Tar And Gravel Roof Repair

April 28, 2014 |

Roof Repair and Maintenance
When was the last time you got on your roof to check its condition? Well, unless you are comfortable climbing roofs, you should look at your roof from the ground. Even better, if you suspect problems, call a roofing contractor for an estimate, most reputable contractors provide this service free. Don’t wait for water damage to start maintenance on your roof.
Relatively simple repairs can prevent leaks and significantly extend roof life. We don’t recommend that any person go up on a roof unless he or she knows and follows proper safety procedures. Even if you don’t do the work yourself, it’s important to know how proper repairs are done, and a basic knowledge of roof repair techniques will help you understand the scope of work required.

The brand name and style of roofing material used might be important for composition or asphalt shingles, concrete tile, fiber cement shingles, and metal roofs. These roofs are a manufactured product that is assembled and installed on site. You can typically search for the manufacturer online and find specific repair procedures. Other roofing materials, such as wood shakes, wood shingles, and built-up, or tar and gravel, depend less on the specific manufacturer and more on associations.

Every roof type has a special requirement for repairs. Fibered roofing cement, or mastic, is the most typical patching compound used on asphalt composition shingles and built-up roofing. Mastic is an inexpensive asphalt-based patching material, which adheres easily to metal, stucco and asphalt roofing. Mastic might be used to patch damaged shingles or to seal roof-to-wall connections and plumbing vent penetrations. Mastic deteriorates from sun exposure, and new applications are necessary every few years. New mastic should be allowed to dry for a few weeks and then painted for protection from the sun and for better appearance. Mastic will not stick to wood and should not be used to patch wood roofs or connections to wood siding. Modified bitumen roofing might be damaged by the solvent in some mastics, and only special patching materials specified by the roofing manufacturer should be used with these and other polymer or synthetic rubber roofing materials.

Tar and gravel, typically called built-up roofs, also need regular maintenance. The perhymeters of these low slope roofs are mostly left uncovered with gravel and are exposed to damage from the sun. Any area where the asphalt has become exposed should be coated and an aluminized asphalt emulsion or one of the new rubberized white roof coatings. It is typical to find the central portions of gravel-covered built-up roofs to be in good condition, although the raised edges with no gravel protection show substantial sun damage.

Also with slate or tile roofing, typical practice has been to replace any broken slates or tiles. Adhesives are now available that can repair broken tiles. Any loose or damaged tiles should be secured with wire, nails, or special adhesives available for this purpose. The tile manufacturers web site is mostly available, and should be consulted for repair recommendations.
Shake roofs have a layer of felt or tar paper under each row to serve as a waterproofing barrier. Every year a small amount of the shake surface is worn away by the sun and weather. Exposed felt is the main cause of leaks and holes that permit sun through to the felt must be repaired. Damaged shakes might be repaired by inserting a thin wood shingle, composition shingle, or piece of sheet metal beneath them to protect the exposed felt from the sun. In general, it is best to avoid using nails when repairing a wood roof, as this can cause leakage. Power washing can cause significant damage and is not advisable for do-it-yourselfers.

Most roofing materials will last 15 to 30 years, although typical shingles may only last 15 years, depending on quality of shingle bought. The life of all roofs depends on the type and weather exposure for each application. Roof surfaces facing the south or west typically wear out sooner because they have longer exposure to the primary cause of roof wear-the sun. Trees, leaves and branches, are also a major cause of early roof wear. When your roof needs replacement will depend on several factors, including your tolerance for occasional leaks and periodic roof repairs. Most roofs, with careful maintenance, will last many years beyond their rated life spans.
Roof surfaces that are in poor condition may need replacement even if no leakage has occurred. A roofing contractor should be consulted to determine if a roof is repairable and at what cost. Three estimates with references for at least two of three jobs completed in your area are a good idea when selecting contractor.


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