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Tar & Gravel Roofing Feedback & Referrals

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Joined: Mar 31 2003

My wife and I are seriously considering replacing our current tar and gravel roof with a new t&g roof. We've been less than impressed with the foam and duralast contractors and frankly I think in Northern Cal these services are extremely overpriced. Several contractors we spoke with said with white gravel and the appropriate insulation a t&g roof is a viable option. The question is does anyone know what type of roofing insulation works best with an eichler tar and gravel roof? Apparently, the original eichler roofing insulation was worthless. Second question...does anyone have any feedback/referrals for tar and gravel contractors in the east bay (walnut creek)? Lastly, any information from eichler homeowners who replaced t&g with t&g would be greatly appreciated. No offense, but I'm really not interested in starting another foam v. duralast v. t&g debate. If you prefer foam and duralast...more power to you...but unless I receive an overwhelming amount of negative feedback (from people who recently installed t&g) this is the route were going.

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

Sounds like a good option, bryan1970. The only thing that can match the original look of t & g is a new t & g roof! You are right, Dura-last in NoCal (and SoCal) is priced high. T & G has been around for many years and many commercial building still use it. I have even seen some 50s-60s modern homes in Oregon and Washington still using tar & gravel and they get more rain than NoCal.

One bit of caution, though, hire someone who isn't messy and will do a good clean-up job. Be prepared to repaint your facia as they might slop a hot mop of tar on it by accident.

Good luck!

tom
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Joined: Mar 23 2003

I had my roof done with tar and gravel and added 2inches of foam board insulation. In the summer it kept my house very cool and much warmer in the winter but the insulation is very expesive. Good luck

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

sorry can't give you referrals in n.ca but just finished putting on a t&g roof with a 4 in. rigid foam insulation. It did raise the roof less than 2 inches but quite honestly it is completely unnoticeable. The rigid insulation was cut and trimmed to go over the wire conduit. The roofer was worried that he might nail through the conduit because it is obviously hard to see the conduit once there is insulation or paper over it. But I think they did a great job. It is true that the fascia will have to be repainted. Ours was damaged--the roofer said that it was because the fascia was redwood and softer--they made hammer impressions. But they patched the impressions and sanded them.
We have the house with a peaked roof in the middle, and paid $10400 for replacement and removal of our t&g roof plus some shingle repair. That price was quite a bit less than other bids we had gotten with less insulation. I paid directly for the materials which was about $6000.
Hope this helps.

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Joined: Apr 18 2003

Hi. We have a completely flat, tar & gravel roof that's maybe 2 or 3 years away from needing a replacement. There are no gutters.

I'm not sure how drainage works with this type of roof, but I want to avoid water dripping off the roof in several different places. Would installing gutters make sense with a flat roof? Are there any other drainage options for a flat, tar & gravel roof? Thanks for any help.

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

you can have the roof sloped slightly and not notice it. It should be pretty easy to do, as you only need slight sloping for the water to run off. Also, our roofer built square "trenches" where the water could collect around the holes in our roof. The trenches were about 5" around the hole and 4" deep (essentially he took out the insulation in that area so it was lower than the rest of the roof). It seems like a good idea--seemed to work okay with our last rain. Our next thought is to add gutters to the holes and run them down the side of the house. I would not put gutters along the sides of the fascia because I think they would look ugly.

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Joined: Apr 25 2003

You can prevent many roof problems by using a tapered polyiso foam roof insulation system. The foam boards are tapered, so that water drains off the roof. The slope can be designed for 1/8", 1/4", or 1/2" per foot. This can help to reduce the bulkly thickness of insulation on roof edges. It can promote drainage to areas where you want it to drain. The tapered insulation will also prevent ponding.

Polyiso has an R-Value of approximately 7.0 per inch.

Additional info on polyiso roof insulation and tapered polyiso is at:
http://www.atlasroofing.com/downloads/brochures/commercial/atlas_tapered...

I should add that Atlas is not the only tapered polyiso manufacturer. Firestone, Johns-Manville, GAF, and other manufacturers also sell these systems.

Most good commercial roofing contractors should be able to install a tapered insulation system.

There are many roofing contractors who do not know how to install a tapered roof insulation system, but this is also a reflection of their ability as a contractor.

The tapered insulation can be installed under durolast, T&G, and other systems.

Wayne

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

Just my $0.02 here.

I have found over the years, that most roofing contractors are difficult to deal with, regardless of the product they offer. When we bought, there was 5 years remaining on the warranty for the T&G roof, which leaked like crazy (and during the worst of the el nino storms). Every time the roofers came out to try and locate and fix a leak, they only created new ones. Of course, the crews were way low on the food chain, and seemed to enjoy walking back and forth over the roof (all 6 of them!). We finally gave up in frustration and went another way. I will say that it was good to get that 1.5tons of weight off of the house.

Good luck in your contractor search.

Cathye

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Joined: Apr 24 2003

Many tar and gravel companies are horrible however; A few years ago I was at an inspection of an eichler in Sunnyvale. My inspector said the 20 year old tar and gravel roof had another five years left on it! E-mail me for the name and contact info of that company. I am not trying to imply that their roofs will last 20 years but I have many clients that would also vouch for them. :)

Loni Nagwani
408-218-3949

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Joined: Apr 18 2003

Thanks for the roofing recommendations. Can anyone recommend a quality East Bay roofer with proven tar & gravel experience?

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Joined: Apr 18 2003

Anyone ever use Able Roofing or Alliance Roofing (they advertise on this site)? Able Roofing will be doing an estimate on our roof for possible drainage options, putting a fascia, etc. They tell me they're t & g specialists. Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with either. Thanks.

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Joined: May 13 2003

Yes, I used Able Roofing, and was very satisfied. Tar & gravel is a 19th century technology and we are in the 21st. We have had a foam roof since 1977! Flat section was replaced in '99, and entire roof was recoated by the aforementioned firm. Sloping section is original. We are extremely satisfied with the roof. The facts speak for themselves.

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

We put in a new T&G six months ago, and are very satisfied with the company we hired. (please e-mail for specifics) They gave 15 years warranty and were knowledgeable on gutters, run-off angels, "canals" and helped correct defects a previous installer had done that created standing water. They were also able to re-use existing 2" insulation, and added another 0.5" just while we were at it at low cost. We have a 1957 sqf atrium flat-roof style Eichler, and we paid $7500 for everything.
I also got a bid from Able, but they onoy promoted foam, which would have been much more costly. I did not get the impression that they were T&G experts, something (the company I hired) seemed to be.

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