How Long Can Tar Paper Be Exposed


Tar paper is a durable paper that has been impregnated with tar. It is used as roofing paper for buildings, which provides waterproofing protection from the elements. Other names, including asphaltum paper, can also know tar paper, coal tar felt paper, and bitumen-impregnated felt paper. However, most people refer to it simply as “tar” or “asphalt.” In this article, I will discuss how long can tar paper be exposed. So let us get into the main discussion.

How Long Can Tar Paper Be Exposed

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Uses of Can Tar Paper:

Tar paper is a type of paper that is water repellant. It is often used for roofing shingles or to protect areas from direct contact with water.

Covering an area with can tar paper is a simple process that could easily be done by someone with limited experience working with roofing materials and tools (however, an experienced contractor will know how to apply the material to get the best results). The fact that so many types of building supplies are available makes it easy for even the novice to give it a try, though its limited use in everyday life keeps the demand low.

Tar paper is powerful and durable because of the multiple layers used to create it? That makes it ideal for roofing shingles (where it must withstand very high winds) because of its wind resistance capabilities. As long as care is taken when putting up this type of sheeting, there should not be any issues with leaks in the future either.

However, can tar paper has one major drawback; no matter how much care is put into covering an area with the material, the tough exterior makes repairing tears difficult without replacing most or all of it due to the difficult nature of making such repairs.

A Detailed Discussion on How Long Can Tar Paper Be Exposed:

Tar paper is a ubiquitous product that can be found in most homes. It is typically used as the roof covering for most modern homes, but there are other uses for it. Because it is so widely used, many people do not realize how long tar paper can be exposed to the elements before needing replacement or repair.

Therefore, many factors must be considered when determining just how long tar paper will remain suitable for use in your home.

You first need to know that different types of tar paper have varying life expectancies before needing replacement. The average lifespan of an asphalt-based type of tar paper ranges from about three to eight years, though some state regulations may vary slightly based on climate or region.

Fibered glass roofing, a tar paper alternative gaining in popularity, typically lasts about thirty-five years under the same conditions. Metal or asphalt-saturated felt can usually last at least fifteen years before needing replacement.

The next thing you need to know about tar paper is that it can be exposed to moisture for some time before anything serious occurs. For example, a new roof will not show any significant sign of damage from moisture for approximately six months.

In fact, certain types of roofs may prove watertight during the first few rainfalls following installation if they are properly constructed and thoroughly coated with adhesive before being covered with a layer of tar paper. However, once the initial coating has worn off and/or if your roof does not have a high enough pitch to allow rainwater to escape as quickly as it falls, tar paper will begin to take on water and eventually rot.

The good thing about this is that the damage is usually only cosmetic until you notice it; then, you can replace the affected sheets of roof covering before any further damage becomes a problem. The bad news is that it may be difficult, if not impossible, to tell exactly where and how much damage has occurred until all the existing tar paper has been removed and discarded.

If there has been extensive damage to your roof or your home was built more than thirty years ago, we suggest taking advantage of our free inspection offer. Our technicians have the necessary equipment to detect areas of your roof that are showing signs of deterioration.

Reroofing almost always involves tearing off all existing tar paper layers, exposing any underlying felt or substrate materials to moisture contamination. For this reason, you should always consider replacing your tar paper as soon as you notice it is damaged or deteriorating, even if the problem area is relatively small. This will help prevent further damage from occurring and/or becoming more extensive than it already has.

Harmful Effects of Using Can Tar Paper:

Harmful Effects of Using Can Tar Paper

The harmful effects of using a can of tar paper are many. The first and most obvious is that the tar paper cannot be exposed to the elements for any length of time. As soon as the water gets on this type of roofing, it decomposes and peels off, leaving the plywood underneath exposed and unprotected from leaks or rot.

Also, because it heats up so much in the sun, you often see people putting plastic sheeting over it to try and keep it cool – but doing so only adds insult to injury by trapping moisture between them – which also leads to decay and failure. Even worse than all these shortcomings is that can tar paper was manufactured with chemicals such as coal tar, which was banned in 1977.

Even though they stopped producing this type of roofing with coal tar the year after, most people do not even know they have a can of tar paper on their roof until it has already done irreparable damage.

How to Protect Roof from Rain:

Roofing is the most vital part of any building because it keeps you safe from rain and snow. Homes with weak roofs are always at risk of collapse during earthquakes or storms. In addition, a poorly constructed roof means that your home will have a short lifespan. On the other hand, properly waterproofed homes can keep off moisture for many years while providing insulation to keep your rooms warm in winter.

1) Roofing Material Selection for Roof Protection:

Roofing material selection should be carefully made as it forms the basis of protection against various biotic & abiotic factors affecting your roof(s). There are many materials available in the market to choose from. One should select the material that best suits their roof, considering its properties, cost, applicability, availability, etc.

2) Proper Attachment of Roofing Material:

Proper Attachment of Roofing Material for Tar Paper

Another crucial step in protecting roofs is to attach or fix the selected roof covering material correctly. This also includes proper fixing of sheet edges & intersections to prevent water infiltration/seepage through joints in different roof parts. Usually, galvanized nails are used to fix various sheet materials, which vary according to material selection and local climatic factors controlling the choice & placement of fasteners (i.e., nails/screws).

3) Construction Practices:

As with all construction works, following good construction practices is essential for getting desired results in protecting the roof. For example, when they are properly anchored, sheets will withstand high wind speeds without flapping or lifting. This results in the prevention of leaks.

4) Maintenance:

Once the roof is properly protected, it must be maintained regularly to detect and repair any problems before they escalate into big issues.

5) Some good practices during the construction & maintenance of roofs are as follows:

(I ) It is important not to overload the roof with too much weight, which may cause structural damage, leading to serious problems later on. Hence, one should use proper design loads for their roofs depending on key factors like ground snow load, roof live load, etc.

(ii) Having clean gutters will help prevent ice dams from occurring by allowing free flow of rainwater down the sides of your house, thus preventing water seepage through shingles or roof sheets.

(ii) If necessary, one should check their roof gutters regularly and clean them. If you find sections of the gutter that are not draining well, it is time to replace those sections with new ones.

(iii) Prevention is the best way to protect your home, including preventing water damage through roofs as one can save insulating material and wall cladding from rot or embedded dirt.

(iv) During the construction process, ensure that rooftop insulation is properly installed between joists & rafters, followed by proper trimming at all joints (including trusses). Trim edges flush after installation for a neat appearance.

(v) Correct placement of nails is critical during the fastening of roofing sheets. Drive one nail at right angles to the sheet at each connection to penetrate through both layers of the connected material.

(vi) When building decks or porches around homes, make sure you use pressure-treated wood so that these do not rot quickly due to water damages.

(vii) One should also be careful when working on roofs. For example, try not to walk over areas with nails sticking up because they may cause your feet to get pierced by them, resulting in injury. Therefore, always try and wear proper footwear while climbing onto the roof.


I hope this article has answered all the questions regarding how long tar paper can be exposed. Thank you, and have a nice day!

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth is a creative writer and digital editor based in the United States. She has a passion for the arts and crafts, which she developed from a young age. Elizabeth has always loved experimenting with new mediums and sharing her work with others. When she started blogging, she knew that DIYquickly would be the perfect platform to share her tutorials and tips. She's been writing for the blog from the beginning, and her readers love her helpful advice and easy-to-follow instructions. When she's not writing or editing, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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