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5 Reasons Coal Tar Pitch Infused Roofing Systems Work Well

Coal Tar Pitch Roof Systems – History

A waterproofing material used since the beginning of time, coal tar pitch is a superior and sustainable raw material that is ideal for use within a roofing membrane system.

Historically, coal tar pitch was used as a component on the first sealed roads, has served as a heating element, and was used to manufacture paints, synthetic dyes, and photographic materials.

Described as an old technology combined with the new, coal tar pitch was used to waterproof buildings in the 1700’s, something we only know because it is still found when renovating buildings to this day.

Benefits of Using Coal Tar Pitch

Companies enjoy many benefits of coal tar infused membranes for roofing solutions, but the main reasons are:

  • Longevity
  • UV resistivity
  • Low-Maintenance Solution
  • Harsh chemical resistance
  • Ponding water prevention

While Hyload uses less than 5% of coal tar in its layered thermoplastic roofing membrane, this small amount shows how much of a difference it makes.


Hyload’s roofing systems have a 30-year warranty, but it’s unlikely that a building will have any issues in that time. The exclusive formula used in its membranes is simply that reliable. Considering the buildings that used coal tar pitch hundreds of years ago, this proven material is a vital component in today’s roofing membrane systems.

UV Resistivity

UV is one of the elements that will inevitably degrade most roofing material. Long, and high exposure to the sun’s UV rays has been something that roofing manufacturers have dealt with since the beginning. Coal tar has been a component that naturally assists in slowing the degradation process.

Another favorable quality of coal tar pitch infused solutions is its lasting protection from most organic compounds. This includes resistance to water and vapor penetration, insect damage, chemical attack, UV exposure, and other common elements. This resistance ultimately protects the roof from degradation.

Low-Maintenance Solution

Not only is coal tar pitch infused material one of the strongest and most resilient roofing systems, it’s also self-healing. For instance, minor cracks will heal themselves with fluctuations in temperature. If a crack develops during colder temperatures, when the temperature warms up, the coal tar softens and self-repair any existing cracks.

Harsh Chemical Resistivity

Coal tar pitch is also essential for protecting roofs against harsh chemical resistivity, serving as a secondary containment element. From jet fuel to water, Hyload’s exclusive mixture prevents harsh chemicals from causing damage to your building’s roof. Since water is considered a chemical, you need to take precautions. If you don’t plan for it, water can damage roofs when it reacts with certain metals and nonmetals.

Ponding Water Prevention

The last place you want ponding water is on your building’s roof – especially a new roof. Ordinarily, standing water can deteriorate the roof membrane, but the coal tar pitch infused in Hyload’s roofing membrane system can prevent ponding water and damage.

Buildings & Environments That Benefit from Coal Tar Pitch Infused Roofing Membranes

It’s worth mentioning that Hyload has worked with many educational facilities and hospitals to install a coal tar infused roofing system. Often, these facilities know that it’s important to invest in a reliable roofing system to protect patients, staff, families, and equipment. However, while we’ve frequently worked with these types of facilities, coal tar pitch infused roof membranes are beneficial for almost any type of building, from residential to commercial.

In addition to building types, there are specific environments in which coal tar pitch roofs are particularly beneficial. Climates that may benefit the most from this type of roof include any with extremely cold or hot temperatures, as well as those that may have frequent weather changes.

Coal Tar Pitch Infused Roof Membranes Compared with Other Solutions

Some building owners are concerned with the risks they take when using a roofing system with coal tar pitch. But their resistance is often more related to cost rather than safety.

A high-quality coal tar infused roofing solution requires more money. But building executives, contractors and architects know it serves as a first defense against future damage that could come at a much higher cost. Inferior roofing options are much more likely to fail.

One alternative to a coal tar pitch infused solution might be a Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) roofing system. Although it’s a popular roofing system for reflectivity, a TPO might not last as long or be as effective. A TPO roofing solution is made from ethylene propylene rubber. The material offers similar benefits of a coal tar pitch solution, but there are some disadvantages. From a chemistry standpoint and as a newer roofing material, TPO roofing systems have not been proven for longevity. It’s also not always a cost-effective option if repairs or a replacement roof are needed.

Hyload’s Coal Tar Pitch Infused Roofing Membranes

Hyload’s coal tar pitch infused roofing membrane system is a better solution simply because of its chemistry. Our membranes are premanufactured layered solutions using Dupont™ Elvaloy® KEE resins and polyester fibers. Our solution combines the proven coal tar benefits with innovative technology – which ultimately produces a safe, durable product.

The amount of coal tar used along with other raw materials, offers a proven sustainable product over other options on the market. In addition, Hyload’s use of higher levels of Elvaloy give the product a greater advantage over other companies that use coal tar pitch.

If you’re searching for a cost-effective material requiring the least amount of maintenance, coal tar pitch infused membranes are the best solution.

Questions Architects Should Ask About Coal Tar Roofing Solutions

Now that you understand the history, technology, and benefits behind coal tar pitch roofing solutions, you should consider these questions to determine whether a coal tar infused material is right for your building.

  • What is the amount of coal tar in the product?
  • How much Elvaloy content is in the product?
  • What is the roof’s warranty?
  • What is the impact on the overall cost?
  • What precautions have been taken to avoid safety problems?

About Hyload

Hyload is a U.S. company with its corporate office in Seville, Ohio, and its manufacturing facility located in Wadsworth, Ohio. Hyload began producing high-performance Dupont™ Elvaloy® thermoplastic membranes for low-slope roofing in the U.S. in 1982.

Since its inception in 1982, Hyload has expanded beyond low-slope roofing membranes into waterproofing and masonry through-wall flashing membrane production. All Hyload membranes are manufactured with DuPont™ Elvaloy® KEE resin, the premier plasticizing resin on the market. We are committed to maintaining our Elvaloy®content to be in excess of 50% of the total polymer content in all our membranes – thus providing unsurpassed longevity.

Ready to hear more about a Hyload Roofing System?

Contact us online or by phone at (330) 769-3546

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