Roofing Tar – A Guide to Know About its Secrets

Roofing Tar - A Guide To Know About Its Secrets

Roofing tar is a popular roofing material that has been used for centuries to protect buildings from water and weather damage.

It is an essential component in any roofing project. Whether you’re a professional roofer or a DIY enthusiast, understanding the basics of roofing tar is crucial.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about roofing tar, including its composition, types, application methods, pros and cons, and safety precautions.

At the end, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of roofing tar and its importance in maintaining a sturdy and durable roof.

What is Roofing Tar?

What is Roofing Tar

Roofing tar, also known as bitumen or asphalt roof, is a thick, black, and sticky viscous coal tar roofing material that is used to seal and protect roofs from various weather conditions.

It is commonly used in flat-top roof systems, where it acts as a waterproofing agent, preventing water from seeping into the underlying layers.

The main purpose of roofing tar is to provide a protective layer on the roof that prevents water from seeping into the building. It also helps to improve the overall durability and lifespan of the roof.

What Are The Types Of Roofing Tar?

There are two main types of roofing tar:

  • Hot-Applied Roofing Tar 

Hot-applied roofing tar comes in solid form and needs to be heated before application. This type of roofing tar is commonly used for larger commercial projects due to its higher melting point and ability to cover larger areas. 

It is also known for its long-lasting durability and resistance to extreme roofing tar temperatures.

  • Cold-Applied Roofing Tar 

On the other hand, cold-applied roofing tar is a liquid form that can be applied directly from the container without any heating. 

This type of roofing tar is often used for smaller residential projects and repairs due to its ease of use and versatility. However, it may not have the same level of durability as hot-applied tar.

How To Apply Tar On Your Roofs?

How To Apply Tar On Your Roofs

Before applying or installing a roof tar, you may be thinking When to tar your roofs? Make sure to apply it when you have at least 5 to 6 or one week of sunshine without rain or snow. 

If you are among this number, you should know how to apply the tar.

  • It is important to plan out the starting process. 
  • You should start at a corner – this will prevent you from roof tar painting yourself into a corner and having to tar over areas you have already worked on. You can use tar roofing sheets for it. 
  • Use a fiberglass mop to apply the tar, making sure to apply in small, smooth strokes. Remember to keep your bucket of tar close to you so that you do not lose your balance when reaching out.
  • Keep in mind that the tar should not be allowed to clump up or build up on your roof. 
  • If this happens, it can be a challenge to get an even coating across the roofing tar on shingles
  • Once you have finished applying the tar, carefully apply tar paper for roofing on top of the hot tar. 
  • Make sure to use your mop while doing so, as this will help you sink the paper into the asphalt. 
  • By overlapping tar paper layers, you can create a watertight roof tar sealant. For best results, make sure to apply at least three layers of the paper.

One tip to keep in mind is that you should always have a ladder positioned on the opposite end of your work area. 

This will make getting down from your roof while the tar is drying far easier. Also, for your safety, make sure to use roofing shoes and heat-resistant gloves so that the hot tar roofing does not hurt you.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Roofing Tar?

Here are some pros and cons of tar roofing.

Pros Of Roofing Tar

Cons Of Roofing Tar

Waterproof barrier

Needs surface prep and cleaning

Excellent adhesion

Strong odor during application

Easy to apply and work with

Cold-applied less durable than hot-applied

Versatile for many projects

Periodic maintenance needed

Withstands extreme temperatures

Sensitive to UV rays, may degrade without protection

What Is The Cost Of Roofing Tar?

What Is The Cost Of Roofing Tar

The hot tar roofing cost can vary depending on several factors such as the brand, quality, and quantity needed. On average, roofing tar can range from $20 to $100 per square foot. It’s important to consider that additional costs may be incurred for surface preparation, application tools, and labor if you choose to hire a professional.

Keep in mind that pricing may also vary based on your location and the availability of roofing tar in your area.


Roofing tar should only be applied to your roof if necessary. Before application, you must get your roof checked for structural damage.

After all, you don’t want to find yourself falling through a weak section in the roof while applying the tar.

The time of year in which the tar is applied must be chosen carefully as tar cannot be applied if you expect rain in the next couple of days.

Aside from that, the weather should be warm enough to allow the tar to properly dry and seal, but not so hot that it causes the tar to drip.

Due to all of these constraints, it is always best to hire professionals to assess your roof and apply roofing tar if necessary.

If you are looking for a professional to help you with your roofing needs, including a new roof, contact DKG Roofing as soon as possible.

You can reach us at (940) 497-2833. We’d love to help you in any way possible!

About DKG Roofing

With over two decades of serving homeowners in North Texas and Denton Roofing, DKG Roofing has established itself as a highly sought-after roof repair and replacement contractor.

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