“When’s the last time I got my oil changed?” “Am I due for a doctor’s appointment?” “Will we need to replace the roof soon?”
Certain tasks can feel out of sight and out of mind before they creep up on us. Whether you just purchased a new home or you don’t remember the last time your roof was replaced, you can feel left in the dark.
The average asphalt shingle roof lasts 20-25 years before needing a replacement. When you want to confirm the age of your roof, try out these 4 tips:
- Ask the previous homeowners
- Ask the roofing company
- Track down a building permit
- Get a roofing inspection
1) Reach Out to the Previous Owners
Contacting the previous owners of your home isn’t out of the question, especially if you’ve recently purchased the home. Many homeowners don’t mind answering questions about their previous house, as long as you aren’t incessantly bombarding them with questions.
If it would make you more comfortable, you can communicate with the seller’s real estate agent who can act as a middle man for questions you may have. This is the most professional way to proceed. If you’re able to get in touch, the previous owners will hopefully know when the roof was last replaced, but it’s possible that they may be unsure as well.
2) Inquire With the Roofing Company
Maybe you’ve lived in your home for decades and can’t remember when your roof was last replaced. Or, perhaps the previous owners of your home could remember the name of their roofing company, but not the age of the roof. Knowing the roofing company that performed the work is still valuable.
Most roofing companies keep records of all the work they’ve performed. You can call the company and request a copy of the receipt from when they performed work on your home.
3) Request a Copy of the Building Permit
If you still haven’t had any luck narrowing down your roof’s age, you can try to track down a building permit. This tip will only work if you live in a county that requires a building permit for roof installations.
If your county does require building permits, you can reach out to your local county government and request a copy of the permit. You can trust this document to give you an accurate date of when your roof was originally installed.
4) Get a Roofing Inspection
If you ultimately aren’t able to get your hands on a written document that tells you the date of installation, or if you simply don’t want to go through the hassle, there is one foolproof solution left.
You can schedule a roof inspection with a reputable roofing company in your area. Many creditable roofing companies provide free inspections to assess the state of your roof.
While an inspection won’t be able to give you an exact age down to the original installation date, highly-trained roofers know the signs of aging and can give you an expert opinion on the estimated age of your roof.
Plus, a bonus is that the roofing contractor might notice areas that are in need of repair, saving you money and frustration down the line.
What Gets Examined in a Roofing Inspection?
You might be wondering how someone could tell the condition of your roof just by glancing at it. Well, roof inspections are much more thorough than you might realize. Roofing contractors take the time to evaluate the condition of all parts of your roofing system. Thanks to their knowledge and expertise, they can make an age estimate if they spot signs of an aging roof, such as:
Missing or Damaged Shingles
Intense storms can rip shingles right off your roof. However, natural wear and tear over time can cause the same result. Missing or damaged shingles are one of the tell-tale signs that your roof needs replacement, or at the very least, repairs. Having an inspector catch this issue is great because missing shingles immediately leave your roof at risk of leaks.
In the same vein, asphalt shingles may start to curl or buckle over time. If your roof inspector notices curling shingles, that’s a good clue that your roof is around 15 years old and could be reaching the end of its lifespan.
However, if your roof is fairly new and has curling shingles, there could be an issue with:
- Poor attic ventilation
- Trapped heat
- Improper installation
Moss or Algae Growth
Green fuzzy growths in between shingles and black streaks across your roof signal moss and algae growth. Not only are these unsightly, but they also indicate that your roof isn’t working as it should.
Moss and algae grow on roofs when the roof is retaining moisture. As they root and grow, they can cause shingles to separate, leaving more room for moisture to enter. Moss and algae typically grow on an older roof that hasn’t been properly maintained.
Shingle Granule Loss
Your roof is your home’s first line of defense, and granules are the first barrier for shingles. These granules keep your shingles protected from moisture and UV rays.
Over time, wear and tear from the elements can cause shingle granule loss. Moderate granule loss is expected over time, but excessive granule loss can indicate that your roof doesn’t have much life left.
Roof flashing is an essential component of a roofing system that helps prevent leaks. Certain issues with your flashing can indicate that your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, such as:
But, if your inspector notes that your flashing is in tip-top shape, your roof probably has many years left before it needs replacement.
Dealing With an Old Roof? Call Scro’s Roofing
If you need a roofing inspection to determine the age of your roof, or if you know you’re dealing with an old roof and need a replacement, you deserve to work with a roofing company that takes the stress off your plate.
Our Raleigh-area team will come directly to your property for a free, no-obligation consultation. And we really mean “no obligation!” Contact us today for friendly and honest roofing service.