Tar Roofs to Acrylic Coatings: A History

Sometimes our Just Leaks staff will receive calls asking if we can help maintain or repair their “tar” roofs. Although tar has historically been used with gravel on flat roofs, there is almost no tar in roofing anymore. That is why we have decided to talk about the evolution of tar roofs to acrylic coatings in today’s blog article.

Tar is a byproduct of coal when coal is processed into coke to fuel –smelting furnaces. Thanks to all the steel production in the Industrial Age, lots of coal was turned into coke, so there was plenty of tar, or coal tar, to use for other purposes. One use for tar was to use it as a waterproofing layer on roofs.

For a long time, tar was used on rooftops, but tar had its problems. First, because tar’s natural state is as a sticky liquid, it never really set completely. Second, tar is quite caustic and can cause harm to skin and lungs. Third, the hot sun would cause the tar to liquefy and run down the drains, so roofers began to use gravel on top of the tar to protect and stabilize the tar by holding it in place.

As petroleum surpassed coal as our primary energy source, tar was replaced by asphalt on roofs. Asphalt is a byproduct from when gasoline is removed from crude oil. Since asphalt became more common and cost effective, roofers switched to using asphalt and gravel on rooftops. However, many people still call their roof “tar and gravel”, even though it’s really asphalt and gravel that would protect a rooftop for 30 – 50 years. With that length of roof longevity, asphalt proved to be a significant improvement over tar.

In more recent years, asphalt and gravel is being replaced by something even better because the quality of the crude oil has declined. The asphalt is not as good as it used to be, and the roofs don’t last as long. What used to last for 30 – 50 years is lasting more like 20 years, so roofers searched for an even better waterproofing solution for rooftops. One of the best solutions available is acrylic coating systems.

Now, we can replace asphalt and gravel with white acrylic and polyester membrane roof systems from suppliers like National Coatings. White acrylic coatings protect the roof even better than asphalt, are less caustic, less costly, and deflect heat better thanks to advances in solar reflectant materials technology.  Acrylic has many advantages, so it has become the modern solution for industrial rooftops. The National Coatings AcryPly Roof is Energy Star Certified and Title 24 Compliant.

At Just Leaks, we use the latest technologies and can help clients with the most modern solutions for their industrial roofing needs in San Jose, CA and the entire San Francisco Bay Area. If you have questions about your roof, or if you would like to consider the options made available by the newer fluid applied roof systems, please contact the Just Leaks team today.

Just Leaks, Incorporated

1101 South Winchester Boulevard, Suite H188

San Jose, California, 95128

Phone: (408) 249-4646

Fax: (408) 249-4645

Website: http://www.justleaks.com

President – scott@justleaks.com

Office Manager – norma@justleaks.com

Project Manager – craig@justleaks.com

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Just-Leaks-Inc/118006798258641

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Spring Is Here – Time To Maintain Your Roof

Spring has sprung, and hopefully your roof has not sprung any leaks at this time. To make certain your roof remains in good shape, take advantage of the season, for Spring is the best time of the year to maintain your flat industrial roof and install a rooftop cooling system.

During the Winter, most people don’t want to even think about roof maintenance. The only time it crosses their minds is when there is a major storm, followed by water damage. However by Spring, the sun comes out, the temperatures are warmer, and thoughts of maintaining the roof begin to sprout. However, thanks to tax bills and other economic reasons in the Spring, most owners of industrial roofs put off roof maintenance and the addition of a rooftop cooling system until Summer.

Unfortunately, if owners don’t plan ahead, Summer could possibly be the worst time of year to plan for roof maintenance. Most roofers are fully booked with roofing projects by Summer, and the prices rise like the summertime temperatures. Fall remains a busy time of year, so Spring is truly the perfect time to start roof maintenance.

Fortunately, Just Leaks offers incentives for industrial roof owners to take action during Spring. Sometimes, we can offer discounts for work performed in the Spring months. We can also stage the work in sections and spread out the cost over a longer period of time. For example, if the roof is very large, or if you own several buildings with flat industrial roofs, we can do one quarter of the roof the first year; the second quarter of the roof the second year; the third quarter of the roof the third year, etc.

If your flat industrial roof is smaller, you may still benefit from the Just Leaks Spring discounts. Sometimes we can arrange it with the roof owners to spread payments out over a few months to help stretch out the roofing budget.

Lastly, Spring is a terrific time of year to install your new rooftop cooling system. The roof is cooler in the springtime, which makes working on the roof a little easier. Plus, new cooling system installations completed in the Spring help lower the Summer power bills. A rooftop cooling system installed in Spring will help both your bottom line and your building’s inhabitants stay cool in the Summer.

If you’re interested in roof maintenance and rooftop cooling system installation in the Spring, contact Just Leaks for an estimate at 408-249-4646 or contact Scott Siemer at scott@justleaks.com.

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