When Should I Replace My Tar and Gravel Roof?

August 4, 2021 11:29 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Tar and gravel roofs are frequently used for commercial and industrial buildings. This design provides outstanding durability, although like any other roof, they will have a limited lifespan. It’s important to stay on top of your roof inspections and know when you need to replace it.

Here’s an overview of what you should know.

Lifespan expectations

You can reasonably expect a tar and gravel roof to last around 20 to 25 years. Exactly how long it lasts will depend on how well you take care of your roof. If you prioritize regular maintenance, you can extend the life of the roof and continue to get durable and reliable performance, perhaps even beyond that timeframe.

You should make it a point to inspect the roof at least once a year to check for any issues. This will allow you to make minor tar and gravel roof repairs to prevent early and unnecessary replacement.

Maintaining your roof

If there isn’t enough gravel on the roof, this results in part of the roof membrane being exposed to the elements, which could result in decay and rot. If this problem is extensive, it could necessitate roof replacement.

In addition, the tar in your tar and gravel roof will naturally deteriorate over time, which means there will always be a cap for the lifespan of the roof.

You can delay replacement by staying on top of regular maintenance. This involves the following tasks:

  • Inspections: Every year (at least once a year) you should inspect the roof and check its general condition. Look for problems with ponding (water puddling up in one area of the roof) and punctures in the roof. Both of these problems are fixable, but only if found quickly so they can be immediately treated.
  • Check the gravel: The gravel that lies on the roof protects the roof from sunlight. If the roofing membrane and tar is exposed, the sun’s ultraviolet rays will break down that membrane faster, resulting in premature degradation of the roofing.
  • Add gravel as needed: If you see areas where there isn’t enough gravel, you can either spread the gravel to ensure proper coverage or add gravel if more seems to be needed. Adding gravel is one of the most common maintenance tasks.
  • Get professional help: While adding or spreading gravel is a task many building owners are able to take on themselves, other types of tar and gravel roof repairs (such as fixing punctures or stopping ponding from occurring) may require professional assistance. It is in your best interest to contact a professional to have them come out to your property as necessary and repair any problems you find. They have the necessary tools, knowledge and skills to get the job done correctly so you can avoid accidentally making matters worse with a bad DIY job.

To learn more about how you can maintain and repair a tar and gravel roof, we encourage you to contact our team at R & H Roofing, LLP with any questions you have for us.

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