Asphalt On Houses And Garages: What You Need To Know

Construction & Contractors Blog

At one point, sixty to eighty years ago, asphalt was the go-to substance for a lot of things. People not only used it for roads, but also on their homes and garages. Some even used it to coat bomb shelters thinking that the asphalt would prevent incineration of the shelter! If you bought an old home and it has asphalt on the roof, asphalt as the siding, or asphalt on any part of the garage, there are some things you need to know:

1. No, It Will Not Prevent Incineration During a Bomb Attack

Bombs hit with enough force that they can turn the asphalt back into a tarry, sticky substance. It would be the equivalent of bubble gum exploding all around you. As for the idea that it will prevent you from a nuclear attack and fallout, nothing can do that.

What it can do is make for very strong road surfaces. It prevents concrete layers underneath from cracking and chipping too soon. As such, it reinforces these surfaces for a long time to come.

2. Federal Mandates from Twenty to Thirty Years Ago Outlawed Asphalt Siding

After the government recognized that asphalt siding really held no major benefits over modern siding, it was determined that these particular forms of asphalt caused cancer, the government outlawed it. Technically, previous owners should have removed this type of siding from the house and/or garage before selling the property to a new owner. Unfortunately, that problem now falls to you. Make sure you remove the asphalt siding and asphalt shingles soon, both for legal and health reasons.

As for asphalt on driveways and roadways, you are quite safe. Newer asphalt, and particularly asphalt used to cover concrete surfaces, is perfectly safe. It is still not recommended for use in a residential home or garage, but you can use it on the flat roofs of commercial buildings.

3. No, You Cannot Seal It or Repair Old Asphalt on Your House or Garage

Unlike the asphalt used in roads and on driveways, you cannot seal or repair the asphalt siding or shingles. It does not respond well to traditional asphalt repair methods. Instead, you have to have it removed completely and replaced with a modern substitution (see #2 above). You can repair and replace asphalt on your driveway, and the whole process is not only easy, but it is also legal, attractive, strong, and acceptable.

Check out a website like http://www.phend-brown.com for more information and assistance. 

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