architectural asphalt shingles

Unless it’s clearly detailed on the listing; as a new homeowner you might be 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 it. 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.

old, curling shingles

Curling Roof Shingles

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.

Rusted Flashing

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 probably a full roof replacement.

When you are checking your flashing make sure everything is in-place, in good condition, and that there is no way for water to come in contact with the siding of your home. This can be a good way of determining how old your roof is and help direct you to other potential problems to look for.

Sometimes older roofs are missing various types of flashing because they were not required by code at the time. A good example of this would be kick-out flashing. Since it used to not be required by code, many older roofs do not have it. While not having this is not the end of the world, it can leave your siding vulnerable to water damage.

moss on asphalt shingles

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. If you see this happening on your roof, at a minimum, you should contact a professional to remove the moss or algae.

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 by being exposed to the elements. This can cause them to loosen, leaving your home susceptible to leaks, and should be addressed.

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.

old curling shingles

Missing Granules

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, debris, along with standard wear and tear can cause granule loss. While this is to be expected, excessive granule loss can lead to lower performance and could be a good indication to consider a new roof.

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 Old Is My Roof: 5 Simple Ways To Determine The Age

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.

roof inspector looking at an old roof

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.

Get Your FREE Roofing Estimate!

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!

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