The number one defense against damage to a home’s interior is a water-tight roof. As a home approaches 20-years of age or older, an insurer wants to know that a home it is issuing a policy on is protected by a roof that’s in good condition and has no visible leaks. So your agent will request a “roof letter,” “roof certification letter,” or may call a “roof inspection form.”
The standard form used for roof inspections in the Florida is the Citizens Insurance “Roof Condition Certification Form”. We prepare roof inspection letters using this format, which is accepted by most insurance companies, and requires two photos of the roof to be submitted as part of the report.
The roof letter must be prepared by a qualified person, such as a Florida-licensed roofer, building contractor, architect, or engineer. The letter outlines the type of roof material, estimated age and additional useful life, condition, and any evidence of leaks or other defects that may cause leakage.
Unfortunately, even if the roof appears to be in good condition, if it is past what is considered an average lifespan for that particular type of roof material, an insurer may request that it be replaced based solely on age. Typically, they want to see a report that shows a minimum of about 3 to 5 years of remaining life. A shingle roof, for example, that is over 20-years old will often require replacement for insurance just based on the age, no matter what its condition.
A roofing estimate and a roof inspection are two different things. See our blog post What's the difference between a roof inspection and a roofing estimate? for an explanation.
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To learn more about roofs and attics, see these other blog posts:
• Why is my roof sheathing sagging between the trusses?
• Why is granule loss a problem for an asphalt shingle roof?
• What are the mistakes to avoid when doing attic improvements?
• What causes roof shingles to curl up at corners?
• What causes shingles to buckle along a line on the roof?
• Why is my roof leaking?
• What causes leaks at a fake roof dormer?
• What causes a sagging roof ridge line?
• What causes bubble-like blisters in a built-up and gravel roof?
• Why does it cost so much more to replace a steep roof than a low slope roof?
• What is "ponding" on a flat roof?
• Is an attic required to have a light by the building code?
• How can I inspect my roof for hurricane damage?
• Why is premature curl of roof shingles a problem?
• How can I tell if a roof has more than one layer of shingles?
• What are the common problems with attic insulation?
• What is the life expectancy of an asbestos cement shingle roof?
• What's the average lifespan of a roof?
• Why is it a mistake to replace a roof and not replace its flashings?
• Why is there no attic access hatch in the house?
• What is the building code requirement for an attic access hatch, scuttle, or door?
• Does a roof with multiple layers of shingles last longer?
• What can I do to prevent roof leaks?
• Are roof trusses better than roof rafters (stick framing)?
• Why is a popped nail in a shingle roof a problem? How do I fix it?
• What are the most common problems with wood roof trusses?
• What causes a lump or dip in the roof?
• If my roof is not leaking, why does it need to be replaced?
• How can I be sure my roofing contractor got a permit?
• How many layers of roofing are allowed on a home?
• What are the dark lines running parallel to shingles on my roof?
• Can metal roofing be used on a low slope/pitch roof?
• How can I make my roof last longer?
• What are the warning signs of a dangerous attic pull-down ladder?
• How can I find out the age of a roof?
• Should I buy a house that needs a new roof?
• Should I buy a house with an old roof?
• What are those metal boxes on the roof?
• What does "lack of tab adhesion" in an asphalt shingle roof mean?
• Why do roof edges start leaking?
• Why do my dormer windows leak?
• Do home inspectors go on the roof? Do they get in the attic?
• Should I put gutters on the house?
• How much of a roof truss can I cut out to make a storage platform in the attic?
• What's the difference between an "architectural" and a regular shingle roof?
• What does a home inspector look for when examining a roof?
• Do stains on the ceiling mean the roof is leaking?
• How can I tell if the house needs a new roof?
• Why does my homeowner's insurance want a roof inspection?
• What are the hazards to avoid when going into an attic?
Visit our ROOF AND ATTIC and INSURANCE pages for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.