Does your residential or commercial building have a tar and gravel roof? This system is economic and long lasting, but you may consider replacing it for a variety of reasons. Your choice may be based on aesthetic preference or a need for more energy efficiency. To upgrade your roofing system, you can have your tar and gravel roof replaced with a new system that utilizes modern technology to provide a more durable and eco-friendly finish.


In virtually any neighborhood, you’ll notice houses with tar and gravel roofs. This system is affordable and has stood the test of time. Tar is layered with paper and has to be squeezed to remove any air bubbles. Roofs are directly exposed to sunlight. Gravel, the topmost layer of tar roofs, is resistant to ultraviolet rays. Many are drawn to tar and gravel roofs because of their long life expectancy. It offers protection against the elements with its gravel top coat, otherwise referred to as a flood coat. This material can withstand heavy rainfall and hail damage. For flat roofs, it’s especially important to select a material that can resist moisture. Their shape prevents water from draining off as it does with a sloped roof. Asphalt has the ability to waterproof a roof, and extend its lifespan. On average, tar and gravel roofs last for 25 years; with exceptional maintenance, they can last as long as 40 years. This is due to the resilience of the materials, such as the embedded gravel, which resist degradation. It’s also an energy efficient option; gravel can release heat and prevent your house from getting hot in the summer. It’s sturdy enough that it’s safe to walk on, which makes repairs easier in the long-run. Those who appreciate affordability, endurance, and accessibility will be impressed at what tar and gravel roofs have to offer.


But this popular choice does come with certain disadvantages. Homeowners seeking to alter the appearance of their roof or enhance its function may be considering other options. You’ll be happy to learn that it’s possible to replace an existing tar and gravel system. There are modern alternatives which offer strength, endurance, and energy efficiency. Here are some of the different roofing options you can invest in to upgrade your roofing system: 


Membranes such as PVC, TPO, and EPDM can replace asphalt roofs and eliminate the problems that are sometimes encountered with them. These membranes are resistant to UV rays. They are single-ply materials, which saves the time and expense of installing multiple layers. 


TPO, or thermoplastic polyolefin, is a membrane that is safe to install, and it is flexible. It’s made of a single-ply mat. Many are drawn to TPO because of its energy efficiency; it is offered in light colours that will not absorb heat. This reflective membrane lowers heating and cooling costs. It is flexible but still resistant to tears and punctures. The seams are welded using a hot air gun, creating a strong and reliable bond that will not allow water to leak in. No noxious or hazardous chemicals are used in the making of this material, making it environmentally friendly.


On the other hand, EPDM, which stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer, is a rubber-based membrane. It is long-lasting and can be secured to your roof with ballast, adhesives, or mechanical attachments. EPDM is wind resistant and flexible, so it is suitable for extreme weather conditions. This material is immune to UV radiation and extreme temperatures. The single layer makes installation quick and easy for experienced contractors. Very little maintenance is required for these rubber roofs. Fully recyclable and safe to manufacture, this material will appeal to those who are environmentally conscious. 


PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is one of the longest-lasting and strongest roof solutions on the market. This added strength is reflected in the cost; it’s a thermoplastic material that is incredibly durable - it can withstand up to136 kg per 25 mm/300 pounds per inch. Hot air is used to weld the seams and create a watertight bond that is resistant to strong wind currents. PVC is available in light colours that reflect heat from the sun, making it energy efficient. It can hold its own against water and snow. This roof system can last over 20 years with minimal maintenance. For commercial buildings, PVC makes a great choice due to its chemical resistance. In restaurants with grease vents, cooking fats typically cause damage to roofs; this is not the case with PVC, which is virtually impenetrable. 


A metal roof is another suitable alternative. It’s becoming a popular choice for many practical reasons: it’s long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing, and can withstand intense weather conditions. Materials used in metal systems are very lightweight. It’s able to resist fire, mould, rot, and insects. The layered appearance can be designed to mimic the look of other roofing options like tiles or shingles. Metal roofs come in a range of materials, from zinc alloys to copper. The most commonly used are made from aluminum and steel as they are more affordable and can be painted. Metal roofs reflect heat, which saves energy used for air conditioning. An ecological advantage to these materials is that they can be recycled after use. They’re even made of reused metal - up to 30-60% of their contents. To manufacture them, no petroleum by-products are used, making it a truly green roofing solution. If you are looking to sell your home or building, a metal roof will significantly boost the value of your property, and buyers will be enticed by the idea of not having to worry about roof repairs or replacements for years to come.


If your home or Winnipeg commercial building has a tar and gravel roof, there are alternatives you can invest in to restore structural integrity, reduce water leaks, and improve energy efficiency. 


Share This Post!