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How To Find Out When A Roof Was Replaced?

Posted on July 10, 2024

How To Find Out When A Roof Was Replaced?

Just like our lawns and the interior of our homes, roofs also need regular maintenance. They are the first line of defense for a home and constantly face the harsh weather in Wisconsin. The type of maintenance your roof requires will depend on its age, but what if you’ve recently purchased a new home or have been living in your current home for a number of years, and therefore, aren’t sure how old your roof even is. 

Don’t worry, because in this blog post, we’ll explore several ways to determine when your roof was replaced so that you can take the necessary next steps depending on what you find.

#1 Check Your Home Records: 

Your first step in trying to determine how old your roof is will be to thoroughly review your personal home records. If you’ve lived in the house for a while, you might have documentation of a prior roof replacement. Look for:

  • Roofing contracts or invoices: These documents often contain detailed information about the work performed, including the date of installation, materials used, and warranty information.
  • Home improvement records: You might have kept a log of all major home improvements. Check this for any entries related to roofing work.
  • Insurance claim documents related to roof work: If your roof was replaced due to damage covered by insurance, you should have paperwork detailing the claim and subsequent work.
  • Home maintenance files: Some homeowners keep files on all aspects of home maintenance. Check these for any roofing-related entries.
  • Digital records: Don’t forget to search your email archives, cloud storage, or computer files for any correspondence or digital documents about roofing work.

#2 Contact The Previous Homeowner 

If you’ve recently purchased the home, reaching out to the previous owner can be a great way to determine the roof’s age. They might remember when the roof was replaced or have records you don’t have. 

If you are in touch with the previous owner or have the previous owner’s address, consider sending a friendly letter explaining your situation and asking for any information they might have about the roof’s history.

However, if this is not possible, don’t worry, since there is another way. If you bought the home recently, your agent can help facilitate communication with the previous owner. They might already have this information from the sale process.

While you are at it, make sure to ask about the type of shingles that were used and if they came with any warranties. Even if they don’t remember the exact date, they might be able to give you a general timeframe that can help narrow down your search.

#3 Check Building Permits

Most towns in Wisconsin require building permits for roof replacements. This requirement serves as a valuable record-keeping tool for homeowners. If your county also requires a permit, then finding out when your roof was replaced may be easier since you can just contact the necessary authorities and ask for a copy of a permit as the new homeowner. 

Reach out to your city or county’s building department or permit office and give them your address and other necessary details for identification. This can happen over the phone, or you can also visit the office, but keep in mind that some offices charge a fee for record searches.

#4 Consult A Professional Roofer

When in doubt, calling the roofing experts in Wisconsin can provide you with the most accurate assessment. A professional roofer will be able to inspect your roof and give you a well-informed estimate on its age. Here’s what to expect when you hire a roofing company:  

Comprehensive Inspection:

A professional roofer will conduct a thorough inspection, both from the ground and on the roof itself.

Assessing Parts Of A Roof: 

During a thorough roof inspection, the roof inspector will assess the entire roof, including: 

  • Shingles: The roofer will first check the quality of the shingles to identify any signs of damage. 
  • Installation quality: Poor installation can lead to premature aging.
  • Signs of repairs or patches: These can indicate the roof’s history.
  • Overall wear and tear: Roofing pros can spot subtle signs of aging that you, as a homeowner, might miss. They have experience in identifying hidden issues.

Comprehensive Report: 

After the inspection, you should receive a comprehensive report detailing their findings and recommendations.

Age Estimate: 

Based on their expertise and the condition of your roof, they should be able to provide an estimated age range for your roof.

Our team at Prestige Roofing is able to offer free roof inspections and has extensive experience inspecting roofs and offering accurate estimates on roof age. 

Also Read: How To Find The Right Roofer

#5 Visual Clues To Look For And Estimate Your Roof’s Age

While not as precise as documentation, visual inspection can give you a ballpark estimate of your roof’s age. Here’s what to look for:

Condition Of Your Shingles: 

Condition Of Your Shingles
Condition Of Your Shingles

New shingles have a distinct appearance. They’ll be uniformly colored and lie flat against the roof. As they age, shingles may curl, crack, or lose their top layer of granules. Look for cracks, discoloration, or a rougher texture on older shingles.

Roof Sagging

A sagging roof is a clear indication that your roof is aging rapidly and signals that there is structural damage present. Look for any dips or waves in the roof’s profile from the ground to indicate sagging.

Flashing Damage: 

Flashing Damage

On newer roofs, metal flashing around chimneys, vents, and valleys should lay flat against the roof and be intact. Older flashing may also show signs of rust or wear. If the flashing is bent or broken, or gaps have developed, then it’s a sign that your roof has been around for quite a while. 

Attic Damage: 

Attic Damage
Attic Damage

Your attic can also exhibit signs of an aged roof. Look for water stains, mold growth, or daylight peeking through the roof deck. These issues often indicate a roof that is old or significantly damaged, requiring replacement soon.

Also Read: What’s The Average Timeline For A Roof Replacement? A Detailed Look

What If My Roof Is Heavily Damaged? 

After looking for the signs that indicate the age of your roof, if you notice that your roof is damaged or the age of your roof is way past its expected lifespan, then it’s time to get your roof replaced. Get in touch with a local roofing company and assess the alternatives you have. 

If there are minor issues, it’s advised to get repairs as soon as possible and not put them off, which may end up leading to bigger problems down the road. 

Prestige Roofing: Your Trusted Roofing Experts In Wisconsin

We are a premier roofing contractor serving Northeastern Wisconsin. With us, you can get expert roofing services, such as:

  • We offer free roof inspections in Wisconsin. Our roof inspectors are certified and check your roof extensively, from both the outside and the interior. We can also give an estimate of your current roof’s age. 
  • Our team offers roof repairs. Whether it’s a minor leak or flashing damage, we take care of it all so your new home stays safe.
  • We also offer expert roof replacement services. We install asphalt shingles and metal roofs, as well as premium materials. 

To learn more and start with a consultation, contact us today at (920) 791-0414 to speak with one of our experts.