Have you recently moved into a new home and you’ve got no idea how old your roof actually is? It’s actually a much more common problem than you might think – and we’re here to help. Even if you’ve lived in the same place for a few years, it’s not uncommon to have absolutely no idea how old your roof is or if or when it was replaced.
How to find out when a roof was replaced
Not knowing how old your roof is could be a problem. While you’d think you might be able to spot any major damage or wear and tear – some roofs need more regular check-ups once they reach a certain age.
Planning for new expenditures like having a roof repaired or replaced is important. These things can be expensive, and you don’t want to be surprised by a new leak in a roof you thought was much younger than it actually is.
That’s why it’s important that you know how old your roof is. Roofs of a certain age simply need to be checked more often and will be much more likely to spring a leak or have other issues. Don’t rely on guesswork when it comes to protecting your home and keeping your roof in order
Find out how old your roof is.
So now you know how important having the right information on roof age is, what can you do about it? Let’s have a look at how to find out when a roof was replaced or installed:
- Ask the previous owners
- Check the building permit
- Check the roofing company
- Check public records
- Ask a roofing expert to estimate
How to Find Out When a Roof Was Replaced ? Ask the previous owners
The first and perhaps easiest step in determining how old your roof is or when it was replaced is to simply find the right people to ask. And that’s normally the previous homeowners (or the owners before them, and so on…). You probably already have information on how to get in touch with them, so a simply phonecall or message could do the trick.
If they can remember, this is one of the easiest steps in the book. You’ll have the information you need. However, a word of caution – some people might not be able to remember correctly and the information they provide you could be inaccurate (through no fault of their own). If they’ve got receipts or other documents, that could be even more helpful.
While this step could be the easiest and most straightforward. Many homeowners won’t be able to remember exactly when the roof was done, or you might not be able to get in touch with them. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to try something else…
Check the building permit
Depending on where you live, you might be required to have a building permit before any roof installations are carried out. If that’s the case, then you should already have a copy of this permit with the other documents relating to your house. Try having a look through as finding the permit could be a big indication on when your roof was done.
One thing to remember when looking for your building permit is this will only be evidence of when the permit was granted, not actual evidence of when the roof was installed or repaired. At least you’ll know that the roof can’t be older than the permit, but it can be valid for a few years meaning the roof could have been installed a while after.
If you do have a lot of similar documents in the same location, you might also want to look for a receipt. This could be an even more accurate piece of evidence as a receipt is normally only written out just after the work is completed.
Check the roofing company
While you might not have the documentation on hand yourself, the roofing company might have. The only difficult part could be actually knowing who carried out the roof work. There might actually be branded evidence up in your attic or roof cavity, so you could have a look and phone them. If there’s only one or two roofing specialists in your area, you could just try randomly phoning them and hoping for the best.
Most roofers will have detailed records going back years, so as long as your roof isn’t too old (some can predate local roofers), they should be able to give you the information you need. If they can’t over the phone straight away, try writing or emailing them so they can have a more detailed look in their records. They should be more than happy to do this as it could lead to more work for them.
Check public records
Aside from having the records yourself, the local town or county might have the details on record. Depending where you live, there are a number of places this could be, including the local code enforcement office or local tax office. Ask around as to where might have this sort of information and then get in touch with them. They should be able to provide it to your for free, although it might not be the fastest way to find out.
Ask a roofing expert to estimate
If you’ve tried all these other methods of getting an exact estimate in the form of documentation and still haven’t come up with any answers, you might need to try something else. If all else fails, you might want to consult a professional roofing contractor. A good one should be able to inspect your roof and give you an accurate estimate on how old it is and whether it needs any work done.
What will a contractor look for when making an estimate?
In order to make an accurate estimate, you roofing contractor will look at a number of different factors. These should include checking for leakages, analyzing the roof flashing, looking for valleys and other dips, checking for buckled or curled shingles and more.
A good roofer will be able to give you the most accurate estimate possible. Then you’ll know how you want to proceed and if a new roof or repair might be needed any time soon.
Hopefully you’ve now got enough information to work out exactly how old your roof is without too much hassle.