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How Old Is My Roof: 3 Ways To (Accurately) Gauge Your Roof’s Age

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Knowing how old your roof is can help you gauge when it’s appropriate to repair vs. replace your existing roof. Regular wear and tear over time can leave your roof susceptible to storm damage and other issues that inevitably just need to be replaced. While figuring out the age of your roof and determining whether to replace it can seem daunting— fear not— we are here with 3 ways to figure out the age of your roof. 

How Old Is My Roof? Signs Your Roof Is Reaching Its Expected Lifespan

While we wish our roofs could last forever, that’s simply not the case. Depending on your roofing material, your roof might last anywhere from 15 to 75 years. But as we mentioned, wear and tear over time makes it more susceptible to damage, and the older it gets, the less your roof can withstand the elements. Here are some tell-tale signs your roof is getting old:

  • Higher-than-normal energy bills
  • Daylight coming through the attic
  • Dark streaks or algae on the shingles
  • Loss of granules
  • Signs of water damage or leaks
  • Sagging areas
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A lot of these are not necessarily signs of storm damage but just of regular wear and tear. But they still can’t tell you the exact age of your roof. So here are some ways to know the exact age of your roof so you can ensure you get the proper care or maintenance for your roof.

Step 1: Ask the Previous Owners

Often the best solution is the simplest one. If you are not the original owner of your home, ask about the roof’s age before closing on the sale or contact the owners to see if they know the age. They are likely to know if they lived in the house for a long time or are the original owners.

You might also want to consider asking your neighbors if they know. Since most developments build houses simultaneously, there is a good chance that the roofs are the same age. So if you notice they are replacing theirs, ask them why.

Step 2: Check Relevant Documents

If you have documents that relate to the roof, check to see if there is any information relating to the installation date. If you cannot find the date, you might want to contact the company that installed the roof and ask them to check their records. You can figure out who installed your roof by asking the previous owners, reviewing the previously mentioned documents, or requesting a copy of the building permit.

Every municipality requires permits differently, but if there was one, it is likely they have a copy of it on file with the date of installation. Check the website or call your city or county’s office to figure out who to contact.

Step 3: Get an Estimate From a Roof Inspector or Local Contractor

If the previous options don’t work, call a home inspector to evaluate your roof in its current state and estimate its age. Seasoned professionals are trained and know the signs of a roof needing to be replaced. A roofing contractor like Bay Valley Roofing has the expertise and professionalism to thoroughly inspect, diagnose, and offer an honest estimate of your roof’s age. 

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How Long Does a Roof Last (By Material)?

Before trying to figure out the age of your roof, you need to know what kind of roof you have and how long they typically last.

Asphalt Shingles 

Asphalt shingles are the most common shingles in North America due to their cost and low maintenance. They are estimated to last 25 years, though higher-end shingles can last up to 40 years. As the name suggests, Asphalt shingles consist of asphalt, fiberglass, and asphalt sealant.

Metal Roofing 

Metal roofing is one of the better material choices to keep water out of your house. Depending on the metal, your roof can last anywhere between 40 to 100 years.

Wood Shakes

Wood shakes and shingles can last longer than asphalt shingles, upwards of 40 years. However, they require yearly maintenance, including cleaning, repairs, and staining. They are great for curb appeal but need regular care to ensure they last.

Clay Tile

Clay tile roofs are on par with metal roofing when keeping out water and last between 50 to 100 years. They do require maintenance like wood shakes and shingles to get rid of moss and algae, but clay tiles can go longer in between cleanings.

Slate

Slate tile roofs look similar to asphalt shingles, so talk to an expert if you can’t tell the difference. Slate roofs are the most expensive type of roof, but they are also the most resistant to the elements and can last from 75 to 200 years.

Be Proactive About Protecting Your Roof

Knowing the age of your roof is an essential first step in taking care of your roof; next is looking for the signs that your roof requires repair or replacement. It is wise to take a walk around your house yearly and after a storm to look for damage to your roof. 

  1. If you can safely climb onto the roof, do so to get a closer look at parts that can’t be easily seen and to check for moss, algae, and other signs of plant life. 
  2. Next, climb into your attic and look for holes and signs of water damage. 
  3. Lastly, walk around the top level of your home to check for water damage and mold on the top of your walls and ceiling. 
  4. Be sure to clean your roof regularly— if you can do so safely.

Taking care of your roof is one of the many things you need to do to ensure the longevity of your home. Bay Valley Roofing is here to assist with repairs and total replacements of roofs. Contact us to receive a proper roof inspection and an honest estimate for repairs or replacement. 

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