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Home » Tar and Gravel Roofing » What Does Gravel On A Roof Do?

What Does Gravel On A Roof Do?

The tar and gravel roof first gained popularity in 1950s when flat roofs were becoming the norm in most factories, schools and other buildings. This is because flat roofs allowed for more space, extra storage and was extremely convenient to build.  Tar and gravel roofs soon became a common occurrence and the trend has continued until this day.

You have probably seen the top of a roof before, but in case you haven’t we will help explain what it looks like.  Tar and gravel roofs consist of asphalt sheets, hot tar, roofing felt, and light colored gravel on the top of the layers.  The gravel looks like the little pebbles you can find on a river bank.

Here’s why gravel is an important component of tar and gravel roofs:

The weight of the gravel is an essential key factor in increasing its importance

Tar and Gravel Roof

Tar and gravel roofs are made up of multiple layers of materials. The gravel layered on top manages to anchor all the material down which enables the roofers to use less fasteners. This results in minimizing costs as well as time with no loss of quality, bringing advantage to both the customer and construction companies.

The gravel layer is very resilient

Tar and gravel roofs are strengthened due to the presence of the gravel layer. Even if high pressure is exerted on the roof due to a lot of increased walking, rain, hail or snow, the roof will not suffer damage and maintain its strength and integrity.

The gravel layer makes sure no natural debris goes into any drainage system

Any presence of leaves, rocks, wrappers or natural waste material will not be able to surpass the gravel layer and reach the drainage systems of the house. It is an excellent barrier to such inconveniences and therefore tar and gravel roofs are highly popular.

The gravel provides better grip for walking

Since gravel is essentially a mixture of fragments of rocks and stones, the friction between the soles of shoes and the gravel is high, increasing the grip for feet. This is important since a lot of times repairs have to be done and people need to climb onto the roof. Fortunately, tar and gravel roofs are flat which severely decreases the likelihood of workers falling off. It’s still nice to know the likelihood of slipping is reduced even more.

The gravel keeps the roof structure cool and is waterproof  

Since gravel layers are good at releasing and holding heat, water evaporating from the surface of the tar and gravel roof helps keep temperatures low and pleasant.

Last but not the least, gravel is also used to protect the layers of asphalt from ultraviolet radiation, hence preserving the roof for almost 30 to 40 years.

There are therefore multiple reasons for gravel to be used on flat roofs; they are essential to preserving roofs and ensuring they stay resilient for a long time.

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