Tar and gravel roofing systems are durable and economic, but like any roofing material, this type of system can develop issues over time. Most of the time, you see tar and gravel roofs on commercial building as they protect the underlying roofing materials. According to reputable roofing companies, this allows for more evenly distributed weight throughout the roof. If you have a tar and gravel roof, these tips can help you understand how your roof operates and when you may want to consider replacing it.
How Are Tar & Gravel Roofs Built
When installing a tar and gravel roof, roof installation services create layers of perforated felt or fiberglass material, bonding it with asphalt. This means that the top of the roof is first covered with a hot layer of asphalt and then paved with gravel, much like the way a road is covered for vehicle traffic. According to RGB Construction, tar and gravel roofing systems are always added to flat roofs which means they need special maintenance and repair services.
Benefits Of Tar And Gravel Roofs
There are benefits to having tar and gravel roofs. They are easy to install and, for the most part, much more waterproof than other roofing systems. Tar and gravel roofs when installed by reputable roofing companies, are energy efficient and require little maintenance. However, tar and gravel roofs can develop issues that need to be addressed to avoid roof damage.
One of the most common problems with tar and gravel roof is that they are prone to ponding, something that often happens on flat roofs. Because standing water can lead to leaks, the entire roofing structure can be weakened, even if the leaks are patched by reputable roofing companies. It is true that tar and gravel roofs do better than other systems in areas that get heavy rainfall, they don’t do as well in intense weather, including significant snow and ice. This is because rain tends to run off through the roof draining system while snow and ice melt into puddles. Because these puddles may not be near a drain, they tend to remain in one spot longer which can lead to damage.
Danger Of Leaks
In addition to weakening your roof structure, expert roof installation services explain that leaking moisture can lead to health and sanitary hazards inside the building. Moisture can infiltrate the roofing materials under the tar and gravel as well as leak into walls. This can be very hazardous should moisture come in contact with electrical outlets as a fire could be ignited. If you have noticed leaks inside your building, consider reaching out to reputable roofing companies that have experience in repairing tar and gravel roofing systems.
One issue that could cause problems with your tar and gravel roof is an exposed intermat. This occurs when the asphalt that covers wears away and the intermat below is exposed. If this is not recoated and sealed, water could seep under the remaining asphalt and cause damage. If you notice exposed intermat, you need to reach out to reputable roofing companies to recoat the surface.
UV Ray Exposure
As asphalt absorbs and conducts heat, the membrane could become weakened. According to RGB Construction, if you live in an area where the temperature fluctuates significantly from hot to cold, your tar and gravel roof may suffer from the thermal shock which can also lead to weakened asphalt. If the damage from UV exposure or temperature fluctuation is substantial, it may be time to contact roof installation companies who have experience in replacing this type of roof.
Maintaining Your Tar And Gravel Roof
There are ways you can extend the life of your tar and gravel roof. Talk to reputable roofing companies about installing high-quality flashing and compression drains. These additions can help your roof last longer. You can also add more layers to the roof using fiberglass or foam which can improve the insulation properties of your roof. Roof installation services can also add acrylic or elastomeric coating. This is especially beneficial if you live in an area that experiences harsh weather conditions. A thermoplastic membrane is also an option if you want to prevent moisture issues in the layers between the base and the asphalt.
Lifespan Of A Tar And Gravel Roof
Tar and gravel roofs should last between 20 and 25 years, but this depends on the level of maintenance the roof receives and how quickly you deal with any problems your roof may develop. Comparing the lifespans of other roofs, you will find that an asphalt roof lasts around 20 years while tile and slate will last longer than 25 years. Having your tar and gravel roof inspected on a regular basis will help extend its lifespan.
When To Replace Your Tar And Gravel Roof
If your roof is more than 25 years old, it is likely time to replace it, regardless of its condition. After 20 years, most roof installation services say that you will likely notice issues that indicate the roof is in need of replacement. If your roof is less than 20 years old but you have noticed leaks or other issues, it may need replacement, whether because it has not been maintained properly or it has been damaged in some way.
If you have a tar and gravel roofing system and have noticed problems, it is time to reach out to the experts at RGB Construction. Even if you have not noticed issues but know your roof is reaching its lifespan limit, as one of the area’s most reputable roofing companies, they can come out and do a no-obligation inspection to see if your roof needs to be replaced or a repair can resolve your issue. Call one of our roof installation services representatives today to see how we can help you. Schedule your appointment by calling 856-264-9093 or fill out the easy online form today.