Buying a new home is an exciting process, but you need to know right from the jump about the age of your roof. Unfortunately, roof ages are only sometimes apparent, even if the typical signs such as water damage, roof moss, and broken asphalt shingles are right in front of you.
You may also be dealing with previous owners who sold their particular house without being able to maintain the roof properly or have not been there long enough to remember. An exact date may not be possible in these scenarios, but knowing the age of your roof totally matters. Forget curb appeal. A solid roof can help any home’s resale value.
So, how old is my roof? Let’s look and see if we can determine your roof’s age with a few simple tips. Remember: anything around your home can be a clue. While no one here wants you to play the role of Sherlock Holmes, know that you can play a valuable role in solving this mystery.
How Old Is My Roof and Why You Need To Know
A roof needs a birthday to determine the age and help you decide between roof replacement and roof repair. While roof replacement may be more expensive than a repair, you’ll at least know what you’ll need to do next.
A new roof will cost you more than your new home purchase, especially if you buy an abandoned building or an as-is property. However, a new roof at least allows you to know and document the day of the roof installation.
Still, only some have enough funding to call a roofing contractor if they need a new roof. Most roofers need to get your home in ship shape that quickly. There are many steps to take to determine if your roof is a certain age. Let’s dig in.
The Previous Owners
Now, your new home’s previous owners may have the correct documentation, such as a roofing company receipt, inspection records, building permits, or any other type of public record to help you answer the question, “how old is my roof?” Any slip of paper can help.
Any records alongside building permits can narrow the dates or years down to a point where you can determine if you need to call a few local roofing companies to begin the process of roof replacement or repair. Other items, such as insurance and code compliance materials, a building permit, or documents from when the previous owners sold the home, can also help.
In these cases, previous homeowners can be your first and last line of defense.
Federal and Local Government
Sometimes, the best information is whatever was written down by government officials at the project beginning.
Your state and local officials can be your saving grace when determining your roof’s age. Your home’s own building permit, alongside inspection records, can be the determining factor in these situations. These county records can also tell you when the last roof on your home was removed. Official records provide a timeline—or at least the dates—on when vital portions of construction occurred.
A Professional Roofing Company
A professional roofing company can inspect your roof and provide you with an accurate assessment of its condition. They can give you a detailed report that includes the age of your roof, the roofing material used in its construction, and any potential problems. They can also recommend possible solutions to any issues, such as repairs or replacements.
In addition to providing a detailed report, a professional roofer can also help you determine your roof’s expected lifespan. They can advise you on how often you should inspect your roof and any maintenance or repairs that should be done to prolong its life.
Finally, most roofing companies can offer valuable advice on maintaining your roof. They can help you understand the importance of keeping your roof to extend its life. A roofing expert also provides recommendations on materials and treatments that will help protect your roof and prevent issues like missing shingles and damaged roof valleys.
Your local roofers will be your best bet in many cases for discovering your roof’s age within a reasonable margin.
A Home Inspector
Like a roofing contractor, a home inspector can dig into the nitty gritty of your roof or any other manmade structures in your home to help determine ages.
While the information you receive from an inspector will be far from a legitimately scientific estimation, it can still provide you with enough insight to understand what you’re dealing with as a homeowner. Things like rusted flashing, missing granules in shingles, poor ventilation, and often toxic molds can provide enough evidence to decide.
But what do you do after you’ve discovered your roof’s age? Simple! You can do many things to ensure your roof keeps your home safe.
Pay attention to any changes in the condition of your roof. Check for missing or damaged shingles, discoloration, or other signs of damage. If you notice any of these signs, contact a professional roofer immediately.
Regular maintenance can keep your roof in good condition and extend its lifespan. Have your roof professionally inspected at least once a year and perform any necessary repairs promptly.
If your roof is over 20 years old, consider replacing it. Replacing your roof can help protect your home from water damage, improve the energy efficiency of your home, and save you money in the long term.
When discovering how old your roof is, you may run into several issues if you need a paper trail to help you nail down a specific age. However, paperwork in the right places, such as government agencies, can help point you in the right direction.
If that doesn’t work, reaching out to home experts such as inspectors and roof contractors can be an illuminating experience. If all else fails, your home’s previous owners can also come in handy, provided they have a good memory or receipts.