Alert: Our 800 Number has been hacked. Please call 408-971-9000 for assistance. Please click here for more information.

Tar & Gravel Roof Repair

Tar & Gravel roofs have been around for centuries. They are composed of layers of perforated felt or fiberglass material with asphalt in between, flooding the top with asphalt and applying gravel to the hot asphalt. Their use has decreased with the more effective modern materials. Contact Eastman Roofing to discuss your Tar & Gravel Roof Repair today!

IMG_40281-188486_200x200Intermat Exposed

The asphalt holding the gravel on has worn off and the fiberglass intermat is showing. The membrane is now susceptible to seepage. Areas can be coated with materials to seal the membrane. It is past the time for a complete recoat or replacement.

IMG_24731-117981_200x200Surface Damage/Deterioration

Deterioration from the UV rays of the sun can damage the membrane. Thermal shock – daily movement from hot and cold temperatures — causes the roof to bind against itself, which can cause damage. Sometimes a tree branch or people walking on the roof can cause damage. The membrane is open and can allow seepage if not repaired.

IMG_40281-188486_200x200Uplifting Fasteners

These are uplifting “high nails” that were not driven flush or are backing out. “High nails” will begin to protrude through the membrane, causing seepage and/or rust.

image_coming-26168_200x200Improper Number of Fasteners

Tar and gravel roofs are designed to be installed over an approved surface and fastened per specific guidelines. If the membranes are installed over a surface without the proper fastening, the manufacturer’s warranty is voided and the roof assembly is not to code. This also leaves the roof susceptible to roof blow-off in the event of strong winds.

jpg41-192996_200x200No Sealant Applied at Flashing

Flashings bridge the transition in the membrane. However, if they are not sealed, they can allow seepage. This roof repair can be done at a minimal expense.

IMG_40061-138309_200x200Roof Pulling away from Fascia, Vents, Chimney, Wall

Clean and seal.

jpg23-194825_200x200Gravel Stop Coming Off/Missing

Re-anchor and/or install new gravel stop as needed.

image_coming-26168_200x200Improper Transition

Aluminum structures and sun rooms are inexpensive and easy to install. They often add value to a building by providing additional useable space. They are often fastened directly to the fascia board of the main structure and are sealed with a simple bead of caulk. During light winds, the entire structure moves, causing the caulk bead to break open and allow seepage at the tie-in. If you re-caulk, it will break down and you will have to re-caulk again. A proper tie-in overlaps and integrates the two roofs. Install a proper tie-in.

IMG_40141-133631_200x200Loose Counter Flashing

Counterflashing goes between the wall and the roof to integrate them together. If it’s not sealed or comes loose, or is missing, it will cause seepage.

Counterflashing not sealed at chimney/coming off re-anchor and/or apply elastomerics.
Some counterflashing missing install missing counterflashing and apply. elastomerics.

jpg12-161736_200x200Parapet Wall No Cap/Metal

Sometimes cap metal is not installed on top of the parapet wall. This is a potential weak spot in the membrane and has to be maintained. The initial installation costs less with no cap metal. Install cap metal or apply a long term sealant.

image_coming-26168_200x200Separation at Flashing Overlap

Without proper overlap and sealant applied, the roof is open to seepage. The flashing may have to be replaced with new sealant if there is not enough overlap.

sm_plastic_boot_used-24340_200x200Plastic Roof Boots Used

In this case, the plastic gasket cracked open or became concave. The sun eventually damages the gasket that is mechanically fastened to the galvanized base, which can leave a large opening for water intrusion. Replace the flashing or reseal with rubberized asphalt.

jpg51-53016_200x200Broken Skylight

The amount of time it takes for the plastic dome to break down depends upon the quality of the plastic used to make the skylight. The dome can sometimes be replaced. It is easier just to replace the whole skylight. Some manufacturers give a lifetime warranty, even for plastic domes. Glass is heavier and more expensive than plastic. Glass has a higher R-value and lasts indefinitely.

jpg11-144622_200x200Vent Flashing Incorrect

The vent flashing was not installed correctly when the roof was installed or it was retrofitted after the roof was installed. The sealant used will not last the life of the roof and needs to be maintained to prevent seepage. The flashing can be installed correctly with a new cap sheet for a permanent repair that will last the life of the roof, or a more permanent sealant can be applied.

jpg37-149496_200x200Chimney Chase Leaks at Top

A chimney chase is usually a wood framed box. The pipe for the fireplace goes through the box and out the top. Typical roof chimney flashings are installed then siding covers the framing and overlaps the chimney flashing. Last a metal top is installed which allows the chimney flue to go through to the outside air. The metal top usually has a metal piece that prevents water from flowing down the opening in the metal top. The flue usually has a collar that overlaps the metal piece on the metal top. The flue usually has a metal top to prevent water from going down the inside of the flue. Any one of these items in this assembly can leak if not done correctly or if it has deteriorated. Invest all the potential issues and effect a repair.

IMG_4253-183011_200x200Plumber’s Flashing Incorrect

The plumber’s flashing was not installed correctly when the roof was installed, or it was retrofitted after the roof was installed. The sealant used will not last the life of the roof and needs to be maintained to prevent seepage. The flashing can be installed correctly with a new cap sheet for a permanent repair that will last the life of the roof, or more permanent sealant can be applied.

jpg14-77989_200x200Plastic Gutter

Plastic gutters do not come with a wing. The plastic gutter company makes a plastic diverter to divert the water into the gutter. If it is not installed, the edge of the roof deck will develop dry rot.

jpg52-188193_200x200Improper Overlap

When installing a roof system, it is important to always start at the lowest point and proceed upward toward the roof’s peak. This ensures that each layer of material overlaps the previous. The flashing is not overlapped properly, which can allow seepage. Reorient or replace the flashing.

IMG_26101-79067_200x200Gutter in Stucco

When the house was built, the sheet metal installer put the gutter too close to the stucco paper. When the stucco was applied, it went around the gutter, not behind it. Over time the gutter joint can deteriorate, allowing seepage in the wall. Remove the gutter, cut the end back, reinstall the gutter end, repair the wall with waterproofing materials, then reinstall the gutter.

IMG_40231-196755_200x200Tie-in not Sealed Properly

The intersection between your pitched roof and the flat roof is called the ‘tie-in’. This area is important because there are two different roofing materials that must be integrated correctly. The top roof must be removed to correct what is underneath, then reinstalled.

jpg52-188193_200x200Improper Sidelap

The sidelap was improperly installed. Manufacturers require sidelaps to be staggered to prevent a weak spot in the roof, allowing seepage. If they are not reinforced or redone, they are prone to allow seepage.

IMG_0018_2-182095_200x200Gaps Between Pipes and Pipe Jacks

Seal with Cal Pico tape and/or modified bitumen mastic as needed.

IMG_7920-187557_200x200Abandoned Plumber’s Flashing

Often during a remodel, when plumbing is moved, new flashings for pipes are installed and the old flashings are left open. Cover the hole in old flashings with sheet metal.

IMG_01011-69455_200x200Metal cap loose, not sealed, missing

Install/Reorient and/or apply elastomerics and reanchor.

IMG_766511-152411_200x200Debris on Roof

This can cause water to back up and allow seepage. It can also cause dry rot in the roof deck, which in turn leads to premature roof failure. Remove the debris.

IMG_766511-152411_200x200Tree / Bush on Roof

This can damage the roof, causing seepage. The solution is to trim the tree/bush away from the roof line.

image_coming-26168_200x200Vent Cap Rusted Out/Damaged/Missing

Over time, exhaust from appliances will corrode and deteriorate the vent; damage from termite fumigation people or wind can cause the top to blow off. Repair or replace as needed.

IMG_1831-139089_200x200Collar at Vent Not Sealed

Apply elastomerics.


These can indicate vapor or moisture is trapped in roof. This is typically caused from “vapor drive” – moisture from inside the structure gets trapped in the membrane. When the sun heats it up, it expands and creates a “blister,” separating the plies. If the blister is broken and open to the outside surface of the roof, it can allow seepage and should be repaired with proper techniques. The roof may need roof vents to eliminate moisture. If blisters are not broken and open to the outside surface, they should be evaluated to determine the best remedy.


Alligatoring and damage can allow seepage. Clean and apply a long term sealant that will outlast the roof.

IMG_49661-159446_200x200Gravel Missing

Missing gravel exposes the roof membrane to the UV rays of the sun. This can mean the roof is near the end of its useful life. The damaged areas can be coated to protect the membrane and reflect the heat.

IMG_17311-149056_200x200Ponding Water

When water sits on a roof for more than 48 hours without evaporating or running off naturally, it is called ponding. It is a code violation. Manufacturers exclude ponding areas. Ponding breaks down the asphalt by causing the oil in the asphalt to migrate. A leak in a ponding area can cause a lot of damage.

image_coming-26168_200x200Not enough Bleed out at Seams

This is an installation error – a lack of asphalt was applied. Clean and apply sealant that will last the life of the roof.

image_coming-26168_200x200Flashing Rusted

Steel metal flashings exposed to the elements can rust over time. This area should have been painted and maintained. Today’s flashings are made out of galvanized metal, a process that protects the steel core from rusting. Rust cannot simply be sealed over; it will continue to grow. The rust needs to be treated chemically, then sealed properly. Since the rust is open to the surface and flashings are vital to the integrity of your roof system, we recommend repairing the rusted flashing areas before seepage causes structural damage.

vent-cap-missing2Vent Cap Missing

jpg92-116855_200x200Gap In Electrical Conduit

Repair conduit and/or apply sealant.

IMG_738011-98637_200x200Duct Sealed Improperly

Reseal with proper materials

image_coming-26168_200x200Debris on Roof, at Drains, Scuppers

This can cause water to back up and enter through roof penetrations. If too much water collects on the roof, it can cause structure failure. Remove debris as needed to prevent water from backing up into structure. Install a roof screen to prevent water back-up.

jpg85-89888_200x200Skylight/Flashing/No Overlap

The flashing does not go up high enough for the skylight frame to overlap the flashing and the wood curb is exposed. This is open and will allow seepage. Remove the skylight and install a counterflashing on top of the curb that overlaps the flashing on the side.