How Old Is Your Roof? Tips to Assess Roof Age (And Why It’s Important)

Posted on February 23, 2024

Estimated Reading Time : 6 Min.

Share Now :
How Old Is Your Roof? Tips to Assess Roof Age (And Why It’s Important)

A roof is supposed to last for decades, and over the years you may lose track of the last time it was replaced. 

You may be able to tell based on an old receipt or work estimate, through a conversation with the previous homeowner, or by looking at the roof itself. But without a clear record, it may be difficult to pinpoint the actual age of your roof. That’s where our guide comes in. 

As one of the biggest protectors against the elements, our roofs face constant exposure to sun, wind, rain, and snow. Over time, each passing season ages our roofs bit by bit. As a homeowner, understanding where your roof stands in terms of longevity is crucial to plan routine maintenance and an eventual replacement. 

In this blog post, we will discuss how to determine the age of your roof and why it’s important. Let us first start with the signs of an aging roof. 

Signs That Indicate It’s Time For A Roof Replacement

Roofing materials, though strong, are not indestructible. With time, they lose their protective capabilities, ultimately needing a replacement. But how do you know your roof is past its expected age? Here are a few signs: 

Mold Growth On The Roof

If you find yourself dealing with moss, lichen, algae, or mold growth on your rooftop chances are that moisture has trapped itself under the shingles or layers underneath, which promotes this plant growth.

This isn’t just bad aesthetically, over time this growth can cause significant damage to your roofing system. Regularly inspecting your roof for moss or mold will keep serious problems at bay.

Missing Asphalt Shingles
Missing Asphalt Shingles

Cracked, Curling, or Missing Asphalt Shingles

Another glaring sign of an aging roof is cracked or curling shingles due to prolonged exposure to the harsh climate. Furthermore, missing shingles can lead to greater vulnerabilities, such as structural damage or wood rot, if you do not take care of them promptly. 

Missing Asphalt Shingles

Granule Loss on Asphalt Shingles

An excessive loss of granules from asphalt shingles also demands your attention. If you are unaware, the granules are small protective particles on your shingles that shield your home from sun damage and water leaks. 

However, they tend to wear away over time, resulting in exposed, bald patches on shingles. This should not happen very quickly. So when there is significant granule loss, it’s a signal that your roof is nearing or even past its expected age. 

So next time you clean your drainage system, keep an eye out for a buildup of granules in your gutters or downspouts, as this indicates decreasing protection against the elements.

Also Read: Architectural Shingles vs. 3-Tab Shingles vs. Luxury Shingles

Rotten or Discolored Roof Deck 

Lastly, take note of rotting or discoloration underneath the decking in your attic—an often overlooked part of the home. These irregularities may manifest as black stains, soft spots, or even light coming through cracks. If you don’t inspect your attic, I would suggest making this a priority to prevent significant damage that could compromise your home’s stability.

Even though these signs might appear daunting, early detection goes a long way in keeping an eye on your roof age while also saving you from serious roof damage. Now as we understand the importance and indicators of assessing your roof, let’s dive into why knowing this vital information is pertinent for every homeowner.

Why Do You Need to Know About Roof Age?

Understanding the age of your roof holds significant importance, primarily for yourself as a homeowner, but also from an insurance perspective. Let’s break down why you need this information.

Anticipating Roofing Repairs and Maintenance

Your roof, like any other part of your home, requires regular inspections and occasional maintenance. Its aging process creates certain indicators that tell you when upkeep or replacement becomes considerably important.

Knowing how old your roof is can help you anticipate these. For instance, when we talk about asphalt shingles, the average lifespan of this material typically ranges 15 to 30 years. If your roof falls into this age bracket, you might need to prepare for more frequent repairs or a complete replacement. Such foresight can prevent extensive damage and save on repair costs.

Impact on Insurance Coverage

The age of a roof and insurance coverage are related. Home insurance policies often take the roof’s age into account when determining coverages and premiums. If you didn’t know this, insurance agencies view older roofs as higher risk due to their increased likelihood of developing leaks or storm damage. Some insurance agencies also require roofs to be replaced once they reach a certain age to continue coverage. 

In general, an older or poorly maintained roof could leave you incurring expensive roof repairs if it does not meet the standards of the insurance adjuster or the company. 

Preparing for Storm/Hurricane Season

While New Jersey is not hurricane-prone like Florida or Louisiana, it does see its fair share of severe weather. Knowing what stage of its life cycle your roof is on is very important as you prepare for an upcoming storm. Harsh weather may cause significant damage to an already weak roofing system.

Understanding whether your roof will withstand high-speed winds or require reinforcements lets you fortify it beforehand, reducing potential structural damage alongside the huge cost implications associated with major problems.

How To Determine The Age Of Your Roof

As a homeowner, you may be wondering, how do I find out when my roof was replaced? Well, there are several methods that you can try.

1) Find the Building Permit

First, let’s use some official records. Most roof replacement projects require a permit from the local government or municipality before initiating. These building permits contain valuable details such as the date of completion and who performed the job. It’s an excellent way of finding out about the installation date of your roof. Visit your local permitting office or their website for further assistance.

2) Ask the Owners

Next on our list is straightforward – consult the previous homeowners if it’s convenient. If you’re living in a house you’ve recently purchased, chances are past homeowners might know how old the roof is. They could provide insights regarding significant repair history too.

3) Contact a Roofing Company For an Inspection And Assessment

In case you couldn’t get any information from permits or previous owners, there is another way. In such cases, contacting professionals at a reputable roofing company in New Jersey isn’t a bad idea either. 

Roofers have expert foresight due to the keen eyes they have developed over the years in the industry. Roofing experts can visually appraise and estimate your roof’s age accurately by evaluating any wear and tear along with other signs.

At Northkit Roofing, our experts have years of experience and we offer free roof inspections to homeowners. 

4) Ask the Roofing Company Who Installed It

Last but importantly, if you’re aware of which roofing contractor installed your roof originally (it might be mentioned in home sale documents), reaching out to them would be effective too. Companies usually maintain detailed customer service histories over time, so they should be able to provide you with an accurate replacement timeline. 

Remember: Knowing how to find the age of a roof will always put you ahead in managing future maintenance costs efficiently!

Roof Age
How to find your roofs age

Final Thoughts

When we discuss roof age, it’s crucial to note that having a clear understanding of this aspect is important for various purposes, ranging from insurance matters to preparing for the weather changes prevalent in New Jersey.

While several options exist to estimate a roof’s age, you need to make sure that you construct a well-guided approach so that you can protect your investment and extend the lifespan of your roof. 

If you feel that there is something wrong with your roof or you are frequently repairing it, it’s time to hire the team of Northkit Roofing for our roof replacement services. We serve Cedar Grove, Montclair, and the surrounding areas of New Jersey. Contact us today at (973) 396-7416 to learn more about our services. 

Skip to content