Tar and gravel systems have been used as the standard for roofing for commercial buildings. Once crude oil found a place in the economy, this was the roofing system of choice. So far, tar and gravel roofing has been successful and is not only cheap but effective. Advances have been made within the roofing industry and there is now a better and more efficient alternative to tar and gravel systems; membranes or single-ply roofing systems.

Membranes are Better than Tar and Gravel

  • Less danger: The hot kettle used for tar and gravel roofing melts which is not only dangerous but poses a high liability risk too. The fumes are noxious and too many fatal accidents and spills have been reported. There is also the risk that the kettle will explode. Many roofing companies have moved away from tar and gravel as an option because of the insurance risks and dangers to their workers.
  • Lighter materials: Membranes are much lighter when compared to an EPDM (rubber) roof that has insulation and fasteners included. Rubber systems can weigh close to 2 pounds per square foot, but modified bitumen or plastic membranes are much less dense and still get the same job done just as efficiently.
  • Color options: Each membrane roof product comes in a white color option. This allows sun light and heat to be reflected away during the day, keeping the inside of the building cooler. When you choose a single-ply system it is very easy to first lay down a thick layer of foam board insulation, and this easy addition helps to maintain great energy efficiency.
  • Longer durability: Tar and gravel roofing can last between 20 and 30 years but this depends on how much you spent on it in the first place. Membrane roofing lasts at least 20 years so long as it is not damaged, making it a better option in the event you are on a tight budget.
  • Better waterproofing: Tar begins to crack as it ages meaning your roof will be more prone to leaks. These leaks would be easy to find and fix if the gravel was not covering the surface. This means most cracks get ignored or overlooked and soon you have a faulty roof that needs an expensive replacement. Water from a leak can also travel quite a distance, so you may never know where it started by the time you see it inside the building.

We offer PVC, TPO, EPDM and modified bitumen types of membrane roofing systems. Any of these are great replacements for tar and gravel and will provide everything you need for a commercial roof. Reach out to us today for an inspection, and we will help you find the right membrane roof for you.

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