Dealing With The Unknown? Tips For Estimating The Condition And Lifespan Of Your Home's Shingled Roof

Posted on: 11 August 2021


If you have recently purchased or inherited the home that you are currently living in, you are probably trying to learn as much as possible about it, including when it was constructed and when specific features were replaced or updated. Having this type of information will allow you to more accurately plan and budget for future updates, especially those that can be costly. 

The home's roof is a good example of a potentially expensive home update that you will need to be prepared to make. Unfortunately, homeowners do not always have access to important information about their roofs, such as the age and any installation details that might impact its expected lifespan. Homeowners who purchased or inherited a home without the benefit of historical information, such as a seller's disclosure or home inspection report, can use the following tips to help them come up with a reasonable estimate of the roof's actual condition and when it will likely need to be replaced. 

Look for information in county or city records

Even when you do not have the benefit of a seller's disclosure or home inspection report, you may still be able to find documentation to help you determine when your home's roof was installed. If your home is located in a city or county where building permits are required for home construction and improvement projects, you will want to try examining existing building permit records associated with your address.

If a permit was obtained for the purpose of replacing the roof, the applicant, date, and licensed contractor's information may be recorded. Be aware, however, that some areas do not require the use of licensed contractors for home improvement projects, so it is possible your roofing could have been installed as a DIY project or by an unlicensed party. 

Get a condition assessment from a licensed roofing contractor

Age is not always the best indicator of how long an existing roof will continue to protect the home from water infiltration. Roofing shingles can degrade at differing levels depending on a variety of factors, including exposure to sun, wind, inclement weather, and salt. In addition, the initial quality of the shingles, along with the slope of the roof where they are installed can also help to determine when shingles will need to be replaced. 

The most reliable way to get good information about the current condition of your roof and its expected lifespan is to have it inspected by a residential roofing contractor