How Long Do My Existing Shingles Have Left?

Most of us don’t mark the calendar 20 years into the future to check on the condition of our roof and shingles; in fact, once our new roof has been installed, we likely don’t think of it much at all. Fortunately, a new roof should last 20 years or more when installed properly, using quality materials appropriate for the building’s geographic location. Unfortunately, this incredible lifespan allows building owners to let their roof’s condition slip to the back of their mind for years.

Signs that your roof could use some attention can vary depending on where your building is located. Homes and businesses along the coast of Maine may experience missing shingles from coastal winter storms. If your home is inland, increased tree coverage or variances in weather due to elevation can add additional wear and tear from rain, snow, leaves, and tree branches. Sleet and hail can cause some of the greatest damage to your shingled roof, but even the sun’s UV rays can slowly deteriorate roofing materials.

If you are savvy and able to spot the signs, knowing when your existing shingles need to be replaced is easy to do. We would like to preface this by saying you should NEVER get on your roof. Trust the professionals to get up there for you. Here are a few things to look for when evaluating the condition of your shingles from the ground:

  • Curled or buckled edges
  • Cracked pieces
  • Missing or broken shingles
  • Shingle granules wearing off (check-in gutters)
  • Fungus, mold, or moss growth on shingles

If you’re unsure when the last time was that your roof was shingled, you should contact your local Maine roofing contractor to schedule an inspection. If your current shingles were installed over an existing layer, they may wear and age differently. According to the International Residential Code (R907.3), a new roof may be applied over an existing roof covering; however, a roof cannot be applied over two or more applications.

It’s extremely common for seasonal conditions in Maine and the Northeast to degrade and damage shingles and other roofing materials. Don’t panic if you discover that your shingles are wearing out. Performing regular, careful inspections of your roof, inside and out, can help to extend the life of your roof and your home.

If you have questions about inspecting or re-roofing your home or business, contact the team at Horch Roofing, Midcoast Maine’s most trusted roofing company, at (207) 273-1111 or visit us at 2414 Camden Rd, Warren, or online at