Checkpoint summary


Masonry type (brick, stone, concrete block)

  • Inspect for cracked, loose, chipped, eroding, or missing sections of masonry.
  • Check mortar joints for cracked, loose, and deteriorating sections.
  • For stucco-finished chimneys, cracked, chipped, missing, or loose sections of stucco?
  • Chimney vertical?
  • Open joints between the chimney and the sidewall?
  • If the roof is flat, does the chimney extend 3 feet above the roofline?
  • If the roof is pitched, does the chimney extend 2 feet above the roof ridge?
  • If possible, check for cracked or missing sections of the chimney cap.
  • If possible, check the chimney flashing for holes, tears, or loose sections. Check these vulnerable areas for leakage again during your attic inspection.
  • If possible, check to see if the chimney flue is lined.
  • Is there a chimney top damper?
  • Is there a cricket (saddle) behind the chimney?

Metal type (prefabricated)

  • Check for corrosion holes, rusting, or missing sections.
  • Rain cover present?
  • Note condition of flashing and seal around the roof joint.

Vent stacks

  • Plumbing vent stacks visible? (Their absence can be verified during attic inspection.)
  • Black rings (asphalt cement) at the base joint of the vent stacks?
  • Note any questionable roof joints and check further during attic inspection.
  • Note vent stacks that —terminate near windows —run up an exterior side of the

house (in northern climates) —have TV antennas strapped to them.

Roof vents, hatches, skylights, TV antennas, dish antennas, lightning protection

  • Check all roof joints associated with vents, hatches, and skylights.
  • Note questionable sections and verify tightness of joints during attic inspection.
  • Does structure contain a roof hatch?
  • Can you open it?
  • Cracks or open joints in the cover?
  • Check skylights for corroding frames and cracked or broken panes.
  • Inspect ceiling area below for signs of leakage.
  • Check TV antenna mast and guy wire connections to roof.
  • Is antenna adequately grounded?
  • Are lightning rods secure?

Gutters and downspouts Exterior-mounted gutters

  • Check for missing sections of gutters.
  • Note type of material: copper, aluminum, galvanized iron, wood.
  • Note gutter sections incorrectly pitched.
  • Check metal gutters for corrosion holes, sagging sections, loose support straps or spikes, and leaking sections.
  • Check wood gutters for cracked sections and areas of rot, particularly at connections and end sections.

Built-in gutters

  • Check for areas with rotting trim.
  • Check for signs of leakage.
  • Note signs of seepage (stains) in soffit trim below gutters.
  • Where possible, check condition of gutter channel.


  • Note type of material: copper, aluminum, galvanized iron.
  • Check for missing sections and improper joining.
  • Inspect for loose straps, open seams, and corrosion holes at elbows.
  • Do downspouts have elbows at base and extensions and splash plates (where required) to direct roof rain runoff away from the house?
  • If downspouts terminate in the ground, try to find out whether they are connected to dry wells or to free-flowing outlets.
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Victor's Avatar
Victor replied the topic: #11280
When I do home inspections I always use a ladder to view the roof area up close. You can't see the real age of the shingles or flashing erosion from the ground.