Hot Tar Roofing – Everything You Need to Know

Hot tar or hot mop roofing used a torch down method

Looking for a durable, high-quality, and cost-effective roof? Knowing how hot tar is applied to built-up roofing systems gives you insight into the strength and longevity these roofing systems offer.

Hot tar or hot mop roofing with molten tar as an adhesive for roofing material

New Image Roofing Atlanta gathered information defining hot tar roofing, its benefits, and why finding a certified hot tar installer is crucial.

What Is Hot Tar Roofing

Used primarily in built-up roofing (BUR) systems and modified bitumen roofing, hot tar plays a vital role in protecting commercial, industrial, and residential buildings from the elements and extending the lifespan of roofing structures. However, applying hot tar requires specialized skills and knowledge, making it essential for roofers to be certified and insured specifically for working with this material.

Hot tar or hot mop roofing uses a torch to maintain elevated tar tempuratures

Hot tar roofing (molten asphalt or bitumen application) creates a waterproof membrane on a low-slope roof surface. The process begins by heating the asphalt to a liquid state, which is then applied to the roof substrate using mopping, spraying, or pouring methods. Multiple asphalt-saturated felt (or fiberglass) reinforcement layers are alternated with hot tar to build a durable roofing system.

Hot Tar Roofing Systems Benefits

Hot tar roofing systems offer several advantages that make them popular for commercial and industrial applications. Consider the following aspects:

Durability – Hot tar roofing provides excellent resistance to water infiltration, UV radiation, and thermal expansion and contraction, making it highly durable and long-lasting.

Versatility – Hot tar can adhere to various roofing substrates, including concrete, metal, wood, and insulation boards, making it suitable for multiple roofing configurations and designs.

Cost-Effectiveness – Compared to other roofing materials, hot tar roofing systems are relatively affordable to install and maintain, offering excellent value for property owners over the long term.

Seamless Application – Hot tar’s liquid nature allows for seamless application and tight integration with roofing components, minimizing leak and water damage risks.

Certification and Insurance

While hot tar roofing systems offer numerous benefits, their installation requires specialized skills, equipment, and safety precautions. Roofers must be certified and insured (specifically for working with hot tar). Here’s why:

Hot tar or hot mop roofing includes the application of molten tar to roofing materials

Technical Expertise – Installing and repairing hot tar roofing systems requires a thorough understanding of roofing principles, materials, and techniques. Certified roofers undergo extensive training and certification programs to develop the necessary skills and knowledge for working with hot tar safely and effectively.

Safety Compliance – Working with hot tar poses significant safety risks, including burns, fires, and fume inhalation. Certified roofers receive training in safety protocols, hazard awareness, and emergency procedures to mitigate these risks and ensure a safe working environment for themselves and others on the job site.

Note: Hydrogen sulfide can be produced from hot roof tar. However, the levels produced are not high enough to affect building occupants. Only levels inside an enclosed asphalt kettle may be high enough to pose severe health risks.

Quality AssuranceHiring a certified and insured roofer for hot tar installation or repairs provides quality work and adherence to industry standards and best practice assurances. Certified roofers are held to high professional standards and committed to delivering superior results that meet or exceed client expectations.

Liability Protection – Roofing contractors who are certified and insured carry liability insurance coverage to protect against unforeseen accidents, property damage, and personal injury claims. This safeguards property owners from financial liability if accidents or mishaps occur during the roofing process.

Manufacturer Warranty Compliance – Many roofing material manufacturers require installation by certified contractors to validate product warranties. Hiring certified roofers ensures that your hot tar roofing system is installed according to manufacturer specifications, preserving warranty coverage and protecting your investment over time.

Finding a Certified and Insured Roofer

When selecting a roofing contractor for hot tar installation or repairs, it is essential to research and vet potential candidates carefully. Here are some tips for finding a certified and insured roofer:

Check Credentials – Verify the roofing contractor is certified by reputable industry organizations, like the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) or the Roofing Contractors Association of America (RCAA).

Review Insurance Coverage – Ensure that the roofing contractor carries liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage to protect against property damage and injuries on the job site.

Tip: Reputable roofing contractors will provide a COI (certificate of Insurance) for your roofing project upon request.

Request References – Ask for references from past clients and review online reviews and testimonials to gauge the roofer’s reputation and track record of quality work.

Get Written Estimates – Obtain detailed written estimates from multiple roofing contractors, including the scope of work, materials, timeline, and concise pricing breakdown. Compare proposals carefully before making an informed decision.

Ask About Warranty – Inquire about materials and installation warranty coverage, and ensure the roofing contractor stands behind their work with a written warranty or guarantee.

Hot tar or hot mop roofing uses heated tar to adhere roof materials

Hot Tar Roofing Systems

In this article, you discovered defining information about hot tar roofing, its benefits, and how to vet certified and insured roofers.

Hiring a certified and insured roofer (specifically trained in working with hot tar) is essential to ensure the roofing system’s safety, quality, and longevity.

Failure to understand hot tar roofing applications and properly vet roofing contractors may leave you with a poorly installed roof with a significantly reduced lifespan.


  New Image Roofing Atlanta

    2020 Howell Mill Rd NW Suite 232
    Atlanta, GA 30318
    (404) 680-0041