Learn More About Tar And Gravel Roof


Tar And Gravel Roofs

Tar and gravel roofs (also called built up roofs) were popular a few decades ago, especially for flat or low sloped surfaces. They are much less common today due to new construction techniques and materials.

Tar and Gravel Roof Basics

A tar and gravel roof is made up of layers of tar and asphalt paper, which are then applied to the roof surface with a mop. Each layer is laminated and then finished with a gravel layer, thereby protecting the roof against harmful UV rays. The top layer of gravel remains loose, while the lower level is embedded into the asphalt. These roofs can last up to twenty years and are almost always used on flat roofs with no slope to them.

Tar and Gravel Prices

Entry to middle range prices will run roughly $2.75 to $4.25 per square foot fully installed. Most roofing projects are priced out per square, which translates to $275 to $425 per square. Mid range to high end costs will run roughly $4.25 to $5.75 per square foot, which works out to $425 to $575 per square.

Additional Resources | Tar And Gravel Roof Cost


A tar and gravel roof is an affordable option than metal roof costs or clay tile roofing. The disadvantage is that they are not as common as they used to be as there are so many new materials available on the market today. When it comes time to remove this roofing material, it isn't an easy process and can be very messy. Repairs are cheap and easy and can last for up to five years. Over time, the seams tend to crack, which can result in unwanted leaks if not repaired quickly.

Weather Resistant

A tar and gravel roof is one of the roofing materials which is prone to leaking, but at the same time it offers a good weather resistance in hotter climates. This roof can withstand the rays of the sun for a time before it eventually starts to erode. For additional information, see our page on hot mop roofs.

Prone To Leaks

Anyone who has a tar and gravel roof can expect it to leak at some point. Leaks mostly occur around the eaves and flashing. The asphalt also blisters eventually, which often results in the homeowner placing another layer over the existing one. The problem with this is that it is often a waste of funds because it doesn't adhere to the lower layer very well.

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