Roofs and Red Flags – What Property Inspectors Look for in a Roof

Roofs are important to the overall health and safety of a house, and they are pretty darn costly to replace. This is why a roof’s condition is a big part of the pre-purchase building inspection services we provide at Straight Up Inspections.

If you’re interested in buying or selling a home in the Bay of Plenty – from Tauranga to Whakatane to Rotorua – you need a house inspector with an eye out for roofing red flags. So you can come to the table informed, we’re sharing what we look for when examining a roof.

Type of Roof

While most roofs in NZ are pitched, flat roofs are not unheard of. While more commonly used for outbuildings like sheds and garages, flat roofs and the leaky home epidemic sometimes go hand-in-hand. If a house has a flat roof, a roof void must be present: flat roofs without a roof void are a big red flag.


Of course, pitched roofs can also leak, so a building inspector will examine the roof for rust and missing flashings, broken tiles and other signs of damage like cupping or curling, rotting or cracking. We’ll also check out the gutters and eaves for holes or rust, and look inside the house for any signs of water damage or discoloration that may indicate a leak.

Older Homes

While older homes are often well-built, their roofs have been working hard to keep you safe from the elements for many years. When you enlist property inspection services to check out an older house, expect the roof to come under careful examination. Our Tauranga building inspection experts will pay attention to signs of wear and tear, original design, and whether the roof has ever been maintained, repaired or replaced.

Home Insulation

The laws have changed around insulation for rental properties with the NZ government trying to encourage warmer, dryer, healthier homes – and it all starts with the roof. Warm air rises, and if your roof isn’t insulated approximately 40 percent of the heat will be lost. House inspectors will look for roof insulation, checking quality, quantity and condition.

Home Ventilation

Part and parcel to insulating homes is making sure they can breathe. When roof spaces have proper ventilation, there is less condensation and the house can dry out, leading to less mould, cold and mildew over winter.


If there is a fire place in the house, the house inspector will assess the flue, chimney and flashings to make sure it is structurally sound, safe and secure.


Property inspectors will look out for clues of unwanted house guests camping out in your roof space. Rodents, wasps and insects are all a concern for the safety and health of your home – a building inspector will look for signs of infestation and try to find where the pests are getting in so you know what is involved in remedying the problem.

To make sure your property inspector is looking out for roofing red flags in homes across Tauranga, Whakatane and Rotorua, get Straight Up Inspections on board.

pre-purchase building inspection