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HomeTrendingHow To Find Out How Old My Roof Is

How To Find Out How Old My Roof Is

How Long Does The Average Roof Last

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How long your roof lasts depends on several factors, such as:

  • The roofing material
  • Quality of the roofing material
  • Whether the roof was properly installed/repaired
  • Inspection and maintenance frequency
  • Damage due to fire or natural disasters
  • Regional climate or weather conditions

The roofing material is one of the biggest factors in how long your roof lasts. For instance, asphalt shingles can last 20 to 30 years. Metal roofs can last up to 50 years. Tile can reach a 100-year lifespan, surpassing the life of your house. Insurance companies may adjust your homeowners insurance rates based on the material you use and how long it is expected to last.

Leaks Or Water Damage

If youre noticing leaks, water damage, or water stains in your home, your roof may have exposed patches where water is getting in. One way you can check if your roof has leaks in it is by starting in the attic of your home. If sunlight is coming through the beams in your attic, water can too.

If your roof was recently installed and done correctly, you can easily patch a leak in your roof by replacing a section of the roofing deck and shingles. If you notice that there is damage across the entirety of your roof, its important to consider replacing your roof as the water damage can lead to problems inside your home.

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Below, there is a simple triangle, and the math used to work out how to make a proper measurement. Once you work through the basic triangle, we will review a typical roof, and how to apply some simple math to calculate how much material you will need for a roof used in our hypothetical example.

1 roof square = 100 square feet The length times the height of a triangle is twice its area . So if you divide your answer of a product of length times height by two, you will get the area of a triangle. /2 = Area

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In Figure above: l=30 feet h=12 feet /2 = 180 square feet

Now that the basic concept has been covered, lets take a look at a more complex roofing system. In this overhead view you see both a hip-end section, and gable ends. With a more complex roof such is this one, it is highly recommended that you make a basic sketch. By doing so, it will be easier to mark your measurements, and calculate the necessary materials for the project. For this example we will break this roof up into sections labeled A through E.

In the figure B. above, a sketched portion is a basic triangle. As we did in the first example, measure the length of the eaves, and the vertical line from the eaves half way point to the peak. Multiply these numbers, and then divide the answer by two./2 = 270 square feet

S1 = /2 = 135 square feetS2 = 50 × 15 = 750 square feetS3 = /2 = 135 square feet

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Cedar & Wood Shingles

Cedar and wooden shingles last and preserve their shape using a ventilating underlayment. This thick matrix of woven fibers creates an airspace between the shingle and deck and prevents moisture damage by allowing the shingles to dry.

Flatter roofs require materials that come in big sheets or cloths that are impregnated with asphaltthe fewer the joints, the lower the chance of leaks. Asphalt roll-roofing is the most basic choice. Its similar to asphalt shingles but comes in 3-foot wide rolls complete with the protective granule top layer.

Rubber membrane or EPDM roofing which resembles large sheets of inner tube rubber can be rolled out, bonded down with mechanical fasteners and glue or even held in place with a rock garden ballast.

The most common low-slope asphalt roofing materials require professional installation. These include built-up hot-tar systems of layered, asphalt soaked fabric and peel and stick single-ply modified bitumen sheets that are replacing the dangerous torch-down installed versions. There is also a large variety of liquid-applied fiberglass and acrylics that may or may not include an imbedded fabric and are often designed for maximum sun reflection.

Find The Area Of The Footprint Of The Roof

How to Find Out How Old Your Roof Is

To calculate a roofs dimensions, you need to measure the roof as if it were flat, then account for roof pitch, calculate square footage, and finally determine how many squares of material are required for the roof.

The calculator above can handle all of this, simply enter the length, width, and pitch, and it will determine the size of the roof in squares.

Start by measuring the roofs length and width in feet as youre standing on the ground. Remember that the length and width need to be found for the roof, not the house, so take into account that the roof overhangs the building.

Then determine the area of the roof as if it were flat. Multiply the length by the width in feet to get the area measurement.

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Why Do You Need To Know The Age Of Your Roof

When you reach out to a roofing contractor, theyre going to ask you questions about your roof. The information from these questions helps determine what your roof might need and who to send before they actually come out to your home for an inspection.

I can guarantee one of these questions is going to be, How old is your roof?. Most homeowners dont think about their roofs age until they’re asked about it.

But knowing the age of your roof is valuable information to have for both you and your roofing contractor. Now youre probably wondering why.

Because we want you to be as informed as possible before reaching out to a roofing contractor, were going to break it down for you.

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has proudly served the Nashville area since 1990. We provide high-quality roof repairs, replacements, maintenance, and even skylight installation. When you work with us, youll never have to worry about your roof again.

How Do I Get A Possum Out Of My Roof

Brush-tailed possums like to live in roof cavities. As these possums are territorial, removing one will not solve your problem as new possums will shortly move into the vacant territory. A relocated possum will not survive in a new territory. So you need to rehouse them nearby, away from your roof, ideally in a tree in your garden. It is illegal to relocate or kill a possum.

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Identify The Visual Character Of The Building

The first “private eye” skill to hone is your power of observation. Detectives look at everything, every piece, before forming theories about how they fit together. Your architectural sleuthing skills will steadily improve as you practice your observation skills and learn how to pay attention to all the details.

Older houses are almost never built all in one piece and all at one time. Rooms are added, additions built, roofs raised, and porches redesigned. Abraham Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Illinois is a more typical example of the American homeit started as a one-story Greek Revival style, and now it’s a two-story home, missing its classical columns but now sporting corbels in the eaves of an overhanging roof.

Every building has its own identity displayed inside and out. The U.S. Department of Interior’s “Preservation Brief 17 about Architectural Character” shows you how to determine the distinctive character of an old building. What are you looking for? “Character-defining elements,” says the brief, “include the overall shape of the building, its materials, craftsmanship, decorative details, interior spaces, and features, as well as the various aspects of its site and environment.”

What To Do If You Identify Roof Damage

Why You Need To Know How Old The Roof Is BEFORE You Buy Your Next Property

After you have finished your interior and exterior roof checks, make note of any damages you noticed during your inspection. Then do your research and call a professional roofing inspector to come evaluate your roofs condition.

These inspections are almost always FREE, so be wary of any company that doesnt offer a free roof inspection.

When the roof inspector arrives, inform them of any damage you saw. They will be able to validate the damage you indicate, as well as look for any damages you may have missed.

Dont wait months or even years, as the damage on your roof gets worse and worse . Perform your damage inspections today and call a professional roof inspector if you need help.

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Take Note Of Signs Of Wear

Climb back up that ladder and inspect these areas for deterioration:

  • Shingles: Curling or missing shingles equates to holes in your roofs armor, leaving your home more vulnerable to the elements. Uneven discoloration, black streaks, and moss signal that this layer is past its prime.
  • Storm gutters:Clogged storm gutters trap water along your roofs edges which may lead to mold and decay. Granules of your shingle material in the gutter are another telltale sign that its time for a swap out.
  • Chimney flashing:Chimney flashing is the lining at the bottom of your chimney where it meets the roof. If your flashing is slathered with cracked cement or tar, youll want to upgrade to quality, water-tight fitting to prevent leaks. Note a red flag for rusty flashing, as well rusted flashing invites leaks and further structural damage.
  • Wall and roof intersections: See decay where your roof meets the exterior walls? Damaged or missing step flashing allows water to settle into this meeting point, inducing corrosion.
  • Attic ceiling: Your roof is leaking if you see any stains, streaks, or light beams underneath it. A sagging ceiling in the attic or top floor also suggests leakage.

My Roof Looks Older Than Its Age What Should I Do

Depending on its material wood shingles, fiber cement shingles or asphalt shingles, roofs usually last an average of 20 to 30 years. However, factors such as weather condition can shorten a roofs lifespan. More than the age of your roof, it is important to heed the signs of wear and tear before damages get rather unsafe for your family and household.

According to Angies List, a home improvement website, there are seven warning signs that let you know that your roof is due for an upgrade:

  • Roof age If your roof has reached its expected lifespan, it is highly recommended to seek for an upgrade before your home gets hit by symptoms of roof aging.
  • Curling and/or buckling shingles These are signs of either an old roof or a defective roof. If its the former, seek the advice of a roofing expert if its the latter, contact your roofing contractor for a refund or a rework.
  • Roof valleys Characterized by shingles that are missing and/or falling apart, roof valleys allow elements such as rain and snow to penetrate through the ceiling and cause roof leaks. Water deposit in the roof and/or ceiling could highly compromise the lifespan of your roof.
  • Missing shingles Not only are missing shingles an eyesore, they also indicate that your roof has seen better days.
  • Disintegrating shingles A roof shingle deteriorates by shedding its granules or by losing the vibrancy of its color. Shingle granules often make their way to the gutter, so make it a point to do regular checks.
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    Check To See If It’s Listed

    If you live in a listed building you will likely already have gleaned some basic information from the list description which gives the best estimate of the date of your house as well as indicating why it is listed.

    However, list descriptions can be very brief and it is worth remembering that most listed buildings were not surveyed extensively externally, or usually at all inside, at the time of listing.

    Treat the description as a starting point and not as concrete evidence. Often it isnt an adequate basis for undertaking informed work so doing your own investigation is a good idea.

    This 16th-century cob longhouse has a charming thatched roof and is Grade II listed

    Examine The Finer Details

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    Other details that help rough-date a house include nails, paint colors, and molding and muntin profiles. Before the 20th century, all of these had styles particular to certain eras. The type of nails in the frame, for examplewrought, cut, or wiredirect the fastener-educated to a particular period.

    Professionals can help date elements of a house by examining a cross section of a paint chip, says Brian Powell, an architectural conservator with Building Conservation Associates. If Powell finds that a room had 10 layers of paint, for example, but a door casing only had the last eight, he would then know that the casing probably appeared around the same time as the third layer of paint on the walls. Chemical qualities of that layer might link it to a period of manufacture.

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    How Old Are My Roof Shingles

    The average slate, tile, and copper roof lasts half a century. Wood shake roofing has a significantly shorter lifespan of 30 years. Asphalt might look tough, but it loses the longevity race at a disappointing 20 years.

    If youve lived in your home for 20 or more years, the odds are excellent that your roof has passed its sell-by date, but new roofs are too expensive for guestimates. A home inspector or roof company have the training to assess roof age, but there are several ways to track down more precise information.

    Where To Get A Licence And A Trap

    Possums are protected in NSW and catching possums without a licence is illegal in NSW. Licences to trap possums on your property are issued free of charge from your local National Parks and Wildlife Services office. Traps may be available for hire from some licensed wildlife rehabilitation groups or pest control companies.

    Remember to block off the access points into your roof and to provide a possum house if you intend to try trapping.

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    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 thats 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 youll know that the roof cant 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.

    Other Things Not Covered

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    Additionally, since its your responsibility to maintain your home, policies dont cover damage caused by a lack of maintenance. So repairing your roof due to wear and tear, or replacing it because its lifespan is over, wont be paid for by insurance.

    Lack of maintenance could also come back to bite you after a storm. If your roof was old or not well-maintained before the storm, you could have trouble getting full reimbursement.

    Homeowners insurance also wont cover damage caused floods or earthquakes, including roof damage. If you live in an area at risk for these disasters, consider flood insurance or earthquake insurance.

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    Rusted Or Exposed Nails

    Exposed nails are a sign that your shingles are coming loose, which can definitely happen over time as rain, snow, and wind grace over your roof for years and years. When they get exposed, they can obviously become more rusted by being exposed to the elements. This can cause them to loosen, leaving your home susceptible to leaks, and should be addressed.

    How Do Insurance Companies Calculate Coverage

    Insurance companies have compiled data on roofs and roofing material over several decades. Your insurance carrier has detailed data on how long your roof is expected to last, the most common causes of roof-related claims and which types of roofs are most resistant to fire or storm damage. Having the funds available to pay for claims is entirely dependent on the insurance company collecting the right amount in premiums.

    If your insurance company can predict which roofs are subject to an insurance claim, they can increase premiums for risky policies so that they can pay out when you file a claim. If the insurer sends you a notice to replace your roof, it is because the age of your roof is now a major factor in whether you can get insurance coverage.

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    Try To Identify The Architectural Style Of Your House

    Look at the shape of the roof and the placement of the windows. Explore web resources or books such as “A Field Guide to American Houses” by Virginia and Lee McAlester. Compare the way your house looks with these style guides. Knowing the style of your home will help you place it in a historic period and a range of years when that style house was popular in your neighborhood.


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