Not knowing when it will be time for a major home repair, such as a roof replacement, can cause new homeowners anxiety. Those concerns can be particularly acute if the previous owners simply sold the house as is without providing any documentation on maintenance or repairs.
An old roof can impact curb appeal and resale value but figuring out its age can be daunting if you don’t know where to start. Knowing the answer to the question, “How old is my roof?” you can plan when you will need a new roof.
With that in mind, we’ll explain how to inspect a roof for signs of wear and tear, consult previous homeowners, examine documentation, and seek advice from a professional roofer.
3 Ways To Determine Your Roof’s Age
You may not see anything wrong with your roof, but it can still be advantageous to know how old your roof is. Here are three ideas on how to find out.
1. Check the Building Permit
One of the most reliable ways to determine the age of your roof is by checking county records for building permits. Building codes require homeowners to obtain building permits from their local government when undertaking major renovations or new roof installations.
These permits are public record and typically include the exact date of the permit and details about the type and age of roofing materials used by the roofing company.
Checking for a building permit can also provide important information about whether the roofing contractor followed proper procedures during roof installation. This information can help you identify potential issues that could cause leaks or other problems down the line, such as inadequate flashing installation or poor ventilation.
2. Contact the Previous Owner
By learning about a former owner’s history with the home, you may gain valuable insights into any renovations, maintenance, or repairs they completed while living there.
Tracking down previous owners may be relatively easy if you bought your home recently. Real estate agents involved in the transaction may retain details about roof work conducted on the property alongside inspection records from the home inspector.
3. Consult a Roofing Professional
Consulting a roofing company is the best option to get an accurate estimate of your roof’s age and current condition. A knowledgeable roofing contractor can examine the state of your shingles and other materials to accurately determine your roof’s age.
Most roofing companies have years of experience in their field. They are familiar with insurance and code compliance and have seen different roofing problems over time, allowing them to provide excellent advice on how best to maintain your roof. If you need a roof replacement, the best roof company will deliver professional roof installation and provide a warranty on their work.
4 Signs of an Aging Roof
If you are experiencing leaks, or noticing signs of a damaged roof that needs repair, knowing a certain age for your roof doesn’t matter. If you need a new roof, it’s time to call a roofing company for a consultation on a repair. Let’s examine four common signs of an aging roof.
1. Curling or Missing Shingles
One of the most visible signs of an aging roof is curling or missing shingles. Curling often happens due to heavy winds and excessive heat from the sun. Asphalt shingles should lie flat against your roof, and when they start to curl up, they are no longer working effectively.
Damaged shingles are the first notable indication of an aging asphalt roof.
Unfortunately, your roof may not always have obvious visual cues until real damage occurs. At that point, your roof is less durable and weather resistant.
2. Bald Spots on Shingles
If you notice balding or curled shingles during an inspection, it’s best not to ignore them. Shingle decay occurs over time, especially after prolonged exposure to harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain or snowfall.
As shingles become loose and fall off, they create gaps in the roof’s protective barrier, making it more susceptible to weather damage, leading to water leaks and structural problems if left unchecked.
While some homeowners might try DIY shingle replacement, this approach can often lead to bigger problems if done incorrectly or without professional help.
3. Granules in Gutters or Downspouts
Granule loss from an asphalt shingle roof happens over time due to weather and sun exposure. As your roof ages or deteriorates, granule loss typically increases, leading to bald spots on shingles.
Check for missing granules in your gutters or downspouts; this can indicate how much life remains in your aging roof and serve as a warning sign.
If you notice more than normal amounts of granules after cleaning out your home’s gutter system, consulting with a roofing professional may be necessary.
4. Sagging or Drooping Roof
A sagging or drooping roof clearly indicates that your roof has reached its limit and needs replacement. This issue usually occurs in older homes with aging roofs, and addressing this problem promptly before causing more harm to your home is essential.
Roofs can sag for different reasons, including poor installation, inadequate support from the structure below it, or natural wear and tear over time. The lifespan of most roofs is between 25-30 years. Given that, if you notice signs of an aging roof, like curling shingles or bald spots, it’s best to contact a roofing expert for inspection and get recommendations on whether replacement is necessary.
Is It Time To Replace Your Roof?
If you have to ask yourself, “How old is my roof?” You should take the time to determine the age and condition of your roof. Accurately assessing the lifespan of your roof will help you maintain your home’s safety and structural integrity. You can look for signs of an aging roof or look through documentation from previous owners.
Vanguard General Contracting is one of the most trusted roofing companies in Southern Maryland. We are a GAF-certified Owens Corning Preferred Contractor offering a 50-year warranty for our full roofing system. If you need professional consultation from reliable roofing specialists, fill out our contact form today.