The roof of your house is an essential part of your home. It protects you and your family from the elements and provides a barrier between you and moisture in the air. So when something goes wrong with your roof, it can be scary, especially if you’re looking at costly repairs or even a full replacement.

It’s important to ask yourself, “how old is my roof” so you’ll know what type of repairs to expect, or know when it’s time for a new one altogether. If you want to know how old your roof is, here are seven ways to get an idea.

7 Ways To Determine “How Old Is My Roof”

1. Use an Infrared Camera To Find Out How Old The Roof Is

If you can’t find a date or don’t know what kind of material was used in the construction of the roof, then there is another option: infrared cameras. By using this method, you can see where heat accumulates and where leaks may happen. In addition, a camera that picks up temperature differences helps you find problem areas. So, you can know how old your roof is by using the camera to look at where the heat is leaking or not.

infrared camera; how old is my roof

2. Ask the Previous Owners

If you’ve recently purchased a home, ask the previous owners if they happen to have any information about when the roof was installed. Don’t just ask the previous owners “when”—be more specific. For example, “is your roof older than 20+ years?” or “did it used to have asphalt shingles?” By focusing on details that are likely to produce better answers from the previous owners, you’ll increase the chances of finding out how old your roof is. Also, the previous owners might have a building permit that will show the date of the roof installation.

3. Ask a Home Inspector for an Estimate

If you’re concerned that your home may need a new roof and are asking yourself, “how old is my roof,” there is no better time than the present to inspect it. A qualified home inspector will look at things such as ventilation and insulation to give you an accurate estimate of how old the roof is. If you can’t find a home inspector to do this, you might be able to get the same information from a roofing contractor.

roof inspection to gauge roof age; how old is my roof

4. Use the Year Your Siding Was Built To Find Out How Old Your Roof Is

If you have exterior siding on your house (brick, stone, stucco), look at it and see how old it looks. If it has any color left, there’s a good chance it was built after 1970 because the paint colors of that era are still relatively bright. It’s possible to use an infrared camera to find out how old it is, but you might not need to! This method works if you live in an older or newer neighborhood; older neighborhoods typically don’t cover up their siding with modern materials like vinyl or aluminum, so chances are good this will be accurate enough.

5. Look at Your Shingles

The shingles on your roof fade over time as they break down during exposure to the sun and wind. Newer shingles are usually more vibrant shades of color. If you notice that all of the shingles on your roof have lost their color, if they look washed out compared to those in other homes, or if you have missing shingles, your roof is probably older than ten years. This method isn’t the most scientific, but it’s a reasonable ballpark estimate of how old your roof is.

look at shingles; how old is my roof

6. Ask Your Neighbors How Old Their Roofs Are

Last but not least, you can always go and ask your neighbors how old their roofs are, when they did their roof installation, or if they have building permits with the information. Again this isn’t the most scientific way to find out how old your roof is, but it’s pretty reliable in a neighborhood where everyone knows each other well [and where people talk to each other]. This could provide just enough information for you to see if you need a new roof.

ask neighbors about their roof age; how old is my roof

7. When in Doubt Call The Pros’

When it comes to finding out how old your roof is – if you’ve done everything here and still can’t tell – the best thing to do would be to call in a professional roofing company like K & D Roofing. And while you’re at it, find out about different types of roofs so that when the time comes for a roofing company or roofing contractor that does roof installations, roof replacement, or roof repair, you’ll know what kind of material works best on your home.