Built-Up Roofing
(Tar and Gravel) in Salt Lake City

Built-up roofing systems have a long record of strength and durability in Utah. A built-up roof consists of multiple plies of roofing felts adhered together with hot asphalt. Gravel is often embedded in hot asphalt as a surface coating to protect the finished roof system. Many of the problems needing a built-up roof repair or replacement occur because of improper installation, something you won’t experience when you choose American Roofing Company, your go-to local roofing contractor.

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American Roofing has been Salt Lake City’s go-to built-up roofing contractor since 1954; many of those roofs have performed well for 25 years or longer. Our experienced built up roofing contractors can advise you if this type of roofing is a good option for your home or commercial building.

What Is Built-Up Roofing?

Built-up roofing is a durable flat roof system. These types of roofs are water-resistant and designed to last. With adequate drainage, a properly installed 4-ply or 3-ply built-up roof system has a life expectancy of 20 plus years. Here at American Roofing Company, you can expect years of quality whether you are planning on installing built up roofing or need repairs.

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If you are considering repairing or installing a built-up roof on your home or commercial building, we would be happy to provide you with additional information and a free estimate.


Depending on how well the roof was installed, you could potentially enjoy your built-up flat roof for more than 20 years.

When comparing a built-up roof vs. modified bitumen, it’s important to note that both are flat roof systems. Both are durable and designed to last. The main difference between them is what is used in the layers that make up the roof. A built-up roof has a base sheet, interplay sheets, and a cap sheet or other top surface layer made with a liquid coat or gravel.

A modified bitumen roof has layers made up of asphalt and plastic or rubber polymers. Modified bitumen roofs combine traditional roofing installation techniques and technology-based advantages. Both roofs are sound options for any home or business owner considering a flat roofing system.

A built-up roofing system is a common type of material used on low-slope roofs. It is made up of alternating layers of reinforcing fabric and asphalt (also known as bitumen). It is finished with a top layer known as aggregate—usually made of stone or gravel.

Also known as a multi-ply roof or built-up roof, a 4-ply roof is a common type of industrial roofing made from layers of roofing felt. These felts are composed of four plies, which include layers of fiberglass or polyester.

4-ply roofs are popular in commercial roofing because they’re long-lasting, waterproof, low-maintenance, and reflective.

Ballasted roofs are another popular commercial roofing option often used for warehouses or retail stores. These roofs are made of a loose membrane that is secured using pavers or stones. It’s ballasted, typically with gravel, to keep the rest of the roof protected from extreme weather and increase the longevity of the roofing system.

In many cases, it is possible to patch a roof rather than replace the entire roofing system. However, when the damage is severe or the roof is past its life expectancy, it’s better to replace the roof rather than patch a small area.

Roof patching should be reserved for minor damage, such as when the roof is punctured or missing a shingle. In this case, patching the roof will save you money, alleviate the problem, and prevent further damage from occurring.