Have you recently purchased an older home? Do you know if the roof is the same age as the house or if it is a newer one? Unless you have a receipt for the last roof replacement in front of you, it's not always easy to tell the exact age of a roof. But it's not really the numerical age that matters so much as the physical age. If the previous homeowner paid for lower-quality roofing materials, the roof may age more quickly and need to be replaced sooner than if he or she had opted for a more expensive one. If you're unsure about the current state of your roof, some signs that it may need repair or replacement include:

Clogged gutters: In most instances, dealing with clogged gutters is a simple, if time-consuming, process. Because cleaning out gutters takes time, it's something that not all homeowners do as often as they should. Unfortunately, you can't really know how often the previous homeowner cleaned out the gutters or if they even did so at all. If the gutters were full of leaves and other debris when you bought the house, it's a good idea to have one of your local roofing contractors take a look at the roof. Clogged gutters can cause the water to spill back onto the roof, underneath the shingles, potentially resulting in wood rot getting started there.

Uneven roof: Although more common with older roofs, even relatively young roofs can have shingles that get torn off by strong winds. This is especially true if the previous homeowner paid for unqualified roofing contractors who used the wrong nails to attach the shingles to the roof. Nails that are too big or too small can both lead to weak spots that allow shingles to be blown away in a strong wind. While you might not see it happen, the result is an uneven-looking roof where the lines of shingles no longer match up.

Discoloration: Depending on where you live, discoloration doesn't necessarily mean that you need to shop around for roofing contractors. In some areas of the country, it's normal to dark streaks or discoloration that is caused by a relatively harmless algae species by the name of Gloeocapsa magma. While unsightly, this doesn't necessarily mean that your roof needs to be replaced. But if the darkening isn't streaky or you live outside the area where Gloeocapsa magma is found, the discoloration may be the result of aging shingles losing their protective layer of aggregate. Without this aggregate, the tar paper underneath will start to age more rapidly and the shingles in question should be replaced as soon as possible.

Contact a company, like  Troyer  Roofing & Construction, for more help.