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Home » Tar and Gravel Roofing » The Basics of a Flat Tar and Gravel Roof on a Residential Home

The Basics of a Flat Tar and Gravel Roof on a Residential Home

Tar and gravel roofing comprises of fiberglass-based asphalt sheets that are applied in layers along with hot bitumen placed in between the layers. Tar and gravel roofing is a fairly popular choice for houses with flat rooftops. The main problem with flat or nearly flat roofs is that they can collect a lot of water and there needs to be a waterproof surface to keep the standing water sealed out. Roof shingles are no good when it comes to sealing the roof against water. Tar and gravel roofing contains multiple waterproofing layers with hot tar and a mineral aggregate on the surface. The surface mineral which is usually the smooth river stone is applied to weigh down the layers of fiberglass-based asphalt sheets.

Advantages of flat tar and gravel roof

Installation of tar and gravel roofing on a flat rooftop is not too difficult of a task. In fact, compared with other types of roofing options, tar and gravel roofing can be installed very quickly. Tar and gravel roofs are a very old design that gained popularity during the 50s and 60s. There are tar and gravel roofs from the 70s still standing to this day! Additionally, the gravel coating in the mix keeps the harmful UV rays from entering your home or damaging your roof and this is one of the reasons this roofing has a long life.

The gravel also effectively scatters the sunlight that falls onto it instead of absorbing to prevent your home from getting too hot during the summer. Tar and gravel roofing is durable, sturdy and can take some serious foot traffic without the risk of punch holes through the roof. Despite its durability, tar and gravel roofing is a lot more inexpensive compared to synthetic membrane residential roofing options.

Disadvantages of flat tar and gravel roof

If you don’t keep the required level of maintenance on your flat tar and gravel roof, it becomes susceptible to mold which may eventually make its way onto your walls or insulation. If there is trapped moisture in the wooden structure or inadequate ventilation, mold occurs. All that heavy-duty durability comes at the expense of weight. Flat tar and gravel roofing are one of the heaviest roofing options out there due to the multiple layers of tar, fiberglass and small rocks.

Also, during the installation of tar and gravel roof, the pungent smell may become unbearable for some. The bitumen boiling in the kettle during the progression of installation can be quite overwhelming on your olfactory senses. However, all you need to do is to wait it out. Furthermore, if experienced roofing professionals aren’t hired for the installation of a flat tar and gravel roof on a residential home, the risk of fire runs high. During the application of tar and gravel, if the huge kettle of molten tar gets too hot or the materials are too low, a fire may break out. It is imperative that you only hire roofing contractors with years of experience under their belt to carry out this installation for you.