Asphalt shingles roofs are incredibly popular because they are affordable. They also tend to work on most homes because the shingles are lightweight, unlike slate and clay tiles. However, asphalt shingle roofs also don't last as long as other roofs, making it imperative to perform regular maintenance and repairs. To help you keep your asphalt roof looking great, check out these four facts you should know about roof repair and maintenance for asphalt roofs.

Weather Can Damage the Shingles

Asphalt shingles are durable, but they can get damaged in certain types of weather. In hot climates, the UV rays can cause cracking, which increases the risk of leaks. These cracked shingles may need to be replaced as they appear.

If you live in an area with snow, make sure you keep your gutters clean. When gutters are clogged, they can freeze. When snow falls, it collects on the frozen water and debris, creating a wall, which traps snow on your roof. As the snow melts, the barrier prevents water from escaping. As a result, there is a greater risk of water backing up under shingles. This allows water to reach the underlying structure, which is vulnerable to water damage.

Debris and Moss Can Gather on the Roof

Another threat if you live in wet climates is moss. In moist climates, moss can grow on the roof. Not only does this affect the beauty, but it damages shingles, causing them to age faster. To remove moss, you can use moss killer and/or a pressure washer. Debris, such as branches, leaves, dirt, etc. can also gather on the roof. Depending on the weight of the debris, this may strain the roof. Even if it's light, however, debris and moss can damage the shingles, causing the aggregates to become loose. Part of regular maintenance should be removing any debris as it gathers on the roof, especially heavy debris.

Insurance Doesn't Pay for Wear and Tear

If a storm caused sudden damage to your new roof, your homeowner's insurance may pay to have the roof repaired. They may also pay for any damage to items inside the home. However, if your roof begins to leak or develops other damage because of poor maintenance, your insurance carrier might not pay to have the roof repaired or replaced. This type of damage is considered wear and tear, and it's your responsibility to maintain, repair, and replace your roof when necessary. Your insurance may still pay for damage to items inside the home, but the new roof or repairs will come out of your pocket. Similarly, if sudden damage does affect the roof, and the insurance carrier determines the roof was in poor condition, they may refuse to pay anything or pay you only a portion of the repair cost.

Asphalt Roofs May Qualify for Overlays

One of the greatest flaws of asphalt roofs is their longevity because they only last about 15 to 30 years. On the other hand, metal roofs last about 40 to 50 years, and slate tile roofs can last over 50 years. However, when most roofs get old, you have to pay for a total replacement. With asphalt roofs, you may qualify for an overlay. An overlay is like a mini-roof replacement. The roofers install new shingles over the old ones, reducing the cost, time, and waste. This lengthens the life of the roof, but it can't address any underlying damage.

Asphalt shingle roofs may not last as long as others, but with an overlay and the low cost, you may save money. Like any roof, they require regular maintenance, but they are durable and work in many climates. For more information about asphalt roofs or shingle roof repair, talk to companies like Craven  Construction.