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What Does An Old Roof Actually Look Like?

How do you know if a roof is old? You could, of course, consider the roof's age. A roof that is 20 years old is certainly older than one that is five years old. But when you're wondering whether a roof is old, it's usually not its age in years that you are actually concerned about. Chances are, you are more concerned with its condition, and whether or not that condition indicates that the roof needs to be replaced. Once you know what to look for, it's not that hard to tell. The following are signs that a roof is "old" and approaching the end of its lifespan. 

Crumbling Shingles

How would you describe the texture of the shingles on the roof? When shingles are new, they are somewhat pliable and even have a bit of a soft look to them. But as they age, especially in a sunny area, they become dry and more brittle. You can tell that they're becoming dry by looking at them. Some corners might be crumbling. Certain patches may have a washed-out, grayish look with cracks. These shingles are no longer offering the protection they should and will soon need to be replaced.


Moss can grow on roofs of any age. But if you don't do anything about it at the first sign of moss growth, the moss will cause the roof to deteriorate quickly. As such, extensive moss growth means your roof is "old" and on its way out, regardless of its age in years. Moss also tends to prefer roofs that are already breaking down a little, so the fact that moss is growing up there at all points to your roof being at the early stages of deterioration.

Missing Granules

If you feel the surface of a new shingle, it will feel very rough. That's because of the little asphalt granules that are embedded on the surface of the shingle. They protect the base of the shingle and also cause water to shed off the shingle effectively. As shingles age, however, they often lose their granules. The granules may end up in your gutters or on the ground. The shingles themselves take on a smoother texture. Without the support of the granules, shingles won't last much longer.

If you keep the information above in mind, you'll have an easier time telling when a roof is old and needs to be replaced. Reach out to local roofing contractors to learn more.