Tar and Gravel roofs were a popular choice until recently because of their ability to keep homes warm in the winter. They are often featured on commercial buildings because they protect their underlying roofing materials, improving the installation’s longevity. Generally, tar and gravel roofs make for more evenly distributed roofing material weight.
Tar and Gravel roofs are made from layers of perforated felt or fiberglass material with asphalt bonding. To construct these roofs, the top of the roof has to be covered with hot asphalt, which is then paved with gravel. Unlike other roofing styles, tar and gravel roofs are flat, which means they require special repair and maintenance techniques.
Why You May Need a Tar or Gravel Roof Repair in Utah
The most common tar and gravel roof problem is ponding. Ponding leads to leaks, which can be patched up but will weaken the roof’s entire structure. Typically, if more than a quarter of a gravel or tar roof is patched up, the entire roof has to be replaced.
When roofs leak, sanitary and health hazards may follow. The leaking moisture can infiltrate the underlying roof materials, run along walls and even come in contact with electrical outlets, which could cause a fire.
If you’re noting leaks in a property you’re looking to buy, make sure it’s looked over by a Utah building inspector, preferably one with expertise in bitumen roofing systems. They will inform you of whether the roofing membrane can be patched up or whether more long-term work will have to be performed.
Common Repairs for Your Tar and Gravel Roofs
The repair your roof will need will depend on the issue it faces; therefore, it is always good to consult a roofing professional in Utah if you aren’t certain of the underlying problem. If you’re dealing with an exposed intermat, for instance, the asphalt that holds the gravel must have worn off, making the fiberglass intermat visible. The intermat is likely to seep in water, which can cause leakage problems. The membrane can be sealed by recoating the surface.
Membrane damage from UV ray exposure is also a frequent gravel or tar roof problem. The asphalt absorbs and conducts the heat, which can weaken the membrane, and the thermal shock of changing temperatures from hot to cold can crack it.
If the damage is substantial, the entire membrane may need to be repaired. If you’re using asphalt on a metal roof foundation, seams and cracks can occur in the summer as the metal expands in the heat. This roof repair can be performed by an expert crew, who will advise you on the longevity of the installation based on your environment.
Tar and Gravel Roof Maintenance Options
High-quality flashing and compression drains can make your entire roofing installation more durable. To make your roof last longer, you can also have it strengthened or built up by layering the roof with more fiberglass or foam. This will improve its insulating properties.
You can also opt for the application of an acrylic or elastomeric coating, which will make your installation more resistant to harsh weather conditions. You can also switch to a thermoplastic membrane, which will prevent moisture from infiltrating the layers between the asphalt and the roof base.
Get Residential Roofing & Roof Inspections in Utah Today
Tar and Gravel roofs are desirable roofing options because, when installed properly, they can offer a variety of thermal and cost-efficiency advantages with sufficient insulation layers. There are plenty of repair options in the short run, but a damaged roof membrane calls for a replacement. Contact us today for more information on your Utah residential roofing options.