Most homeowners know exactly how old their roof shingles are. But in some cases, when the home was recently purchased, homeowners may not be able to find out when the existing roof was installed. In these cases, a roofer or home inspector will need to take a close look to come up with an estimate. While it’s not an exact science, they can usually give a pretty accurate estimate.
Determining the age of a roof
There are a few ways that home inspectors or roofers can estimate the age of a roof. First off, if the house was built in the last 15-20 years and there is only one layer of roofing shingles, chances are it’s the same roof that was installed when the home was built. Inspectors can also look for signs that the roofing shingles are starting to wear down. Shingles that are deteriorating at the edges, becoming brittle, or cracking are nearing the end of their lifespan. These are signs of an older roof, or a roof that hasn’t been well-maintained.
Calculating the expected lifespan
Predicting the lifespan of your existing roof can be a little trickier. It depends on many factors. Probably the single most important factor is the roofing material. Asphalt shingle roofs won’t last as long as metal, tile, or slate. The quality of the roofing material and installation are also important. All other things being equal, a roof that is in a harsher climate or that isn’t well-maintained will fail sooner than a roof in a milder climate or one that is well-maintained.
If you’ve recently purchased a home and have questions about your roof and how long you can expect it to last, have a roofer come out and do an inspection. Most offer this service for free. They can give you an idea of what kind of life your roof still has left and what repairs, if any, need to be done to increase the lifespan of your roof.
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