How to Tar a Roof, and Why You Might Want to Do It

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Roofing experts have agreed that coal tar pitch roofing is more durable than asphalt roofing. This shows why many still use tarring as a roofing option over other alternatives.

Tar pitch roofing is an option that is still used today for many commercial buildings. It is a durable and reliable option that could be good for your building.

If you want to know how to tar a roof, there is a process you will need to follow. This can be a complex project, but it may be worth it for you.

Keep reading to find out how to tar a roof and why this is a good option in many instances.

What Is Coal Tar Pitch Roofing?

A coal tar pitch roof is considered to be a type of built-up roofing that you add in layers. These layers of coal tar create a waterproof roofing underlayment for the building.

You have most likely seen a coal tar pitch roof on buildings with a flat roof. They are often considered to be tar and gravel roofs used for commercial buildings.

Despite the fact that tar roofing is still useful, it is not as popular as it used to be. Mostly because coal tar pitch can be a health risk when you are working with it.

Whether or not you decide to use tar roofing is going to depend on what you are looking for. This can be a great way to waterproof a roof, especially if it is flat.

Tar pitch roofs usually require minimal roof maintenance and are relatively easy to maintain. Although, there are plenty of other roofing options on the market that can be just as effective.

How to Tar a Roof

If you have decided that you are going to tar your roof, you will need to know how to do this. This is one of the roofing solutions that require a certain process.

If you are going to be working with tar pitch, it is important to know what you are doing. That is why most people hire professionals to handle this job for them.

Taring a roof can be a great way to increase your roof lifespan if this is an option you choose.


When you are going to be tarring a roof, you need to know how much tar you need. The best way to do this is to measure the entire roof.

The last thing you want to do is not buy enough tar for your project. You also do not want to overspend by buying too much tar when you do not need it.

This is also a good time to figure out exactly the kind of tar you want to use. Most people choose between asphalt tar and coal tar, depending on the roof.

Most roofs would do well with asphalt tar, but there are some exceptions. Most people choose coal tar if the roof is particularly slanted or sloped.

Add a Base Layer

It is important to add a base layer to the roof before you start adding the tar pitch. Most people use roofing underlayment that can be nailed to the roof.

This base layer protects the roof itself from the hot tar that could cause damage. This also helps to provide more protection from the weather, depending on your location.

Add the Tar

The next step is going to be actually applying the tar to the roof. You will need to use a fiberglass mop to move the tar pitch around to create layers.

The layers should be thin, and you will need to work while the tar is hot. It is a good idea to apply tarpaper on top of each layer when you are done.

What to Know About Tarring a Roof

When you are learning how to tar a roof, it is also a good idea to understand other aspects of this. This is a process that you will need to understand before taking it on.

Taring a roof is a large project that requires certain steps. It is important to make sure you understand exactly what you need to do as well as how to do it safely.

It’s Hot

It is very important when tarring a roof to keep in mind that it is very hot. The tar has to be hot when you are working with it for it to spread in thin layers.

You will need to protect yourselves and make sure you do not make direct contact with the hot tar pitch. You will also need to keep a close eye on the temperature to make sure it is not getting too hot.

Transportation Can be Difficult

Transporting the tar pitch can be a hard task to do, depending on the size of the roof. For very large roofs, you may need to hire a truck that can pour the pitch onto the roof directly.

For smaller roofing projects, you may be able to carry tar in buckets. Either way, you will need to figure this out before you begin tarring.

You Need Layers

You will need to make sure that you create layers of tar pitch when creating a tar roof. How many layers you create is going to depend on your roof and the environment.

These layers are often made with tar paper as well. Layers are important as they build up the roof and create a sturdier tar roof.

Taring a Roof and Why It’s a Good Idea

If you want to know how to tar a roof, this is probably because you want to tar a roof on your building. This can be a good option depending on the type of roof and the climate.

Do you need your roof tarred or roof maintenance? Contact us today at Weather Tech Roofing to discuss your roofing options.

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