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TAR AND GRAVEL ROOF PROJECTS


Waterproof Sealants and Coatings
For Tar & Gravel Roof Structures



How To Waterproof, Coat and Seal Tar and Gravel Roofs

Built-up roofs or BURs (also called a tar and gravel roof) is a well-established and popular style of flat roof that is made up of alternating layers of roofing felt or fiberglass and asphalt that is applied with heat, which combines to make a long-lasting sturdy roofing system. This multi-layer system uses various forms of tar and gravel to create interlocking waterproofing layers on flat roof systems. Typically, these roofs are in extreme climates with large amounts of rain fall and wet weather storms. These roof systems, although lasting, have often presented a negative impact on the environment, but with Ames Waterproofing coatings you can help reduce the impact of toxic, green-house gasses that are expelled from this type of roof system.


Tar Roof Top
Temp Difference
Elasto Barrier and Maximum Stretch on Tar roof

Products in this Project

Blue Max® Liquid Rubber Waterproofer is a water-based, strong and highly adhesive elastomeric coating & sealant with 1200% elongation that moves with the surface to resist cracking & peeling. Blue Max® is ideal for waterproofing above & below grade foundations, basements, roofs, floors & more.

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Maximum-Stretch® is a white, elastomeric, acrylic, rubberized roof coating & sealant with 650% elongation to resist cracking & peeling. With 88% light reflectivity, the bright white finish reduces surface temperatures resulting in lowered cooling costs.

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Ames® Peel & Stick™ Seam Tape is a contouring, high strength, self-adhesive, seam tape for the reinforcement and prevention of water infiltration over seams, cracks, roof vents, flashings and more. Must be top-coated for UV exposures.

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Ames® Contouring Roof Fabric™ is strong, conforming and reinforcing to help seal and protect roofs & other surfaces from the elements. It provides additional tensile strength and elongation to help resist tears and punctures as part of the Ames® Roof Coating System Membrane.

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PRE APPLICATION DETAIL WORK

A detailed inspection of the application area must be performed before beginning any work in the installation process. This can be done independently or with your contractor. This is to ensure that your project conditions match with the Ames installations guidelines.


Good Better Best Roof System

A waterproofing guideline system designed to give you the best for what you actually need. Each application guide will have a level of application needed for the system and conditions you are applying it to. For all DIY'ers we recommend the "Better" system.
Click on each box to find out more...

GOOD

Great for mild climates and areas that will most likely not see large swings in weather. This includes places that have mild to moderate rain a few times a year and are not overly humid or hot. Also serves as great protection when hurricanes and snow blizzards are not expected.

BETTER

For climates that experience all four seasons and need to be well protected all year round. We recommend this system for our DIY and professional contractors. This system makes sure you and your clients are well protected when the weather can fluctuate dramatically.

BEST

A system designed for our facility management buildings and large warehouses/schools. This system is designed to stand the test of time while being moderately monitored and maintained which saves on costs and staff overhead.



APPLICATION GUIDELINES

Surface Preparation

Initial Cleaning

    • Proper initial cleaning of your substrate includes removing dirt, contaminants, and debris from existing surfaces. All loose contaminants that could prohibit proper adhesion of the Ames Liquid Membrane to the substrate can normally be removed with a stiff bristle broom, vacuuming, or other means unless the buildup is severe then a pressure washer may be required.

Inspection of Substrates

    • Inspect substrate for suitability to proceed with Ames Liquid Membrane.
    • If there are substrate issues bring these issues to the project supervisor, architect, customer, or Ames Research Laboratories Tech Services attention for recommendations.

Substrate Conditions - are specific to the type of surfaces you are working on. Incorrect conditions can cause installation deficiencies that could affect the performance of your waterproofing installation.

Inspect Substrates for:

    • Protruding or missing fasteners
    • Loose or broken backer board
    • Excessive gaps between backer board panels
    • Excessive gaps at intersections of backer board to other adjacent items
    • Excessive gaps at cutouts for water pipes, shower heads
    • Rough sharp ridges in mortar sloping material
    • Dried crumbs of mortar slag on the surface of the shower base.
    • Mortar blocking mounting holes between Drain Base and Clamping Ring
    • Presence of mold or mildew on walls or sheathing due to extended exposure to the elements or other pre-existing conditions.
    • Wood Moisture content – at or below 20% as tested at core of substrate. This will typically be a consideration when the floor sheathing has been properly pre-sloped and is the intended substrate for the Ames Waterproofing membrane.
    • For remodeling projects, a guideline for all types of existing substrates being protected with Ames Liquid Membrane Waterproofing is that aged materials need to be inspected for any possible need to repair or replace before proceeding with new applications. Structural and Environmental integrity is important in the underlying material as it will become a base for the new Ames Waterproofing System. An example of when aged and otherwise deteriorated substrates may be encountered could be when an aged existing shower or tub is being removed and a tile system is being installed.
General Guidelines
    • Ames Research Laboratories, Inc. recommends that these application suggestions be used as a guideline for applying Ames’ products. Please remember these are only suggestions.
    • Product durability depends upon surface preparation and sufficient material usage for thickness.
    • Read all instructions on the label before beginning.
    • Always run a test patch first in an inconspicuous area to ensure that proper adhesion and drying occurs with your product and that the product works to your satisfaction before proceeding. Do not proceed unless you are satisfied.
    • For product information or technical assistance, call 1-888-345-0809 or contact us via email.
Weather & Drying Guidelines
    • For exterior application, our products are best applied between 50 to 90°F (10 to 32°C) on warm dry surfaces. Be sure humidity is less than 50% and dew point and temperature have a good spread.
    • When top coating, keep in mind that white or light colored coatings will reflect nearly all solar rays and dry at a much slower rate than dark colored coatings. If you live in the northern hemisphere the best time to apply white products is the summer months when there is plenty of sunlight. In contrast, darker coatings absorb more sunlight and dry more quickly.
Application Techniques

Spray Application

  • When spraying, airless equipment sizing should be a flow rate of 1.0 to 3 GPM, 2500 to 3000psi, heavy duty reversal-clean tip (without diffuser pin) sizes 629 (12” fan .029 orifice size) to 633 (12” fan -033 orifice size). For long hose runs hose size 5/8” reduced to ½” before connection to gun swivel.
  • Alternately, you can size your hose for shorter runs at ½” and a whip line of 3/8” or ¼” at the gun for improved gun control.
  • Consult Ames Tech Services for assistance in determining if your specific airless sprayer is suitable for the project.
  • If the airless sprayer has a machine filter in addition to the intake rock screen, we recommend either a 40 mesh filter or temporarily removing the machine filter cartridge altogether
  • Airless equipment should be cleaned after use without delay

Squeegee and/or Roller Application

  • Pour out a ribbon of material in a line across the surface of the roof.
  • Squeegee or roller spread the material out to the recommended wet mil application rate.
  • Pour out successive ribbons of material adjacent to the first area applied and follow the same procedure to the recommended wet mil application rate.
  • Back roll through the squeegeed material to even up the coating thickness as you move across the roof applying coatings.
  • 24” to 36” roof squeegees with broom style handles are recommended.
  • 18” by 1” to 1 & 1/2” nap rollers/frames are recommended.
  • 9” roller covers can be used for small jobs and embedding fabric.
  • 4” mini roller frames and covers work great for embedding flashing around small detail areas.
  • If roller covers dry in the sun replace them promptly with useable roller covers.
  • Clean squeegees as needed to avoid excessive material buildup.
  • Rollers can be rolled up into plastic sheeting to keep the roller covers moist and to extend the useful life of the roller covers.
Tools

APPLICATION PROCESS

After inspection, repair, and the pre-filling of joints, corners and cracks, you can begin the application of Ames Liquid Membrane Products. Not all applications and substructures will be the same, review our guides for the best system that suites your needs and the environment.


Blue Max and Elasto-Barrier can be interchanged, in this system. Where it says Elasto-Barrier, use Blue Max Regular grade if that is the product you have purchased.

Application Process Blue Max & Maximum Stretch Best System

This Application process is for the "BEST" Application System, please download the other applications directions above if your roof project requires.

Step One Surface Preparation
  • Power wash the surface area of the roof to remove most of the loose material. Use caution so you don't damage any interior areas of the building due to roof leakage.
    • You may need to roughen the surface.
  • Fill any large cracks and crevices with Blue Max Trowel Grade and seam tape.
  • Do not use any soaps or detergents.
Step Two 1st Base Coat of Blue Max (optional)
    • Blue Max can be applied with a roller or spray application. 
    • Mask and protect adjacent surfaces not intended to be coated.
    • Do not block vents
    • When applying Blue Max apply 1st coat at a rate of 75 sq. ft./gal (22 mils wet) and allow to cure a minimum of 8 hours - 24 hours in cooler climates or when humidity is high. 
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Step Three Detail Work

 

    • Application detail work can begin after roof repairs. Apply bonding coat of Blue Max when roof is rusty or excessively chalky.
    • Irregular, sunken, and rough transitions exist between mechanical supports, around roof jacks, and at vent penetrations. These irregular areas can be pre-leveled or pre-smoothed out by applying Blue Max Trowel Grade Roof Transition material with a trowel, bondo squeegee, or chip brush. If applying multiple layers of trowel grade, apply in maximum lifts of ¼ inch. Material can be bulked up with the addition of rubber granules. The smoother transitions created by using Blue Max Trowel will make the flashing work apply more evenly and will trap less water.
      • Blue Max Trowel needs to cure 24 hours before continuing with further flashing detail work.
    • Loose fasteners need to be tightened down and replaced if stripped out. If fasteners spin when attempting to tighten, this indicates the fasteners are stripped. Removing and replacing with screws one size larger will result in tightly adhering screws in most cases. Missing fasteners also need to be replaced. The fastener tightening and replacement should take place before reinforcing any of the overlapping panel joints on the roof as the process of tightening the screws will frequently pull down tightly the panel edges and slightly reposition the panels in the process.
    • Fasteners should all be spot coated with Blue Max after tightening. Old holes where fasteners were moved over to obtain should be filled with Blue Max Trowel Grade sealant or covered with embedded fabric. 
    • On all roof types, overlapped seams between roof sheeting, flashing details, mechanical equipment curbs, pitch pockets, cable mounts and drain transitions need to be counter flashed with polyester fabric and installed into a wet bed of Blue Max.
    • To achieve this, apply Blue Max at a wet mil rate of 15 mils wet in a path at least 1” wider than the fabric being used. Follow by laying the fabric being used into the wet base material. This is achieved by unrolling the fabric into the wet base material. Smooth out any wrinkles or air pockets with a mini roller or a chip brush sufficient to fully saturate the fabric into the wet underlying material. If necessary due to windy or hot sunny conditions, apply up to an additional 7 mils wet of Blue Max material over the embedded fabric. This is so the fabric is fully saturated with wet material without air pockets or dry edges.
    • Do not forget to use your mil comb to check coating application rate. 
    • Before applying the first coat of Maximum Stretch allow embedded flashing details to dry 8 hours minimum and 24 hours in cooler climates or when humidity is high.
    • Alternately, you can use Ames Self Adhesive Seam Tape to pre-flash seams and details. Care must be taken to seal the fabric face of the seam tape if it is over-lapping onto another piece of seam tape. Allow this area to cure before placing the next piece of overlapping material. Once the self-adhesive seam tape has been installed, it needs to have the fabric face of the self-adhesive tape fully coated with Blue Max
    • If other details not mentioned here exist on your project, contact our Technical Services Dept. for our recommendations in proceeding. 
Step Four Reinforcing Details for BUR Roofs at
    • Lap Seams
    • Changes in Slope
    • Counter flashing
    • Penetration flashings
    • Roof Drains & Scuppers
    • Edge Flashings
    • Rooftop Mounted Equipment
    • Note: existing roof may also have ballast in the form of gravel. (In the event of encountering ballast on a built-up or membrane roof the ballast would need to be removed prior to cleaning the roof.) In the event ballast removal is a part of the project, we recommend the following: remove remaining ballast as much as possible by using roofers’ spudders, or with oscillating surfacers with expanded metal base plates.
      • The embedded gravel will remove more easily when the work is performed while the roof is cool before the asphalt softens in the sun.
      • Any remaining areas with embedded gravel remaining may require an additional base coat of Blue Max be applied to further level out the surface. Consult Ames Tech Services when these conditions exist.
Step Five Reinforced Membrane w/Blue Max (Best System)
    • Skip If not needing the "Best" Application Process
    • Blue Max can be applied with roller, squeegee or spray application.
    • Before starting installation of the reinforcing membrane layer of the Ames Roof System, determine how your pattern of installation will take place. The fabric membrane should be installed from the lowest points of the roof moving in embedded fabric strips up the roof perpendicular to the rise in the roof. Succeeding strips of fabric will overlap over the previously installed strips you have installed lower on the roof. In the case of an exceptionally low slope roof, pre-install a section of fabric around each drain or scupper then install fabric away from the drains in a uniform pattern across the roof.
    • When using Blue Max, apply a reinforcing base coat at a rate of approx. 105 sq. ft./gal (15 mils wet) then unroll and lay-in the 36” to 42” fabric being used into the wet base material. Smooth out any wrinkles or air pockets with a mini roller or a chip brush sufficient enough to fully saturate the fabric into the wet underlying material. If necessary due to windy or hot sunny conditions, apply up to an additional 7 mils wet of Blue Max material over the embedded fabric so the fabric is fully saturated without air pockets or dry edges.
    • Don’t forget to use your mil comb to check coating application rate.
    • Apply succeeding runs of fabric across the roof overlap 3” to 4” over the previous run of fabric.
    • Allow embedded flashing to dry 24 hours before applying the 3rd body coat of Blue Max. In hot weather conditions this curing time can be reduced.
Step Six Intermediate Coat of Blue Max
    • Blue Max can be applied with a roller, squeegee or spray application.
    • When applying Blue Max intermediate coat, apply at a rate of 75 sq. ft./gal (22 mils wet) and allow to cure a minimum of 8 hours.
    • Note: If the substrate is rough or irregular, an additional coat of Blue Max at the same 75 sq. ft./gal. may be required. Don’t forget to use your mil comb to check coating application rate.
    • Allow intermediate coat to dry 24 hours before applying the first finish coat of Ames Maximum Stretch.
    • Inventory the remaining materials of Blue Max to determine if excessive materials remain. If excessive materials remain this indicates insufficient wet milage of the product being applied. Continue to apply the balance of the materials to the roof surface until the materials are depleted and the materials calculated for the roof project are all applied.
    • In hot weather conditions this curing time can be reduced.
Step Seven 1st Finish Coat Maximum Stretch
    • Maximum Stretch can be applied with a roller, squeegee, or spray application.
    • Apply Maximum Stretch at a rate of 50 sq. ft./gal (30 mils wet)
    • Don’t forget to use your mil comb to check coating application rate.
    • Allow to cure a minimum of 8 hours, 24 hours in cooler climates or when humidity is high.
Step Seven 2nd Finish Coat Maximum Stretch
    • Maximum Stretch can be applied with a roller, squeegee, or spray application.
    • Apply Maximum Stretch at a rate of 50 sq. ft./gal (30 mils wet)
    • Don’t forget to use your mil comb to check coating application rate.
    • Allow to cure a minimum of 8 hours, 24 hours in cooler climates or when humidity is high.
    • Inventory the remaining materials of Maximum Stretch to determine if excessive materials remain. If excessive materials remain this indicates insufficient wet milage of the product being applied. Continue to apply the balance of the materials to the roof surface until the materials are depleted and the materials calculated for the roof project are all applied.

Post Application

Weather & Drying

Ames® products are best applied between 50° to 90° F (10° to 32° C) on warm dry surfaces. Products start to dry in 2-8 hours. If possible, wait a minimum of 24 hours between coats for best results. Depending on thickness of application and weather the products cure in 24 hours. Low temperatures, high humidity and evening and morning dew will require increased drying/curing time.

Clean Up & Storage

Clean tools and small spills with pure water, no soaps or detergents needed. Store unused product in its original container, tightly sealed and protect from freezing. If unopened, most Ames products will last on the shelf for two (2) years. Dispose of this product in accordance with local, state, or federal requirements.

Health & Safety
      • Use hand and eye protection when using this product
      • Wash with soap and water after contact with skin
      • If eye contact occurs rinse with clean water and seek medical advice if symptoms continue
      • Keep out of reach of Children.
      • CA Prop 65 This product may contain chemical(s) known to the state of California to cause cancer and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Inspection, Testing & Repair
  • Inspect after final coat is dry and repair any obvious deficiencies.
  • Document the substrate conditions before, during and after completion of an Ames Liquid Membrane project. (professional application only)
  • If excessive materials remain this indicates insufficient dry millage of the product was applied.
  • Continue to apply all unused materials to the surfaces until materials are depleted and the calculated dry millage for the project is reached and to recommend product specifications.
  • Follow all warranty guidelines and requirements.

Featured Products

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FAQ

Roof Fabric & Tape
Blue Max
Maximum Stretch


AMES Technical & Sales Support Staff

AMES trained support team has over 80 years of combined knowledge and experience in the paint and coatings industry. They are available Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 4:30pm PST to answer any questions you have about AMES waterproofing roof coating and sealant products, the application process, becoming a Retail/Distributor or reaching out to locate contractors and much more.

Gene

Gene


Ames Technical & Sales Support Staff

Ames trained support team has over 80 years of combined knowledge and experience in the paint and coatings industry. They are available Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 4:30pm PST to answer any questions you have about Ames waterproofing roof coating and sealant products, the application process, becoming a dealer/vendor or reaching out to locate contractors and much more.

Gene

Joseph

Tracey

1-888-345-0809

sales@amesresearch.com