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Old 08-25-2008, 03:56 PM   #1
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Tar roof patching


So I made a mistake of buying a house with a low sloped roof in Colorado... It's tar and gravel, and leaks in a few spots. I got the gravel out of the way and I can see some cracks in the tar. Went to a roofing supply shop today and they gave me a blue bucket of mastic (I think) and told me to put it on cracks and cover with gravel. 'With luck, I'll get another 5 years out of it'.
Is there anything I can do on top of tar, in form of a patch, say, besides mastic on cracks, that will lengthen it for a little more? I can't afford to replace the entire roof right now, nor do I want to in the next few years. My neighbor, who has very similar roof with same problem, made a patch with some roll-on roofing and put mastic on the edges. Looks solid and he said in 2 years he had no problems with it...
Any suggestions? What would you do?
Thanks.
Tim.

P.S. Please don't suggest I hire professionals - it seems like there aren't any in Denver. I can tell you my story about roofing contractors, but why bother? I'm sure you've heard plenty similar ones.

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Old 08-25-2008, 05:41 PM   #2
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Tar roof patching


You are on the right track. If the roof is in generally good shape you could squeeze a few more years out of it with basic maintenance. Mastic in itself will not hold together very long around your perimeter. You need to three-course it then recover it with gravel. Go back to where you got the henry's and tell them you need some four or six inch webbing. (looks like yellow drywall mesh except black and wider. Don't use rolled roofing pls) Same principal as taping drywall too, lay down a thin coat, rub webbing into it, then coat webbing with mastic, making sure you cover all of the webbing, then recover with gravel. In the field, if you choose, same thing.

One of the keys to your type of roof's longevity is the gravel covering the asphalt and protecting it from alot of the weather and sun damage. Three coursing is not difficult but it is messy. You will want either good thick latex gloves, or if they are thin, use three or more at a time. No tools required for application, use your hands.

Good luck and have fun with it.

Or...you could hire a professional. (sorry, couldn't resist, had to throw that in.)

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Last edited by OldNBroken; 08-25-2008 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 08-26-2008, 04:34 PM   #3
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Tar roof patching


Thanks, that's what I will do. I have that black mesh thingy leftover from previous roofers, I'll get up there and patch whatever looks suspicious... I got 3.5 gallons of the black rubber modified stuff (I'm very technical today), and a big roll of mesh, I can probably do my entire roof with it
What kind of life expectancy can I expect from it? at least 3-4 years, I hope... I've got more than enough gravel, so I'll make sure everything is covered well.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:10 PM   #4
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Tar roof patching


What size gravel are you all using? What's the purpose of the gravel? What do you think about using asphalt sealer (to allow for some flex)?
The general opinion in this forum is that rolled roofing is taboo. I have 2 layers on a low sloping roof and it still has a couple small leaks. I'm afraid to remove it for what I might find underneath. It's kinda a out-building so I need quick, easy, cheap & water-tight. Thoughts?
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:16 PM   #5
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Tar roof patching


It's small. About 1/4" gravel. The purpose of it is shielding roof from sun. My understanding is sun rys can ruin your roof a lot faster, so as long as it's well covered from sun rays, roof will last longer. Perhaps someone can correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 08-29-2008, 10:56 PM   #6
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Tar roof patching


You are correct, but only partially.

Additionally, the gravel is a ballast to prevent the room material from wind uplift.

Also, the lighter color of pea gravel offers some reduction in the heat retention from the sun, due to its way more substantial reflectivity properties versus black asphalt completely being exposed to the suns harmful UV rays.

Ed

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