Can you put roofing tar over shingles?

Does anyone know if you can cover roof shingles with tar? I have several small leaks in the roof over my porch and I cant find exactly where they are and I want to just put a layer of tar over the entire roof. Is this a good idea to do? The roof is about 5′ x 15′. I dont want to have to replace all the shingles if I dont have to.

9 Responses to “Can you put roofing tar over shingles?”

  • puckheaded:

    I know you can muck it. It may not look good, but it’ll fix the leaks. The roof will eventually need replacing.

  • Gregory C:

    You can spend a ton of time and money (lots of tar) trying to seal a leak you can’t find. if you only have one layer of shingles, it really only takes a minute (figuratively speaking) to cover that small of a roof; 2-3 bundles of shingles (75 square feet in your roof, 3 bundles to a square); even with a tearoff it won’t take long. Just man up and do it. Been where you are… had no luck even after half a dozen attempts. 35-60 bucks and you won’t have to worry; might be ok if you cover whole roof with tar but probably end up spending more and it may look shoddy

  • navi:

    I have always understood that the shingles are scattered on the roof after the pitch/tar has been laid. The purpose of the shingles is to stop the suns heat from melting the pitch/tar. Roofing felt is cheap and so is the bonding agents, I suggest your best course is to overlay the existing felt and make a sound job of it. In the end patching it up is effort wasted.

  • Handy but Perplexed:

    No, at least you shouldn’t. Roof cement or ‘tar’ only lasts about 2yrs before it cracks, develops fissures and allow water back in. A 5′x 15′ roof is is very small and the shingle color may still be available. Your shingles have UV protection, Tar does not. Your suggestion would be similar to buying a new car but removing the wheels and putting on all ‘doughnut’ spare wheels. Spare wheels are for short term emergencies not for prolonged or continuous use.

  • uclueletbc:

    u know how bad that would look…how would u cover an area that big with with a can of tar? tar is only a temporary thing…a roof that big is not that big to to lay down new shingles…..u can even go over the old ones….is the ridge cap still there? any shingles missing or part of a shingle…u may not have to replace the whole roof

  • Carl:

    You can. But I wouldn’t do it. I would only do it in a few spots where you think the leak is. It will not last long too as it tends to crack in the summer.
    The reason you don’t want to go crazy with the tar is: When you go to take the shingles off it makes it very hard. The tar is like trying to remove concrete. It makes an easy job very hard.
    If the shingles are not buckling you can put on a second layer on top. You can’t put 3 layers on because it gets to heavy.

  • Joe S:

    The cheapest way our is to buy a roll of roll roofing. Hot tar or roofing cement will make the roof look bad. Good luck and God Bless.

  • geoff:

    It won’t help, don’t bother.
    every time it rains, I get calls from the little old lady who asked me to fix her roof cheap. I told her it wouldn’t work. She said, just try. I did, and now, whenever it rains, she calls me and tell me it leaks.

  • Irv S:

    Not the best plan.
    If you are successful you seal moisture in under
    the tar and will be looking at rot in a few years.

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