Mastering Roof Inspections: Asphalt Composition Shingles, Part 22

by Kenton Shepard and Nick Gromicko, CMI®



The purpose of the series “Mastering Roof Inspections” is to teach home inspectors, as well as insurance and roofing professionals, how to recognize proper and improper conditions while inspecting steep-slope, residential roofs. This series covers roof framing, roofing materials, the attic, and the conditions that affect the roofing materials and components, including wind and hail. 


Mechanical Attachment Points

Various types of mechanical equipment installed on roofs penetrate the shingles. Some examples include the following.

Braces for chimneys, flues and electrical masts penetrate shingle roofs.

Don’t expect to see flashing. Braces are usually bolted to the roof framing, and you may or may not see sealant.

Sometimes, you will see flashing for air-conditioning equipment.

Sometimes, however, you will not, depending on the installation quality and type.

Photovoltaic panels should be installed using flashing components called “standoffs.”

Standoffs allow air to circulate beneath the panels, helping to keep them cool.

Solar thermal panels, which provide hot water heated by the sun, probably won’t be flashed if the system is older.

Newer systems are typically installed using standoffs.

Satellite dishes typically bolt through roof brackets and won’t even have sealant applied. This is standard practice and isn’t usually a problem.

You’ll see a variety of attachments for patio covers. Generally, the older the work, the less likely it is to have flashing installed.


Learn how to master a roof inspection from beginning to end by reading the entire InterNACHI series: Mastering Roof Inspections.

 Take InterNACHI’s free, online 
Roofing Inspection Course
Mastering Roof Inspections
Roofing Underlayment Types
Inspecting Underlayment on Roofs
Fall-Arrest Systems
Roofing (consumer-targeted)
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