Is it possible to get some extra mileage out of a tar and gravel roof
that has developed a leak? The roof in question is about 6' by 14' with
minimal perceivable slope, maybe 1/8" to the foot. It is pretty old and
the leak could be anywhere, but the drip down below is coming down in
I was wondering if Henry 201 or a similar liquidy asphalt product might
not penetrate and seal smale cracks in tar and gravel roofs... or will
it just leak onto the ceiling below?
Roof leak is almost never where you think it is, from where you see the
water inside. Gooping crap onto roof to band-aid a fix generally results
mainly in problem stripping off the old roof.
Considering the structural damage that can result from such leaks, it
seems IMHO that the prime option is to strip it and start over.
Depending on your local climate, built-up flat roofs are good for 10-15
years max. Some membrane-types, professionally installed, are allegedly
Were I paying for it, I'd be damn sure that the roof was vented (read
cooled) as possible, just below.
If you decide to replace it, fix the deck so that it has a greater slope,
1/2" per foot and no dips in the middle where water can sit. A slope will
increase the life of the roof greatly by eliminating water sitting there
cooking in the sun and possibly freezing in cold climates where the ice can
tear the roof apart.
I went to the Henry website and checked the specs on all their products.
I decided to give the 201 Fibered Asphalt Coating a try. It was just
what I was looking for. The 204 and 208 are too thick for recoating, but
the 201 can be applied with a cheap china bristle brush and can be
worked into all the nooks and crannies. I hit all the low areas and one
gallon covered more than a third of a 6' by 14' area. Two more gallons
tomorrow and sweep the gravel back onto it and I'm done. If the people
get another three years out of it, it is well worth it to them at the
rate I'm charging and the cost of the Henry's.
The important part is to work the 201 well. It's not that difficult or
time consuming. Actually, it's satisfying and mindless work, my favorite
kind. Thank you, Henry!
not a shill for Henry... really
John Barry wrote:
I've done it. The flat roof wasn't that old though. I'm not sure I'd waste
my effort on a real old roof.
First you have to clean the roof carefully which is the hardest part. Flat
roofs get dirty as hell.
I first used a broom to get the gravel pushed back. A wet vac and then a
mop. You have to carefully time it so the roof doesn't get dirty again. Work
in a ten foot radius around the leak and up the sides of the flat roof to
the area where the roof meets the wall. Stucco buildings have a reputation
for leaking in this area. I can't remember the name of it. (The top of the
wall where it meets the roof material)
Then I applied this stuff.
Worked great but it's a lot of hard work. I would of hired a roofer if I
could of afforded one.
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