There is a common yet persistent misunderstanding about roof age vs. roof damage. Like real humans, our roofs experience aging, wear and tear, and damage from the elements. Additionally, their respective effects are often misinterpreted. Therefore, an in-depth discussion of the construction, function, and maintenance of roofs and their materials is helpful to avoid confusion with regard to aging, damage, and repairs.

What is aging (wear and tear?)

Aging is the natural process of wearing out and deterioration which occurs over time to any material. In the case of asphalt shingles, it is the combination of exposure to UV radiation from sunlight, extreme weather conditions, and temperature fluctuations that cause the asphalt to dry out and become brittle. Eventually, the granules start falling off; cracks will appear, and eventually, the shingles will begin to curl up at the edges.

What are the signs of roof aging?

The most common signs of aging include:

Loss of granules

Aging roofs will often lose their granules, making them more susceptible to weather damage and water intrusion.

Curling shingles

Curling shingles are a sign that your roof is in need of repair or replacement. If you have curling shingles, you likely have leaks growing beneath your shingles.

Excessive moss growth

If you notice moss growing on your roof, it could mean that your shingles are unable to keep water out properly. Moss growth is also an indication of excess moisture on your roof, which can lead to wood rot in the future if not treated properly.

What is Roof Damage?

Roof damage happens when a weak spot in the roof has been exposed to the elements and has broken down because of that exposure. For example, if you have a broken shingle on your roof during rain or wind, this will allow water to penetrate beneath the shingle and cause water damage inside your home. Here are some signs of roof damage.


A leaky roof can lead to more than just wet socks in the morning; it can lead to mold and mildew growth inside your home. Leaks are a sign that your roof has been compromised in some way and needs repair.

Shingle Damage

Shingles that are cracked, worn, or missing altogether are a clear indication that your shingles need to be repaired or replaced. This is not just an aesthetic issue; damaged shingles allow water to penetrate your roof and cause further damage.

Valley Issues

When shingles don’t overlap each other properly in the valleys of your roof, rainwater can pool on the shingles, causing them to deteriorate over time. A build-up of debris in these areas is another potential cause for concern and should be removed immediately.

In the end, roof damage can develop from a variety of causes. Thankfully, we’ve provided a definitive guide to the differences between roof aging and roof damage, so you’ll know how to address each issue as it comes up.