When you purchase your home, you probably don’t know how old your roof is or when it was repaired unless it is clearly detailed on the listing. The fact that this information can be hard to find leaves homeowners asking the question “How old is my roof?”
The age of the roof can be a critical detail that determines how much work you have ahead of you to maintain or replace that roof. Luckily, a few tell-tale signs of an aging roof can help you determine just how old it is.
Signs of an Aging Roof
As your roof ages, it will succumb to normal wear and tear as well as years of storms and mild damage. There are some signs of an aging roof that would require immediate repair to prevent water damage. But if your roof is nearing or past its expected lifespan, you are likely going to need a new roof.
Common in asphalt shingles, curling or buckling will happen over time, and it more than likely means your roof is 12-15 years old—reaching its expected lifespan. Curling shingles can also be a sign that your shingles were installed improperly, or your attic has poor ventilation, and trapped heat is affecting your shingles.
Missing or Damaged Shingles
An event like a severe storm or falling debris can immediately damage or remove shingles on your roof. However, the older your roof gets, the more likely wear and tear can cause the same effect. A missing shingle immediately leaves your home susceptible to leaks, so if you notice this and your roof is old, you will want to also examine your attic for signs of any major leaks or water damage.
Flashing is essentially to prevent leaks up on your roof. It’s also the thing most likely needing replacement or repair before your roof’s lifespan is up. So if you notice cracked, damaged, or rusted flashing, that is a sign that your roof was installed long ago and requires inspection and replacement.
Damaged Roof Valleys
The valleys of your roof are vital for allowing water runoff to your gutters and downspouts. Over time, these valleys lose their integrity with shingles shifting or coming loose. If you notice debris like leaves and sticks gathering in your roof valleys, it’s a good sign it’s damaged and needs some tending to.
Moss or Algae on the Roof
Moss and algae can grow on your roof if you don’t properly maintain and clean it. It’s also a sign it’s not working as efficiently as it should. It shows that your roof is holding on to moisture, and as these things grow and take root, it can actually separate the shingles of your roof, causing even more areas for moisture to enter.
Rusted or Exposed Nails
Exposed nails are a sign that your shingles are coming loose, which can definitely happen over time as rain, snow, and wind grace over your roof for years and years. When they get exposed, they can obviously become more rusted being exposed to the elements. This can cause them to loosen, leaving your home susceptible to leaks and should be addressed.
The granules on your shingles are your roof’s first barrier of protection as they keep the tar underneath protected, which keeps UV rays and moisture away. The second those are compromised, your roof is exposed to the elements. Hail and wear and tear can cause granule loss.
Your Neighbors are Getting Their Roofs Replaced
In general, neighborhoods are built around the same time. So if you begin to see or hear that a lot of your neighbors are getting their roofs replaced, it could mean it’s time for you as well. Of course, your roof could have been replaced before you bought it in recent years, but if it’s showing some of these signs, you can bet on it being the same age as everyone else’s.
How to Find Out the Age of Your Roof
If you notice any of the above symptoms on your roof, it’s a good bet it’s nearing the end of its life, and you can guess it’s quite old depending on the damage. However, if you are interested in learning the exact age of your roof but you weren’t the one who installed it, there are a few places you can go to find that information.
Ask The Previous Owners if Possible
If you purchased your home recently or within a few years, tracking down the original owners may be the easiest way to find out how old your roof actually is. If they don’t know, then you can probably assume your roof is nearing its lifespan if it’s asphalt or similar material. Metal and slate roofs can last much longer.
Track Down a Building Permit
Your building permit should hopefully contain information regarding any contacting work, including roof replacement, that’s been done on your property throughout its history.
Get an Inspection
Getting a professional inspection by an insurance adjuster or your local contractor can allow them to more accurately estimate how old your roof is based on factors like the ones we listed above, plus any records they have on your property. They can give you a good idea of how old your roof is, how much time it has left, and an estimate for any repairs or replacement you require.
Find Out the Roofing Company and Request a Receipt
If you know the shingles’ brand or if you can find out the name of the company who did your last roof install, you should be able to find out when work was done via your address. This will tell you exactly, to the day, how old your roof is.
If you’ve checked all the boxes and determine what you thought—that you have an aging roof, give us a call to schedule your roof repair service. You’ll get a quote from us within 48 hours so you can get started quickly!