Are you searching for a durable roofing solution that can withstand harsh weather conditions? Look no further than gravel roofs! A gravel roof, also known as a built-up roof, is made up of layers of tar and gravel. In this blog post, we will cover everything you need to know about gravel roofing, including its pros and cons, how it compares to tar roofing, and the cost of installation. We will also provide tips on maintaining your gravel roof, including cleaning and repair options. Lastly, we will highlight some alternative roofing solutions for homeowners who are looking for something different. Read on to learn more about the benefits of installing a gravel roof on your home or commercial property.

What is a Gravel Roof?

A gravel roof is a flat roofing system made up of felt, asphalt, and layers of rock or gravel. It’s known for its durability and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. However, regular maintenance is crucial to prevent damage to the underlying membrane.

Pros of Installing Gravel Roofs

Installing a gravel roof is an excellent option for homeowners due to its many benefits. Gravel roofs offer superior protection against harsh elements such as UV rays, extreme heat,and hail while providing better insulation than other roofing materials like asphalt or fiberglass. Additionally, gravel roofs are durable and have longer lifespans than other types of roofing systems like built-up or single-ply roofs. Commercial building owners prefer gravel roofs because they provide excellent fire retardation properties that protect people and property from potential danger.Therefore it’s not surprising that

roofing contractors recommend installing a gravel roof. While there are some disadvantages to installing a gravel roof like the difficulty in repairing them when necessary or regular maintenance requirements to avoid membrane leaks overall It is still a popular choice among homeowners.

Cons of Installing Gravel Roofs

Gravel roofs are a popular choice due to their durability and long lifespan. However, their weight requires proper installation and may cause issues with gutters and roofing membranes if not maintained regularly. While the layer of gravel protects against UV rays and weathering, it can also lead to significant damage if not managed appropriately. It’s essential to ensure proper insulation to prevent energy loss since gravel roofs aren’t as energy-efficient as other flat roofing systems. Foot traffic can also lead to leaks in the underlying membrane, necessitating costly repairs.

Gravel Roofing vs. Tar Roofing

Gravel roofing and tar roofing vary significantly based on materials used. Gravel roofing is known for its durability while tar roofing is popular because of its excellent fire retardant properties. A gravel roof has multiple layers including insulation and a waterproof membrane which protects against UV rays and weather damage. On the contrary, tar roofing typically makes use of hot-applied asphalt or bitumen roofs layered onto fiberglass or felt paper then topped with gravel for added weight. The lifespan of your roof depends on regular maintenance such as checking for leaks or cracks, removing debris from the surface, and ensuring proper drainage.

Cost of Installing a Gravel Roof

To install a durable roofing system like a gravel roof for your flat or low-slope roofing structure without facing significant damage from UV rays and weathering, you should obtain multiple quotes from reputable roofing contractors to ensure that you get an excellent fire-retardant top layer of gravel at a fair price. The installation cost of a new roof relies on several factors like size, slope, accessibility, location, and type/quality of asphalt or tar roofing material used along with proper insulation and membrane to avoid leakage. To increase the lifespan of your roof and avoid any future costly repairs or gutter problems due to hail or foot traffic on your flat roof surface, consider performing regular maintenance tasks such as cleaning debris off the layers of asphalt and checking for any cracks or leaks.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Gravel Roofs

Multiple variables can affect the cost of installing a gravel roof. The size of your roof and the specific roofing materials utilized will play a crucial role in determining the overall price. It’s important to note that the slope and complexity of your roof will also impact installation costs significantly. Additionally, expect to incur additional expenses related to labor, permits, or equipment rental fees when planning for your new gravel roofing system. To guarantee that you receive an honest quote from a reliable roofing contractor without breaking the bank on this popular choice for commercial buildings or homeowners alike.

Financing Options for Gravel Roof Installation

Financing options for gravel roofing systems installation include home improvement loans or equity lines of credit to make it more affordable. Remember the long-term savings due to improved energy efficiency and lower maintenance costs. To ensure you receive a fair price from reputable contractors during installation; obtain quotes from multiple local roofing experts. Keep in mind that the total cost of installation includes labor and additional expenses like permits and equipment rental fees. Plan ahead before choosing financing options to avoid significant damage due to leaks or other roof surface issues.

Maintaining a Gravel Roof

Regular maintenance is crucial in extending the lifespan of your roof and providing excellent fire retardant and energy efficiency. Inspect your roofing system frequently for leaks or significant damage caused by hail or foot traffic. A top layer of gravel protects the underlying layers of asphalt from UV rays and extreme heat. Ensure that gutters and scuppers are clear to avoid water pooling on the roof surface. For flat roofing options like bur or single-ply membranes such as TPO or PVC with a layer of gravel on top are popular choices among homeowners and commercial building owners alike. Contact your local roofing expert for a free estimate.

Cleaning and Repairing a Gravel Roof

Regular cleaning and maintaining gravel roofs is necessary for their longevity and strength. Pressure washers can be used to clean these roofs but must be handled with care to prevent severe damage to the roofing material. Small cracks on the surface can be fixed with patching compounds while larger ones may require replacing damaged sections of the roof. Therefore regular inspection is mandatory to ensure that there is no significant damage or wear and tear on your roofing system.

Alternatives to Gravel Roofs for Homeowners

Homeowners looking for alternatives to gravel roofs have several options available. One of the most popular choices is asphalt shingles which come in various colors and styles. Metal roofs offer durability and excellent energy efficiency, making them a long-term investment. For those seeking a unique option, tile roofs provide an attractive alternative to traditional roofing materials. Additionally, green roofs are eco-friendly choices that can assist with insulation and reducing stormwater runoff.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can a gravel roof last with proper care and maintenance?

With proper care and maintenance, a gravel roof can last for 20-30 years. Regular inspections, debris clearance, drainage maintenance, and prompt damage repairs are essential to extend its lifespan. Consulting a professional roofing contractor can help you maintain your specific type of gravel roof.

Are there any potential downsides to having a gravel roof?

While gravel roofs offer some advantages like durability and fire-resistance, they can also pose downsides. The weight of the gravel may require extra structural support, and shifting or eroding gravel can cause damage. Maintenance and repairs can also be costly, and high winds or severe weather can make them unsuitable for certain areas.

What type of maintenance is required for a gravel roof?

Maintaining a gravel roof requires regular inspections to spot any issues, removal of debris and vegetation to prevent damage, swift repairs of any cracks or leaks to avoid further harm, and the occasional reapplication of gravel to maintain an even surface and protect the underlying material.


Gravel roofs are an excellent option for homeowners looking for a durable and long-lasting roofing system. They offer numerous benefits such as durability, resistance to weather changes, and fire resistance. However, they also have some disadvantages like the risk of leaks and punctures. It’s important to consider all aspects of installing a gravel roof before making the final decision. If you’re interested in installing a gravel roof or exploring other roofing options, get in touch with our experts who can guide you through the process and help you make an informed decision.

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