How old is that roof? Roofs last a long time, with the typical asphalt-shingle roof lasting between 15 to 25 years depending on the type of installation. It’s only near the end of its lifespan – or if the roof is defective – that these signs will show. Estimating roof age is difficult. Obviously the best way to know your roof’s age is through keeping records from the last time you had the roof replaced, but if you’re looking at a new home or uncertain your house’s pedigree, there are warning signs you can look for before your roof starts damaging your house.
Looking at the Roof Before You Buy
When your with an agent looking at a home you’re thinking of buying, ask for the “Seller’s Description of Property” and the “Disclosure Statement” for the house. These will give you a general idea of the state of the roof, as well as any damages or problems that have occurred during the life of the roof. If these documents list “unknown” or other vague statements, check for signs of wear or damage yourself, and make sure the home inspector can give you an estimate. The seller might also have documents, such as a warranty, for the roof as proof.
The Seven Signs of Roof Age
There are generally seven ways to tell if a roof is reaching the end of its life cycle. Some of these require you to get up onto the roof so you can inspect it and the gutters, and others require you to be inside the home in the attic or crawlspace beneath the roof.
Leaks and Water Damage
If there are active leaks or water damage on the ceiling or interior walls of your top story, this is a sign that your protective layer of shingles is not doing its job along its joints.
Curled or Buckled Shingles
Shingles that have started curling or buckling are another sign. Look at parts of the roof that receive sunlight and see if they are warping and losing granules.
The valley of your roof gets a lot of traffic from water. If there’s a lot of wear, including missing shingles, in this area, it’s a sign of both age and a growing danger of roof leaks.
Singles can come loose due to damage from high winds, but can also be a sign that the underpinnings are wearing down. If you find a loose shingle, check to see if the tabs are intact.
While missing or rushed flashing is an obvious sign of an old or poorly maintained roof, but there are other signs. If the current flashing is roof cement or tar, it may need to be replaced with metal fittings.
Gutters Filled with Granules
While a small amount of granules on shingles will end up in your gutters, larger amounts can single the end of the life cycle of the roof.
Daylight Through The Roof Boards
Climb up to the attic or crawlspace beneath the roof and see if there is any sunlight coming through the roof boards. Also check to see if the insulation is suffering from moisture damage.
Of course, the best solution is to have your roof inspected by a certified roofer. They can also provide an estimate for repairs or replacement. Here at All Weather Tite we provide free estimates on your roof. Please contact us for more information on our services or questions about the state of your roof.