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Tar roofing is generally used in areas that do not get too cold (because it can crack which makes it open to water leaks). It's also only used on flat surfaces because if it gets too hot it can actually melt and run down a steep incline.
In Virginia you do not see a lot of Tar roofing but you can find it on some commercial buildings. Residential buildings in Harrisonburg VA generally have sloped roofs because we get snowfall and a decent amount of rain.
Sometimes you will see tar roofs under decks over a first floor. For example, if someone wanted a deck on top of their garage then they could put a tar roof under the deck but over the garage. You can also use tar to create seals around objects like chimneys or exhaust pipes but generally flashing is a better choice.
Tar is also not used in a lot of areas with high heat because it will melt and give off a very strong oily smell.
Hopefully we have talked you out of a tar roof but if you want one (or another type of roof) we can still help you out. Just give Harrisonburg VA Roofing a call at: 540 208 3535. We're a roofing contractor that handles all types of roofing.