If you have a flat roof, it is likely a tar and gravel roof. Tar and gravel roofing is also called built up roofing. Several layers of waterproof material are layered with hot tar. Finally, the top layer is usually gravel to weigh down the roof, protect it from the sun, and serve as decoration. There are a wide range of materials available to layer. Traditionally, tar paper was used. Today’s layers utilize more advanced layers such as fiberglass membranes.
Tar and gravel roofing is often chosen because it is the most economical flat roofing option. Other advantages include excelled ultraviolet protection. For buildings with windows and decks that overlook the roof, tar and gravel is the most attractive choice. The top layer of gravel serves as an excellent fire retardant. Most tar and gravel roofs are rugged and safe to walk on. In general, they last about twenty years. However, with proper installation and frequent maintenance, tar and gravel roof coverings have been known to last up to forty years.
Roofing is designed to protect and enhance your property. Tar and gravel roofing is very heavy. Roof supports must be strong enough to support the application of tar and gravel covering. In some cases, the joists for your roof may need to be strengthened to provide the best support. Installation of a tar and gravel roofing system can be smelly and messy. It is often not recommended to occupy your property during the installation of a tar and gravel roof.
For property owners looking to save time and money, installation of a tar and gravel roof is not the best option. Tar and gravel roofing can be dangerous to install. Hot tar can catch fire, causing severe burns and damage to your home. Once your roof is installed, it can be difficult to locate the source of leaks. Often, gravel clogs gutters or scuppers. Property owners moving toward environmentally friendly options will find tar and gravel to have no recyclable materials, making it one of the least green options.
When it comes to maintaining and repairing tar and gravel roofing, the most difficult issue is locating the problem. Water can travel far from the source of the leak to where it is appearing in your home. To begin, roofers will check along the flashing for cracks. They will look for places where gravel is missing or lower layers of asphalt show damage. As problem areas are identified, the gravel will need to be carefully raked away. Professional roofers will be able to spot and clear these areas more quickly due to their expertise with flat roofing. Once they have cleared damaged areas, they will sweep away dust and debris. Finally, they will clean the area thoroughly in order to ensure the primer and patch will adhere. During this process, your contractor will check your roof to ensure the problem is not larger, requiring a complete overhaul of your roof. If you are performing the check yourself, you should call a roofer immediately if you notice slumping in the roof deck. Keep in mind that it is often difficult to zero in on leaking areas when dealing with a flat roof. There are several layers and leaks often penetrate multiple layers before becoming visible in your home. A patch on the top layer may not solve your problem. In fact, it could create further problems with your roof.
Tar and gravel roof coverings can be tricky to do it yourselfer. Applying primer and patches may temporarily solve your leak. Often leaks go deeper or further than you can see. Your patch may even cause more problems and cost more money if not properly applied. Flat roof repair is tricky. Hiring a professional is your best line of defense to keep your property safe and to save money on future repairs. Accent Roofing of Amarillo has the expertise you need to ensure the safety of your property. We can assess your roof and provide an estimate for repairs or replacement. If you have questions, we can answer them. We are dedicated to providing our clients with the best customer service in the area. Call us today.