While most roofs last for an average of 20 years, some roofs can last a whopping 100 years. This isn’t very common, but you can certainly prolong the lifespan of your roof if you take good care of it over the years. But what about a tar and gravel roof?
How can you maintain this unique type of roof so that it might last you a few extra years or even more than that? Should you treat it any differently than any ordinary roof? Keep reading and learn the correct way to take care of tar and gravel roofing.
Check the Gravel Regularly
Tar and gravel roofs are flat roofs that are usually used for commercial buildings such as stores and offices. These roofs have a variety of benefits, but they also have a few downsides. One of those downsides has to do with the gravel.
The gravel of this type of roof is scattered over the top of the roof’s surface. The gravel helps to insulate the roof and also protects its inner layers. Besides that, the gravel also helps to weigh down the roof itself so that the inner roofing materials won’t come loose or fly away in the wind.
This is not to mention that the gravel can block the sun’s harmful UV rays from touching the inner parts of the roof. This allows the roof to last a lot longer without the need for any tar and gravel roof repair. While the gravel used for this type of roof is relatively small, it can still perform its duties very well.
However, some problems can occasionally happen with the gravel. In particular, the gravel may shift over the years. When this happens, a variety of problems could ensue.
The gravel may shift because the wind blew it or because there was heavy rainfall that displaced the gravel. Whatever the case, if the gravel separates in certain places and exposes the surface of the roof underneath, that part of the roof will be far more vulnerable to damage. In particular, it will start to bake under the sun, and once the sun’s UV rays start to hit it, those rays will start to break up the roof’s surface on a molecular level.
This will cause the roof to fade in color, but it will also weaken the roof’s structural integrity. As a result, the roof might become more prone to leaks and become less and less energy efficient. To keep this from happening, you should check the gravel on your roof regularly, usually a few times a year or after severe weather events.
You could also have a professional do this for you. If you find that some of the gravel is displaced or missing, you’ll need to add some new gravel to keep the roof in good shape.
Remove Leaves and Other Debris
Keep in mind that a gravel and tar roof is flat. For that reason, it won’t be able to wash away leaves and other debris as well as regular roofs that have slopes. As a result, it will be very easy for leave and branches to build up on the roof.
This may not sound like a very big problem to you. After all, leaves are just leaves, so how much trouble can they really cause? As it turns out, leaves and other debris can cause quite a lot of trouble for your roof.
When leaves start to build up on a tar and gravel roof, those leaves will start decaying and adding moisture to the roof. This can cause the inner layers of the roof to pick up this same moisture. As a result, mold or fungus might start to grow inside the roof and the roof might even start to suffer from water damage.
Excessive debris and leaves on a flat roof like this can also make it harder for water to drain from the roof. This, again, will cause water damage to the roof. In some cases, it may even result in a leak which will drip down into the inside of the building below.
This, of course, would be expensive to repair. To prevent this problem, make sure that the roof stays clear of leaves and other debris.
Hire a Professional Roofer
If you don’t know much about roof repair or maintenance, you’ll only be able to do so much for your roof. That’s why it is a good idea to hire a professional roofer once in a while. A professional roofer can example, your tar and gravel roof to make sure that it’s in good shape.
A professional can also tell whether or not your roof is in need of repair if it needs more gravel, and so on. A professional might be able to tell you problems that your roof has that you had no idea it was suffering from. Besides that, hiring a professional roofer to take a look at your roof is a much safer decision than climbing up a perilous ladder yourself.
And if your roof happens to need any repairs, that professional should be able to do it for you. What else could you ask for?
Tar and Gravel Roof Maintenance
Having a tar and gravel roof can be very beneficial, but only if you know how to maintain it. Making sure that the gravel completely covers your roof is essential. Besides, that you need to keep leaves and other debris off the roof and perhaps consider hiring a professional.
To learn more about professional roofers, contact us here.