What Is Tar And Gravel Roofing?

What Is Tar And Gravel Roofing?

What Is Tar And Gravel Roofing?

Tar and gravel roofs, also known as Built Up Roofs (BURs), are a type of flat roofing system composed of alternating layers of asphalt-based sheets, hot tar, and roofing felt.

The topmost layer is lined with light-colored gravel which protects the layers against sun exposure. Tar and gravel roofs can have a lifespan of up to 30 years with regular maintenance and repair.

The components used in tar and gravel roofs are not recyclable, and leaks can be difficult to trace. Additionally, strong sun exposure can damage the roofing membrane if it is left uncovered by the gravel, reducing its life expectancy.

Modified bitumen roofs are another type of flat roofing system that may be more suitable for some buildings due to their greater durability and uniformity.

What Is The Tar And Gravel Roofing Lifespan?

The average lifespan of a tar and gravel roof is 20-25 years, although with proper maintenance it can last up to 40 years. Tar and gravel roofs are known for their durability, as the embedded gravel resists degradation.

However, they may need to be replaced due to various reasons such as age or damage.

Alternatives to tar and gravel roofs include single-ply membranes such as PVC, TPO, and EPDM which are resistant to UV rays, metal roofs which are aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting, and modified bitumen roofs which have a similar lifespan of 20-25 years.

What Is Better Than A Tar And Gravel Roof?

Modified bitumen roofing is a better alternative to tar and gravel roofing. Modified bitumen roofing is a single-ply rolled roof similar to an ice-and-water shield, but impregnated with a mineral-based wear surface.

It provides better waterproofing than tar and gravel roofing, as aging tar can crack and cause leaks. Modified bitumen roofing also has a longer lifespan than tar and gravel roofing, lasting at least 20 years so long as it is not damaged.

Additionally, modified bitumen roofing is safer than tar and gravel roofing, as the hot kettle used for tar and gravel can cause dangerous spills and fatal burning accidents.

Finally, modified bitumen roofs are more environmentally friendly than tar and gravel roofs, as none of the materials used are recyclable.

What Are The Advantages Of Tar And Gravel Roofing?

Tar and gravel roofing is a popular option for commercial spaces due to its affordability and long lifespan of up to 30 years with regular maintenance.

It provides excellent protection against UV rays, is energy efficient, and is a great option for windows and decks that overlook the roof.

Tar and gravel roofs are also very heavy, so the supports may need to be strengthened before application.

Maintenance on tar and gravel roofs includes adding additional layers as needed, which can be more affordable than other types of roofing.

The most common repair on a tar and gravel roof is locating the source of leaks, which can be difficult due to water traveling many feet from the original defect across the surface. Modified bitumen roofs provide excellent traction, making repairs easier.

Overall, tar and gravel roofs are an economical option with good UV protection that require regular maintenance in order to extend their lifespan.

How Do You Extend The Life Of A Tar And Gravel Roof?

To extend the life of a tar and gravel roof, regular maintenance is necessary. At least once a year, check the gravel to ensure that the roof surface is not exposed, as this can accelerate the deterioration of the roof.

Additionally, remove any leaf debris that builds up over time. With proper maintenance and repair, a tar and gravel roof can last up to 30 years. If you are considering replacing your tar and gravel roof, there are several alternatives such as PVC, TPO, EPDM membranes, or metal roofs.

 

These alternatives may be more expensive but offer greater protection from UV rays and other weather conditions.

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