roof inspections for ensuring the ongoing efficiency of your roof.

Benefits of an Energy-Efficient Roof


Investing in an energy-efficient roofing system offers numerous benefits, including:


  • Reduced energy bills: By reducing heat loss and gain, an energy-efficient roof can significantly lower your heating and cooling costs.
  • Increased home value: Energy-efficient homes are in high demand, and a new, energy-efficient roof can enhance your home’s value.
  • Improved comfort: An energy-efficient roof helps maintain a more comfortable indoor temperature year-round, improving your living experience.
  • Environmental benefits: By reducing energy consumption, you contribute to a cleaner environment and lower greenhouse gas emissions.


All in all, while adding energy efficient features will require an upfront investment, its benefits will pay you back many times over in the long run.


Save Money and Improve Performance With an Energy Efficient Roof


Your roofing system plays a vital role in your home’s energy efficiency. By making informed choices about roofing materials, design, and components, you can reduce heat loss, minimize heat gain during warm summer months, and ultimately save money on your energy bills. Investing in an energy-efficient roof not only lowers your expenses but also increases your home’s value, improves comfort, and contributes to a cleaner environment. Consult with roofing professionals today and explore the options at National Roof Certification & Inspection Association to maximize your home’s energy efficiency and create a more sustainable and cost-effective living space.


Roger Marx is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on the latest trending building and design products. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he enjoys spending time with his wife and working on backyard projects in his spare time. Roger’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a construction industry resource site.



Mastering Senate Bill 721: California’s Balcony and Deck Inspection Law


A Comprehensive Guide for Property Managers and Owners
By Paul J. Watrous, President, National Roof Certification and Inspection Association


The revolutionary lyrics of Sam Cooke, “It’s been a long time coming but I know a change is gonna come,” preceded the reforming Civil Rights Act in 1964. Just a few short decades ago, life looked different. Travelers didn’t have to pass through TSA to board a plane, we didn’t have to wear seatbelts, and children didn’t have car seats. Homes are no longer built utilizing lead and asbestos-based products.


Reforming laws are typically passed due to unfortunate and tragic incidents and are in place to better serve the community, promote the safety of its citizens, and protect their most basic inalienable right, life. These things have now become part of everyday life. Many may not think twice about it because we understand and support the greater objective. Sam Cooke’s lyrics still ring true today however, the change is here, and the time is now.


Now, you might be asking what this has to do with California’s Senate Bill 721 (SB 721). In the ever-evolving world, staying informed about the latest legislative developments is essential, especially in the real estate industry. California’s SB 721, commonly known as the Balcony and Deck Inspection
Law, has significantly changed the landscape of multi-family investments, property maintenance, and safety. The 2015 tragic incident in Berkeley, California, served as a catalyst for SB 721, and three years later, the bill was enacted in 2018, aiming to take preventative measures to prevent such incidents from happening again.


People have the right to life. By ensuring property owners regularly assess and maintain their buildings to promote a safe living environment for their tenants and the public, all Exterior Elevated Elements (EEE) must be periodically inspected and maintained. Initially, changes can sometimes be
abrasive and difficult to navigate. But let’s approach this law with the positive mindset that everyone should have the right to life, a safe one at that, without worrying about history repeating itself. This law has far-reaching implications that will only continue to develop over time.



Naturally, being headquartered in Southern California, this inspection law caught the teams attention at The National Roof Certification and Inspection Association (NRCIA). Since 1995, the NRCIA has been known for trailblazing the roof inspection industry with best practices and processes.


Through research, crafting educational and training courses, and developing tools and resources that target the inspection industry, the NRCIA is committed to promoting safety, transparency, and excellence within the real estate community. Recognizing the importance of SB 721 compliance, California stakeholders have been inquiring about this training which commenced the development of NRCIA’s newest educational content. “Mastering SB 721: The Comprehensive Guide to California’s Balcony and Deck Safety Law” is designed to assist service providers, property managers, and owners navigate the intricacies of this new law.


After countless hours of combing through the legislation and talking with the parties involved, from building owners to city officials, the NRCIA was able to compile a three-hour course covering the history of SB 721 to understand the law and processes on a deeper level fully. The course comprises modules covering the inspection terminology, requirements, timelines, compliance, procedures, and proper documentation. Upon completion of this course, students will gain insight and shareable knowledge and be equipped to confidently navigate the SB 721 process, adding value to the services they offer. Additional field resources are provided, keeping the course details and the law at your fingertips.


SB 721 represents a significant step forward in ensuring the structural integrity and safety of exterior elevated elements in multifamily buildings throughout California. Property managers and owners must be well-informed and prepared to comply with this law. NRCIA’s course, “Mastering SB 721,” is a valuable resource for staying ahead in this evolving landscape. By prioritizing safety and compliance, property managers and owners can protect their real estate investments and the well-being of both their tenants and the public. Berlin, in South Orange County, points out the stereotypical landlord mindset: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Breaking long-time habits or strategies can be challenging, especially when it consumes more time, expertise, professional services, and financial resources. After the initial inspection cycles, this law will subsequently edify the property owner’s mindset, shifting from reactive repairs to preventative maintenance, ultimately creating a better life for their tenants.


As with most changes, friction can occur, and SB 721 is no different. Beyond the initial frustration of another landlord requirement, locating a qualified industry professional to perform these inspections is the first challenge. Only firms who are licensed in California as an architect, engineer, or contractor (“A,” “B,” or “C-5,” who has at least five years’ experience in constructing multistory buildings) or a building inspector affiliated with a recognized association are allowed to perform these inspections. Due to the additional expectations on inspectors, only a limited number of qualified individuals will offer the inspection service. As we get closer to the January 1, 2025, deadline, these certified inspectors will be overwhelmed with the large number of inspection requests, and finding an available inspector will be a challenge. Most qualified individuals we questioned choose to forego offering the inspections and only perform the more lucrative restorative work.



Bridging the gap from the inspector to the contractor lies another speed bump that could cause delays, which is the financial component. With the typical mindset of “if it aint broke, don’t fit it,”routine preventative maintenance repairs often get deferred, resulting in more extensive and
expensive resolutions. Once the initial SB 721 inspection report is delivered, the required restorative repairs need to be determined by a licensed contractor to become SB 721 compliant. Depending on the condition of the Exterior Elevated Elements (EEE), the extent of the scope of work
may put unexpected financial stress on the building owner. After receiving the report, the law permits 120 days to obtain proposals and to pull a building permit; then the restorative work must be completed within 120 days from permit issuance. Scheduling inspections early and utilizing the timeframes properly will allow landlords to budget their time and gather funds for these required repairs before the January 1, 2025, deadline.  With anything required by law, there are consequences for non-compliance. There are a lot of intricacies to this law, and it is important that building owners or their designated agent consults a trained and certified inspector to perform these mandated inspections to get SB 721 compliant before 1/1/2025. Fines can range from $100-$500 per day until the repairs are completed. In addition, a building safety lien can be filed on the property with associated costs incurred. Complying with SB 721 law may assist in preventing personal injuries and potential lawsuits.


Ultimately the implementation of the CA SB 721 law and knowing how to navigate the process efficiently will elevate the demand for professional property management and inspection services. For more information about NRCIA’s “Mastering SB 721” course and how it can benefit your property
management efforts, visit Stay ahead, stay safe, and stay SB 721 compliant for a brighter future in California’s multifamily housing sector.





Common Roofing Problems and How to Address Them

In addition to being a primary driver of curb appeal, the roof is the home’s first line of defense against the elements. As such, any small problems with the roof can spiral into major issues along multiple fronts.



Unfortunately, many homeowners choose to take an “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” approach to roof maintenance, letting minor problems today turn into expensive headaches tomorrow.



To avoid this pitfall, the following article will delve into some of the most common roofing problems to look for and how to proactively address them.


Inadequate Insulation

Inadequate insulation is a common problem that can lead to several roofing issues. When your roof is not adequately insulated, heat can escape during the winter and enter your home during the summer, leading to higher energy bills. Inadequate insulation can also cause ice dams on your roof, leading to water damage and leaks.



There are several ways to address inadequate insulation. One option is to simply add more insulation to your attic or roof substrate. When taking this approach, just ensure that the roof’s structural support can handle the additional weight. 



Another option is to install a radiant barrier, which reflects heat away from your roof. You can also install a solar-powered attic fan, which helps to circulate air and keep your attic cool. 



When choosing an insulation material, it is vital to consider the R-value, which measures the material’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. You should also consider the material’s sustainability. Some sustainable insulation options include hemp, denim, and spray foam. 


Incorrect Application

Incorrect application of roofing materials is another common problem that can lead to roofing issues. This can include using the wrong type of material for the job, using the wrong amount of material, or not following the manufacturer’s instructions. 



Poor application can lead to several problems, such as leaks, premature aging, and even structural damage. If you’re unsure how to apply roofing materials correctly, it’s best to hire a professional contractor with experience in this area. 



One of the most common mistakes people make when applying roofing materials is using the wrong fastener. For example, using nails instead of screws can lead to problems down the road. Nails are more likely to loosen over time, which can lead to leaks. The best metal roofing screws, on the other hand, provide a more secure hold and are less likely to cause problems. 



When choosing fasteners for your roofing project, use the type and size recommended by the manufacturer. It’s also essential to use the correct number of fasteners. Using too few fasteners can lead to leaks while using too many can damage the roofing material.


Damaged Shingles


Damaged shingles are an all-too-common roofing problem that can often lead to more significant issues if left unaddressed. Shingles can be damaged by various external factors, including high winds, hail, and falling tree branches.



Here are some of the most common shingle roofing problems to watch out for:



  • – Cracked or broken shingles: Cracked or broken shingles are common on older roofs and can be caused by a variety of factors, such as age, extreme weather conditions, and improper installation. Cracked or broken shingles can allow water to seep into the roof, leading to leaks and other problems.
  • – Missing shingles: Missing shingles are another common roofing problem caused by high winds, hail, or even animals. Missing shingles can expose the roof to the elements, leading to water damage and other issues.
  • – Buckling or curling shingles: Buckling or curling shingles are a sign that the shingles are not correctly adhered to the roof. Several factors, including improper installation, age, and extreme weather conditions can cause this. Buckling or curling shingles can allow water to seep into the roof, leading to leaks and other issues.



If you notice any damaged shingles on your roof, it’s essential to address them as soon as possible. You can sometimes fix damaged shingles yourself, but if the damage is extensive, you may need to call a professional.


Standing Water


Standing water is another common issue that can lead to significant roofing problems. To prolong your roof’s life, removing standing water as quickly as possible is important.



Homeowners should be very wary of standing water if they have a flat roof, as they are far more likely to accumulate standing water, especially if there is a blockage in a gutter downspout. If you have a flat roof, it is essential to have it inspected for any areas where water can pool.



If you find standing water on your roof, the first step is to remove it as quickly as possible. If the water has pooled due to debris in your gutters, you’ll want to clear all debris from your gutters and downspouts. Also, ensure that your gutters are pitched correctly and that no kinks or bends could cause water to pool.



If properly maintained gutters are not preventing water from pooling on your roof, the problem may be more serious. If the slope of your roof is even slightly off, water may pool in certain areas of your roof, which can lead to premature roof failure. Consult a qualified roofing contractor to troubleshoot the issue and restore your roof to proper working condition.


Ventilation Issues


Ventilation is an integral part of a roofing system. When a roof is adequately ventilated, it allows air to circulate and helps to keep the attic cool and dry. This helps to prevent moisture from building up in the attic, which can lead to mold, mildew, and rot. If a roof is not adequately ventilated, it can also cause the shingles to deteriorate prematurely, which leads to costly repairs.



There are several ways to address ventilation issues. One is to install a ridge vent, which is a type of vent that runs along the peak of the roof. Another option is to install soffit vents, which are vents that are located on the underside of the roof. 


Identifying and Addressing Common Roofing Problems


Properly identifying and addressing common roofing problems is a key component of establishing curb appeal and ensuring the structural integrity of all aspects of your home. For further insight on how to address common roofing problems, explore the resources at the National Roof Certification & Inspection Association for the latest in the roofing industry!


Roofing Safety Standards: Ensuring Your Inspection Runs Smoothly



Roofing inspections are a critical part of maintaining the integrity and safety of a roof. However, they can also be dangerous if not performed correctly. That’s why it’s essential to follow stringent roofing safety standards when conducting an inspection. Keep reading as we explore roof inspection safety practices from all angles and hear from roofing professionals on some of the most important inspection best practices to keep in mind.


Key Safety Protocols for Roofing Inspections



Although it can be helpful to make a checklist when performing a roofing inspection, the process itself is more than just a rote list of to-do’s. Each roof presents its own dynamic challenges, so it is up to the service professional to adhere to the highest standards of safety to put themself in the best position for a successful inspection.


“Safeguarding the smooth progression of a roofing inspection requires a dedicated commitment to safety standards. Prioritizing and upholding these standards isn’t just a checklist; it’s a shared dedication among professionals. Ensuring a safe and secure environment not only protects the team but paves the way for a seamlessly executed inspection, where every aspect is handled with precision and care.” – Jeff Guthrie of Mesa AZ Roofing Pros


With this expert testimony in mind, some of the key safety protocols to follow when performing a roofing inspection include:


  1. Wear proper safety gear: This includes a helmet, safety glasses, gloves, and sturdy shoes with slip-resistant soles.
  2. Use a ladder properly: Make sure you know how to use a ladder safely, and always have a spotter when working on a roof.
  3. Be aware of your surroundings: Pay attention to hazards like power lines, skylights, and chimneys.
  4. Inspect the roof from the ground first: Whenever possible, use binoculars or a drone to inspect the roof from the ground before climbing up on it.
  5. Never work on a wet or icy roof: Wait until the roof is dry and free of ice before inspecting it.
  6. Be careful of sharp objects: There are often sharp objects on roofs, such as nails and broken glass. Wear gloves to protect your hands, and be careful not to step on anything sharp.
  7. Use caution when walking on the roof: Always walk on the flattest part of the roof, and avoid walking near the edges.
  8. Be aware of the weather: If the weather is bad, inspect the roof another day.


When the safety of the roofing professional, home, roof, and surrounding area are given the highest priority, the chances of a successful inspection are greatly enhanced. 


Industry Best Practices for Roofing Inspections


In addition to the aforementioned safety protocols, there are a number of industry best practices that roofing professionals agree upon. Some of the most important include:


  • Schedule the inspection for a time when the weather is good: This will make the inspection safer, and it will also allow you to see the roof in its standard condition.
  • Get permission from the homeowner before inspecting the roof: This is especially important if you’re working on a commercial property. Call ahead of time to confirm that everyone is on the same page about the inspection time and ensure that all adjoining areas of the structure are evacuated during the inspection.
  • Prepare the surrounding area: This can include everything from removing potential hazards to having garbage bins strategically placed. “A strategically placed dumpster isn’t just a receptacle; it’s a tool that ensures seamless operations. By efficiently managing waste, it contributes to the overall smoothness of the inspection process, creating a safer and more organized environment for our team.” – Ash Janssen of Fuzion Field Services 
  • Communicate with the homeowner about your findings and recommendations: This will help them make informed decisions about their roof.
  • Document the inspection: This includes taking photos of any damage and noting the date, time, and weather conditions.


By adhering to these industry best practices, roofing inspectors can help guarantee that no stone is left unturned and the homeowner receives the highest quality service possible. 


Practical Tips for a Seamless Roofing Inspection



In addition to safety protocols and industry best practices, there are several operational tips that can help a roofing inspection go as seamlessly as possible:


  • Have a standardized checklist: A checklist will help ensure you don’t miss anything important during the inspection.
  • Be organized: Have your tools and materials before starting the inspection.
  • Take your time: Don’t rush the inspection. Take your time and inspect the roof thoroughly.
  • Ask for a second opinion if necessary: Don’t be afraid to bring in a second set of eyes. It is better to err on the side of caution if a roof presents a problem with which you are unfamiliar.


As your experience as a roofing inspector grows, expect this list of practical tips to grow.


Adhere to Safety Standards to Guarantee a Smooth Roofing Inspection


Maintaining a safe roofing inspection environment is of paramount importance. By adhering to key safety protocols, following industry best practices, and implementing practical tips, roofing professionals can ensure their inspection runs smoothly while safeguarding the integrity of the roof and their well-being. For more on the most trending roofing ideas and resources, explore the materials at National Roof Certification and Inspection Association for the leading voices in the industry!


Commercial Roofing Trends: Meeting the Demands of Modern Businesses


Although trends in interior design may be more exciting to talk about, it is usually the exterior that will have the greatest impact on the condition of a building. Specifically, the quality of a roof will have a direct influence on the quality of the rest of the structure. 


To this effect, trends in commercial roofing have undergone some exciting changes over the past decade. For more on the latest in the commercial roofing industry, keep reading for some modern roofing trends that have arisen from modern business demands!

Low Maintenance



The costs of running a commercial building are higher than ever in 2023. From sky-high rents to staffing challenges, businesses are having to open up the checkbook to keep commercial properties going these days. Therefore, it is critical that maintenance and upkeep costs are kept to a minimum in commercial structures. 


With this in mind, one of the best ways to keep maintenance costs under control is through the installation of a premier roof. The quality of the roof can affect the quality of the rest of the building. Leaking roofs can lead to damage throughout the building, so it is vital that it is of the highest quality. Some ways to install a durable, low maintenance roof include:


  • – Adding roof insulation and cover board to help create a stronger air and moisture barrier
  • – Choosing between b-decking and type n roof deck to increase load-bearing capacity and prevent acute damage
  • – Applying UV-resistant surface materials to limit degradation due to sun exposure


While you will still want to wash commercial roofs and remove any potential hazards at various points of the year, building with these types of low maintenance features in mind can greatly improve the cost efficiency of owning and operating a commercial building. 



Due to the aforementioned rising costs, modern businesses are under increasing pressure to maximize every square inch of space their building can provide. This makes functional rooftops a must. Whether it serves as a space for light packing or a hybrid interior/exterior space that allows patrons to step outside and enjoy a change of scenery, businesses are increasingly looking for ways to put their rooftops to better use.


When designing a functional rooftop, safety and durability should be the primary concerns. Be sure to secure the perimeter with a low-profile railing to prevent accidents without inhibiting views. In addition, choose the right type of finishing material, such as rubber roofing pavers, that will accommodate foot traffic while still promoting adequate drainage. 

Aesthetically Pleasing


Modern businesses must make sure that their roofs don’t sacrifice form for the sake of function. Flat roof pavers are vital for securing the aesthetics of functional roofs. However, the curb appeal of pitched roofs should not be overlooked either. 


Curb appeal is an increasingly important consideration for modern businesses. Employees and customers alike want to enter into a building in which they can take pride. Therefore, rundown and degraded roofs will not cut it in the modern business climate. When choosing materials for a pitched roof, look at products such as metal and composite tiles. These types of products are available in numerous designs, are easy to clean, and not susceptible to UV damage, helping promote strong aesthetics indefinitely.




With the United States eyeing a net-zero economy by 2050, modern businesses are feeling the squeeze to curb consumption and become as energy efficient as possible. This obviously brings solar panels to mind. While there is no doubt that using solar roofing technology is a wonderful way for businesses to create renewable energy and reduce their carbon footprint, it is important to remember that it is just one way to promote sustainability through roofing. Some other ideas include:


  • – Adding roof insulation and cover board to improve the R-value of the roof
  • – Choosing recyclable products such as metal
  • – Using durable materials such as metal and composite that won’t degrade and allow unwanted air and moisture transfer


As the roof is the first line of defense against the forces of nature, its condition is one of the primary factors in determining a building’s energy efficiency, so it is critical for modern businesses to design their roofs with sustainability in mind.

Fire Resistant


If you have paid any attention to the news recently, you’ve undoubtedly seen stories about the ongoing wildfires that continue to wreak havoc on Canada. In the era of climate change, wildfires are just a fact of life for most parts of the world.


And even if you’re not in an area where a wildfire is likely, accidents and electrical fires in commercial buildings are a threat of their own. Therefore, it is important to build with fire-resistant roofing to limit the threat of a blaze compromising your building. Metal, composite, and stone pavers are a few products that come with the highest fire ratings on the market to help limit the risk of fire damage to your business. 

Stay Ahead of the Latest Commercial Roofing Trends


Commercial roofs are being put to the test in new and creative ways in 2023. Therefore, it is critical that your business stay ahead of the game for your building to thrive. For the latest commercial roofing trends, check out the resources at the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association for additional resources! 


Roger Marx is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on the latest trending building and design products. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he enjoys spending time with his wife and working on backyard projects in his spare time. Roger’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a construction industry resource site.

Comprehensive Roofing Inspections: A Service to Clients

Maintenance is a normal part of our daily lives, and it never seems to end. Cars need oil changes, light bulbs need to be replaced, exterior paint needs to be touched up, the lawn needs to be trimmed, the house needs to be cleaned, and the kids need to be fed. As with most other things, the roof system of a structure requires maintenance.

Owner Approaches to Roof Maintenance

There are two main approaches property owners can take when it comes to their roof systems: proactive or reactive. Most property owners would fall under the reactive category for various reasons, including time constraints and budget. These property owners ignore the roof system until minor problems that could have been detected earlier result in expensive damages — by which point it may already be too late. In certain parts of the United States, precipitation is not a year-round threat, so roof issues can be out of sight and out of mind until they later present themselves at inconvenient times. It goes without saying that there is something left to be desired by this approach. Despite many owners taking reactive approaches to roof inspections, others are finding that a proactive approach is better suited to their needs. Roof inspection requests are thus increasing nationwide, with requests coming from:

● Residential and commercial property owners in escrow
● Those establishing a cause of loss for an insurance claim
● People shopping for property insurance or attempting to secure a loan

● Owners who just want to be informed

The final category in particular indicates that some owners are becoming more proactive, trying to determine what their roofing needs may be before a minor problem becomes a disaster. However, even though they may prefer to be proactive, many owners are at a loss for what to look for when attempting to prevent and fix roofing issues. There are fewer components to a roof system than a pepperoni pizza, but owners are rarely roofing professional themselves. In completing roofing inspections, roofing professionals must “think like a raindrop,” as rain often precipitates the discovery of roofing problems. Our job is to educate owners on their roofs’ conditions to help them make informed decisions.

Roof Inspections: Benefits and Types

Roof inspections are critical in establishing a baseline for the overall care plan for a roof. It is true that roof issues may be picked up on a property/building inspection report; however, these reports usually contain limited remarks made by a generalist with a recommendation to have the roof further evaluated by a licensed roofing specialist. A proper inspection helps achieve RoofAssurance ™.

There are two main types of roof inspections currently offered on the market. The first is a free inspection. This service provides a free estimate to clients who, in many cases, are already dealing with an active roofing problem. These reactive owners are a target for higher-than- average quotes due to the immediate need for work. In addition, this “free” service is typically limited in scope — the company typically only inspects approximately 20 percent of the roof (rooftop only), and the owner will, at best, receive a simple estimate on company letterhead. Costs may therefore grow as the roofing work proceeds and more problems are found with the roofing system. A Roof inspectors goal should be to effectively and confidently determine the integrity of the roof system. This can’t be accomplished only inspecting 20% of the system excluding the interior components of the structure.

The other type of inspection is a paid service with prices ranging from $300 to a few thousand dollars depending on the property’s size and the purpose of the inspection. The national average for an average-sized roof inspection is $350 for a LeakFREE ™ Roof Inspection and $475 for a ForensicROOF ™ Inspection. Because situations vary, the amounts of effort or time spent during the inspection significantly impacts the pricing. The investigation process in these inspections is much more detailed, starting from the inside out. There are hidden components to all roof systems that can’t be observed from the rooftop, such as the waterproof underlayment, mechanical fasteners, and moisture stains. This type of paid inspection should come with a comprehensive written report and a proposal package without an additional fee. The choice of whether to apply a portion or all of the inspection fee to work later completed is up to the contractor.

You may ask: “What is the difference if a licensed roofing company completes both types of inspections?” To help explain the difference to customers, I’ll share a short personal story. I like to golf. I’m not very good at it, but I enjoy the game. Each time I golf, I usually have a few good shots, and these keep me returning for another round of frustration. I was interested in purchasing a new set of clubs a few years ago. I could either go to a golf shop or attend free demo events to try out the manufacturer’s latest and greatest products. However, these events left me feeling like I was just being sold random golf clubs without truly finding out what I needed to succeed. Instead, I chose to pay for a professional fitting so I could find out what clubs would work the best for me. In addition, a portion of the fitting cost would be applied to a set of clubs if I decided to purchase them after the fitting. Similarly, when it comes to the roofing industry, you pay for what you get. Contractors offering free services want to close deals, sell roofs, and move on to their next free appointment. However, a paid roof inspection brings much more value to the client, as the inspector is paid for his time, knowledge, expertise, and transparent documentation.

Following a simple process is the key to producing comprehensive, detail-oriented, and informative inspections that not only correctly educate clients but also bring in revenue. A service-first attitude and transparent process helps increase job conversion. Stepping into a new service may seem daunting, but my advice is to try not to overcomplicate things. Inspecting a roof system is not difficult as long as you “think like a raindrop.”

Inspecting Roofs the NRCIA Way

An NRCIA-Certified Roof Inspector investigates five different zones of the structure: the interior, attic, exterior, perimeter, and rooftop. In addition, they will ask themselves three main questions:

1. Is the roof currently leaking?
2. Does the roof have a likelihood of leaking?
3. Is the roof system repairable should a leak occur within two years (average certification

If you have training and roofing experience, these points should be relatively easy to identify. Of course, there are times when a further exploratory inspection is required when roof trauma is not observable at a leak location. Exploratory inspections (in which a roof may require opening to find the faulty area) are a separate service and should be billed accordingly. A roof inspector should not cause any damage while inspecting a roof system, and should instead leave no trace that they were ever present. Once you have identified key issues, you will have to document them in a way that can tell a story to the client. Photo documentation and software technology is essential to staying ahead of the competition. Taking photos of the various inspection zones is the primary building block to creating a good report for the owner. A roof should last at least two years after an inspection, along with any necessary repairs, are completed. Suppose the roof’s remaining serviceable life is less than two years — in that case, a complete roof replacement should be professionally recommended and presented in a way the owner can respect and agree with.

Comprehensive Roof Inspection Reporting

The easiest way to do this is by providing a photo-centric inspection report that indicates:
1. The roofing red flags you observed and implications if those deficiencies are not
2. The cause of the red flag (i.e., deferred maintenance, workmanship defect, normal wear
and tear, storm-related damage, etc.).
3. How to properly repair or replace the deficiency.

Providing a well-written, photo-centric report will help clarify the need for restorative work, explain the location of the roof deficiencies, and support job conversion as the owners can see exactly how the inspector came to their determination. These reports are a great resource to review if a reinspection is requested or if you are selected to perform additional roof work later on.

Final Words of Advice

Keep in mind that we, as roofing professionals, are in the service industry. By focusing everyday on being a service to others, the client will know you are there to serve their best interests and a sale will ultimately follow. Remember to:

● Serve first.
● Follow the inspection process in five zones: interior, attic (if accessible), exterior, perimeter, and rooftop.
● Stand out from your competition and inspect 100 percent of the roof system.
● Evaluate, educate, and document.
● Take pictures that can educate the client.

Paul J. Watrous is president of the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association (NRCIA).

Get NRCIA certified today and put this badge on your shirts!

Check out other great content featured in CoatingsPro Magazine:

Drones, Licensing, and Knowing Your Airspace

Author: Jon Stivers

Jon is an Internachi certified home inspector, and the owner of Top Inspections LLC, in Philadelphia, Pa. He holds a part 107 commercial drone license and flies a DJI Mavic Air 2. The company website is

It is becoming much more common for drones to be used for roof and exterior inspections. Drone images can provide a great overall picture of the roof. With a skilled pilot, it is also possible to get in close for detail shots. Drones are especially helpful if the roof is inaccessible due to height, steepness, roof covering material, or poor condition. Some inspectors use a drone for all roof inspections that do not have safe, permanent access. Drone inspections save time and reduce liability. While drone roof inspections cannot completely replace walking the roof when it is safe and appropriate, they are an important tool for an inspector to consider.

The photo below shows a drone photo of a roof and exterior (See Figure 1: Obliquangle drone photograph). The overhead point of view allows the inspector to evaluate many aspects of the roof and exterior in one shot, and get an impression of the overall condition of the outside of the building. For example, in this photo the metal gutters and flashing look worn and corroded, and show evidence of piecemeal repairs. Several slate shingles have been replaced. The bay roof peaks have received a last resort repair using roofing cement. The stone walls show evidence of chronic water management problems. By contrast, the bay windows and scalloped siding appear to be in very good condition.

Figure 1: Oblique angle drone photograph.

The photo allows the inspector to conclude that the house roof and exterior has received some localized patching and repairs of various quality, but overall needs to be thoroughly renovated.

There are lots of drones on the market that home inspectors can choose from. Prosumer models feature cameras with resolutions comparable to a high-quality phone. Higher end models have larger photo sensors, zoom lenses, and can include infrared capability. There is plenty of information available for selecting a drone and learning to fly. Beyond that, it is important to fly legally and safely while doing inspections. The purpose of this article is to provide a simple introduction to legal and safe commercial drone operation.

Getting Your Pilot Certificate

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires commercial operators to fly by the rules of Part 107 for small unmanned aircraft systems. To summarize the rules as they apply to home inspection, a Part 107 drone “license” is required if compensation is received for use of the drone images. This includes images in a paid inspection report. For perspective on this federal law, note that posting drone footage on YouTube to promote a business is also considered commercial use. Suffice it to say that home inspectors will need a Part 107 Pilot’s Certificate.

The first step to getting a Part 107 certificate is to create a personal profile with the FAA. This can be done at The FAA calls this profile the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application. The purpose of the profile is to create a digital folder to contain any pilot ratings and aircraft registrations associated with the drone pilot. The FAA will run a background check as part of creating the profile. It is important to note that when the application is approved a unique FAA Tracking Number (FTN) will be assigned to the personal profile. This number will follow the pilot throughout his career. Be sure to write down this number. It will be needed when registering for the exam.

After getting signed up with the FAA, it is time to study for the Part 107 exam. As per the FAA, the exam topics include:

  • Applicable regulations relating to small unmanned aircraft system rating privileges, limitations, and flight operation
  • Airspace classification and operating requirements, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation.
  • Aviation weather sources and effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance
  • Small unmanned aircraft loading and performance
  • Emergency procedures
  • Crew resource management
  • Radio communication procedures
  • Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft
  • Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol
  • Aeronautical decision-making and judgment
  • Airport operations
  • Maintenance and preflight inspection procedures
  • Operation at night

There are many companies that charge for Part 107 training classes, both in person and online. A typical class costs $150.00. Some people pass the test by watching free YouTube videos. Another good option is to get a review book. The author favors a book called, The Remote Pilot Test Prep 2021, by ASA Test Prep. The FAA publishes a book that is used in conjunction with the ASA book. It is called, FAA-CT-8080-2H Airman Knowledge Testing Supplement for Sport Pilot, Recreational Pilot, Remote Pilot, and Private Pilot.

The key to the ASA book approach is the quizzes at the end of each chapter and the online access to 5 free practice tests that are available with the purchase of the book. The questions and answers on the chapter quizzes and the online tests are very similar to the actual Part 107 exam. The aviation maps, charts and tables in the FAA Airman Knowledge Testing Supplement are nearly identical to those that appear on the real exam.

When working through the ASA test prep book, make sure to understand and review all quiz questions that are missed, and the topics from which the questions are drawn. Make sure to understand all the quiz questions and answers before taking a practice exam. Then take one practice exam and review the missed questions in the same way as the quizzes. Keep reviewing and taking quizzes and then keep taking the exams until a solid passing score is achieved. Once you’re comfortable with the practice exams, it is time to take the real exam.

The test must be scheduled in advance and taken in person. The FAA provides a list of test centers. The fee is $175 for every test attempt. The exam is two hours long, and there are 60 questions. The test results appear in the student’s IACRA file about 48 hours after the exam.

Once the exam results are in the IACRA file, there is one more step to achieving the drone pilot certification. Within the IACRA profile, an application for the Part 107 certification must be submitted to the FAA. Even though the test has been passed, it is still necessary to apply for the certification. If that seems confusing, it is. Just remember the steps: Set up the IACRA profile.

Note the FTN number. Make sure to enter the same FTN number when signing up to take the Part 107 exam. The results of the exam will appear in the IACRA folder a few days later.

Use the exam results to make an application within the IACRA profile, for the Part 107 certification. Once that is completed, a temporary certificate is available online to print out. The permanent airman card showing the Part 107 certification will be mailed to you within a few weeks. Remember that proof of certification needs to be carried with you during all drone operations. By virtue of preparation for and passing the exam, the Part 107 certificate holder understands how to fly safely and legally. The following highlights and introduces some important points, but is by no means a complete explanation.

Rules for Flying

The basic limitations are that a drone must be operated during the day, always in a visual line of sight, and no higher than 400 feet above the ground. The limitations apply in uncontrolled as well as controlled airspace. In uncontrolled airspace, there is either no need for Air Traffic Control (ATC), or it is not practical. The Part 107 remote pilot is expected to fly by the rules anyway.

But in controlled airspace that is usually found around airports and densely populated areas, it is necessary for the part 107 pilot to request authorization from ATC.

Authorization may include additional limitations on altitude and other aspects of drone flight. There are many caveats to these rules. For example, uncontrolled airspace can be temporarily controlled or restricted due to a public event, such as a football game, or the presence of VIPs. The remote pilot finds out about these exceptions by reading the Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS) that are available online.

Inspectors that perform roof inspections in urban and suburban environments often find themselves in controlled airspace. One look at an aviation chart will show how complicated navigating in controlled airspace can be (See Figure 2: Aviation Sectional of Southern Los Angeles, CA). Since the drone pilot is flying in a very localized area and at an altitude safely below manned aircraft, things are a little simpler.

Figure 2: Aviation Sectional of Southern Los Angeles, CA
Figure 3: Grid from showing maximum altitude

To make things easier for commercial drone pilots, the FAA has partnered with some online sites that provide ATC authorization in near real-time. The system is called the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC). and are two websites that will display ATC authorization in real-time. Applying for authorization is almost as simple as placing a pin on a digital map. For each flight, the pilot logs the location, date, and time of the desired flight, the drone that will be used, the altitude and the duration of the flight. Figure 3 shows a screenshot from Outside the blue circle is uncontrolled air space. The red dots indicate restricted airspace. (See Figure 3: Grid from showing maximum altitude).

Under normal circumstances, the authorization from ATC will come back in a few minutes. Authorization comes with some notes about the flight, relevant Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS), and a brief weather report for the time and location of the flight. It is a good idea to book the flight at least the day before in case there is an issue. For example, if the inspection site is very close to an airport or in a restricted area, the allowed altitude may be reduced to 0. It is good to know that sooner than a few hours before the inspection.

Hopefully, this article has presented a useful introduction to getting a Part 107 license and flying in a controlled airspace. There is a lot more to learn about safe commercial drone flying. The first step is to get an FAA IACRA profile set up. The next is to study for and pass the Part 107 exam. Then, use the results of the Part 107 exam to apply for certification within the IACRA profile. Finally, use LAANC for rapid ATC flight authorization.

NRCIA Members get a discount on education services provided by Drone Pilot Ground School. Sign in and visit the member portal for more information.

Great Example of An Inspection Report

Below is an inspection report compiled and published by Jeff B of Cert-A-Roof. Note the detail that was put into this report which provides homeowners with actionable insight into the health of their roof system.





Want to learn how to better utilize InspectionPLUS?


Contact us at to set up training for you and your team.



New Preferred Partner: RAES

NRCIA is excited to announce our new partnership with RAES!


RAES provides solutions exclusively for roofing and exterior contractors with custom management software and business consulting services that optimize your sales, production, and accounting operations.

While business owners and their administrative team might be adept at the professional skills customers expect, the reputation of a company can often be left vulnerable to the shortcomings of subcontractors and other associates. Whether a sales rep neglects to follow-up with a quote, your supplier loses track of your order, or your subcontractor no-call no-shows, as far as the customer is concerned, the buck stops with you and your company.

That is why Robert Budron founded RAES. His company’s driving idea is that, with the right tools, business owners in the roofing and exterior restoration industry can greatly reduce and even eliminate many of the common problems plaguing their reputation with customers. RAES focuses on developing personalized solutions for roofing and exterior contractors through a combination of technology and consultative business services.

We invite you to learn more about RAES and how they are helping owners take back control over their business, and in the process, RAES the industry standard.





The Future is Certified Roof Inspections

The dawning of a new year puts everyone in the mindset of thinking ahead while reflecting on the past. We pause to realize how much has changed and wonder what lies before us in the year ahead. This isn’t just true when it comes to your personal life. It’s true in the roofing industry, specifically with the increased demand for quality roof inspections.


As your experts in roofing, we’ve seen clear trends emerging in recent years and months. Our decades in the industry give us insight into trends that will be shifting the industry in the coming year. To help you stay ahead, our specialists are sharing our top predictions for roof inspections and our tips for making 2022 a year of growth for your business.



Our Predictions for the Future of Roof Inspections


The techniques, trends, and professional landscape of roof inspections are always changing, and keeping up with those shifts will help you to stay competitive and deliver the highest-quality service to your clients. Here’s a peek into what we expect to see in 2022.


Expansion of High Consumer Expectations


California is a cornerstone of many industries, and it’s a uniquely important player in the nationwide roof inspection market, too. Homeowners and real estate professionals in California expect and require high quality from their roofing contractors as well as their roof inspectors, and this has made it a competitive market where only the best can win. However, we’re seeing more and more Californians leaving the state and moving elsewhere.


As homeowners leave California, they will take their expectations to their new locations throughout the country. As a result, inspectors and contractors across the US should use this opportunity to get accredited through the NRCIA or you will be playing catch up.


Spread of Regulations


Speaking of the Golden State, California has long been a trendsetter in legislation and regulations. Oftentimes, California will make a new policy change or institute a new regulation first. Other states will watch how it goes, learn from any growing pains that appeared, and then implement a similar change with potential tweaks.


We expect this to continue to happen throughout 2022 and beyond. Roof inspectors nationwide should keep an eye on California’s regulations and start planning ways to adjust to those same regulations if and when their own states follow suit. If you do this, you’re less likely to find yourself scrambling to implement the changes when the law does take effect in your state.


Demand for Certification


When it comes to inspections, some markets are more informal than others. In a small rural town, it might be perfectly normal to have the local handyman inspect roofs because he happens to know a lot about construction.


This is likely to change, though. California homeowners, real estate professionals, and insurance professionals demand professional roof inspectors who are certified by the NRCIA. As current and former Californians continue to move throughout the country, the demand for official, specialized, certified roof inspectors will grow nationwide, so certification will become even more vital for your business. Due to the growing demand, certain municipalities are now requiring a roof to be certified during the real estate transaction



How to Keep Up with Rising Consumer Expectations as a Roof Inspector


Our predictions for the years ahead in roof inspections generally carry one theme: increased expectations and demands for higher-quality roof inspectors. To make sure that this works for you instead of against you, follow these top tips.


Continuously Update Your Knowledge


No one is all-knowing in the roof inspections industry. There are always new techniques and improvements that arise, tricks and tools that appear on the scene, and so on. To provide your clients with the best information about their roofs, you need to continually update your knowledge.


There are plenty of ways to do this. NRCIA alone offers online training courses, ride-along opportunities, and more. There are also other online courses, blogs, and seminars you can participate in to hear new ideas and refine your strategies.


Consider Expanding Your Specialization


If you want to grow your business in a competitive market, one option is to expand your expertise and become certified in forensic roof inspection. Not only will the certification open the door for many new opportunities but while you study for your certification, you’re likely to learn more about roof systems. This can make you a better choice even for clients who only need a standard roof inspection.


Get Involved in the Industry Community


No matter how long you’ve been in the business, you have plenty to learn from your fellow roof inspectors. That’s why it is so important to get involved in the roof inspection community and maintain connections with colleagues.


You can network with other inspectors online, attend industry events, interact in online discussion groups, and more. This will help you predict the trends and shifts in the industry much as we’ve done in this article. It’s also a strong business practice because your connections with other professionals often lead to new opportunities and referrals.



Making 2022 Your Best Year in Roof Inspections


The constant changes in our world can make everything feel like moving targets, but there are positives to this state of constant change. We are constantly finding new ways to help clients and deliver more information and higher-quality details in roof inspections, and if you’re keeping up, you can stay at the top of your game and your local market.


To learn more, check out our guide to becoming an NRCIA.