Tar paper roof? What is this?

I'd like some help identifying the roof on top of my garage, and how one might lengthen its life.
It's flat, black, and .. "crispy". There are spots on the roof that, if you touch/step on them, collapse like a flexible, crunchy bubble. It doesn't feel rubbery, it feels "papery".
Am I correct in thinking this is a tar-paper roof? -- Can't say I see any "tar brush strokes", so as a non-roofer, I am not sure what it is.
More Importantly: If it is a tar paper roof .. is there a product, perhaps liquid, that one can spread on the roof to make it last longer?
At the moment, there are no leaks that I know of, but because it's flat, there's often standing water up there and someday, it'll fail.
Thanks in advance!
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Sounds like a 'hot tar roof'....
If it leaks, just have some more hot tar put on it--this time put on lots of it, and also maybe some rocks / pebbles to make up for temperature expansion/ contraction.
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Duncantuna wrote:

You keep walking on it there will be leaks.

My advice is to leave it alone until it starts leaking. If you are really hard up, try some patch stuff, but don't expect too much from it. Once a flat roof starts to go, it is usually best to replace it. That's my opinion anyway.
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Joseph Meehan

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Thanks, PrecisionMachinisT. Sounds like something I'd want to get a professional involved in, probably at the time it actually does leak.
Indeed, advice like "don't walk on it" isn't helpful, as it is necessary to unclog the gutter drain to clear the pools of water on occasion.

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Duncan Tuna wrote:

If you need to regularly go on the roof there are way of providing walkways to protect the roof. I would rate clearing drains as one of those reasons.

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PrecisionMachinisT wrote:
...

The pebbles are generally considered there to help protect the tar by breaking up the rain drops as the fall on it. I have not heard the idea of expansion and contraction, but that sure does not mean it does not perform that function as well.
I agree that if the roof is in generally good shape and there is one or two small leaks that can be found some additional tar patch is not a bad idea. I suspect my original message may have been a little misleading in this area. I would suggest there are three or more levels of maintenance of tar roofs. Simple patching, total tear off and re-roof and what I usually call re-roof which may not involve a tear off, but mostly just adding an additional layer of tar and gravel. Clearly it is the condition of the roof that dictates which approach is best.
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Joseph Meehan

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