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How to Find Out How Old Your Roof Is

How to find out how old your roof is

If you are a new homeowner or have just purchased your home in the past few years, you are surely still getting to know your home. Despite the showings, inspections, and disclosures in the sales agreement, you have probably found many things you never thought to ask about that in hindsight, you should have. Chances are one of those things is the age of the roof.

If there was no visible water damage inside or noticeable roof damage when you bought the house, you may have never thought to question whether you would need to replace the roof within the first few years. However, a roof takes a beating. It may have more wear than you would have thought. If you are wondering just how old your roof is and how much longer it will last, there are a few ways you can ask to assess its remaining lifespan. 

Ask neighbors and attempt to contact roofers

Your situation may not allow for this if there is an abundance of roofing contractors in your area or if you don’t have any close neighbors, but it is worth a shot. Your neighbors are often a great source of information, as they tend to be aware of neighborhood activity. It is possible that someone living next door or close by remembers when the roof was installed or at the very least an approximate year. If they don’t remember the year, they may remember the name of the roofing contractor. Most companies have records and receipts from the work they have done in recent years. If you can get an idea of what company installed your roof, you can call and ask if they have a record of when the work was done at your address.

Check your city’s building permit records

A great place to check for information on work that has been done on your home is your city. Call the department that issues and archives building permits. In most places, construction work, especially that on a scale as large as a roof, requires a permit issued by the local municipality. These permits are public records and often indicate the date of the project, inspection records, and the contractor who performed the work.

Attempt to contact the previous owners

Depending on your situation, you may be able to locate and contact the previous owners of your home and get the information about the roof’s age directly from them. They may have relocated to another area. If you can find any contact information online, previous homeowners are often more than happy to provide information on work they had done on the home. Of course, this is not always possible, especially if the home was left to you in a will or you purchased it at an estate sale. If you reach out to a previous homeowner, always approach the question in a respectful manner and thank them for their help.

Seek advice from a building inspector or another contractor

If none of the methods mentioned above pan out for you, you can always reach out to a trusted local roofing contractor or your city’s building inspector. They will not be able to tell you the exact date your roof was installed, but, by careful examination of the shingles and general wear and tear on the roof, they will be able to tell you its approximate age and whether you are due for a replacement any time soon.

Obvious signs you may need a roof replacement

Getting an accurate date or an approximate idea of when your roof was installed is a great means of determining if you need to replace your roof or how much longer it will last. However, some roofs are in obvious disrepair. You may need immediate repairs or replacement. Consider these signs that you should call a contractor immediately:

  •     Damaged flashing around chimneys and roof edges
  •     Obvious leaks or water damage inside your home when it rains
  •     Shingles are discolored across most of the roof
  •     Granules on shingles have worn away or washed off
  •     Shingles are missing
  •     Shingles are clearly damaged, cracked, or peeling away

Replacing a roof is a major home project that homeowners need to undertake to protect their entire home. It is a big-budget item, and many homeowners try to put it off as long as they can, but, as your home’s first shield of defense against the elements, it is essential to have a strong, functional roof.

If you need advice on roof repair or replacement, the Columbus roofing contractors at Able Roof are waiting for your call and ready to help. Contact us today at (614) 444-2253.