First, a thorough roof inspection is carried out to assess the rooftop's current condition and uncover any deficiencies. Typically an inspection starts with an interior inspection and then moves to the outside. Pictures are taken from several angles and vantage points.
In the event that any roof repairs are needed, they must be satisfied before a certification can be issued. Depending on the items in need of repair they can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours on average or longer. The property owner should look for a roofing company that offers a workmanship warranty.
If no repairs are needed, a roof certification can usually be provided the next day or sooner.
A roof certification is usually provided by a licensed roofer. They certify the roof will remain water tight for a period of one year. What that means if the roof leaks within that year the roofer will make it water tight. If the roofer will not certify it then it is usually recommended to replace it with like kind and quality. Good luck.
Roof Certifications are typically requested by; Lenders, Municipalities, and Buyers. Lenders want a roof independently inspected to mitigate risk, municipalities want roofs inspected to maintain a quality housing stock and tax base. Buyers will often request a roof certification after a home inspection.
Since your buyer requested a certification after a home inspection, it is likely that the inspector found defects and therefore requested a roofer inspect and verify the condition of the roof. In other words, you have a problem and it may need to be corrected.
If you know you have problems and pay up front for a roof certification, you are wasting your time and money. What you really need are quotes to repair the existing roof and a warantee or certification after the repairs are made. For this, I recommend getting several quotes. Why pay to get a quote?
You should contact several roofing contractors who work with your type of roof. Ask them if they will repair and then certify a roof what they charge for the roof certification (after it is repaired).
Roof certifications are not necessarily a warantee or guarantee.
Lenders and municipalities want a detailed inspection and simply want to know the roof will not likely leak in the period requested. For this, an independent inspector is probably the best choice. Since the independent roof inspector has no vested interest in selling you a new roof or repairs, you will get an honest opinion. If the roof is leaking or nearing the end of its useful life, don't expect a certification.
Roof Certifications and Roof Inspections
From Elizabeth Weintraub,
Your Guide to Home Buying / Selling. (About.com)
(Please note: this quote is truncated into a short blurb to illustrate an answer to your question.)
Roof certifications are separate from a home inspection. Home inspectors, for the most part, do not perform thorough roof inspections. Instead, roofing inspectors climb up on the roof and issue reports on:
* Possible movement
* Condition of roofing materials
* Ridges, caps and drip edges
* Soundness of drains, downspouts, and gutters
* Flashing around roof pipes, chimneys, vents, valleys and mounting of HVAC units
If the roof does not require repairs, the roofing company will then estimate the remaining years of life for a roof and certify its inspection. The certification is good for two to five years, depending on local custom.
If the roof requires repairs, after the repairs are performed, the roofing company will then issue the roof certification.
You can read the entire article (which gives a very clear explanation in general) by clicking the Web References link below.
FYI: A number of buyers have stipulated this as part of the contingencies of their contracts (e.g. Subject To: appraisal, inspection, engineer's report, roof certification, mortgage, etc. ). There are a lot of stips a buyer and seller can insist upon to include in a binder and real estate sales contract to close a deal. Contracts should always be reviewed carefully before they are signed. Regards, C. ( http://www.TannStarr.com)
Hope this helps.
There really is no standard or law that regulates the, so it is merely an opinion of a contractor (unless it is a commercial roof still under manufacturers LABOR + MATERIALS warranty or NDL, which they can then "certify").
We do inspections / certifications in MA (though not often). Last one was for a contemporary home copper roof - basically buyer used our report to get discount off the house. We later performed repairs on that roof.
The cost of inspection + report was $325, which was later deducted from repair cost.
fastrak inspections offers this service and has an additional service for writing roof warranties which is a guarantee that if the roof leaks, they will pay for the repairs up to the end of the 5 year warranty period. they can be reached at realestateserviceprovider.net Fastrak inspections are located in the Seattle Wa. area
A roof certification is a professional assessment by a roof inspector. Oddly enough, it is usually the lender that requires that in some areas due to the amount of percipitation that area receives.