Tar and Gravel Roofing Composition

There a lot of homes in New Mexico with flat roofs or a low slope(2:12). Because many roofing materials such as shingles are unsuited to such low slopes, tar and gravel roofing is a common original material used. BUR roofs, known as “built-up roofs”, tar and gravel roofing consist of layers of asphalt and tar paper that are fastened to the roof surface with molten asphalt applications. The layers are laminated and then covered with gravel to hold them down and protect against UV degradation.  Some of this gravel becomes embedded in the hot asphalt, and some remains loose on the roof surface floor. The life expectancy of tar and gravel roofs is approximately 10-20 years. Homeowners who get yearly maintenance done can expect to be on the higher end of the years. Just like changing your oil on your new car, taking care of your new roof will give it a longer life expectancy.

The Complexities of Tar and Gravel Roofing

Although tar and gravel roofs are durable, it is easy for leaks to develop. This is because tar and gravel roofing is especially sensitive to penetrations, and must be able to move around during climate change in a manner similar to membrane roofing. Usually, leaks occur around flashings, chimneys, eaves, or additional roof planes, again a yearly maintenance check up can help eliminate these problems. Sometimes, wind blows away enough gravel to expose the surface to sun and cold, which can also lead to leaks.  Older roofs experience blistering in the asphalt, and simple leak remedies usually indicate the need for tar and gravel roofing replacement. The problem is that tar and gravel roofing do not handle multiple layers very well, and too much foot traffic on a tar and gravel roof harms it further.