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Quick Reference Product Guide

A convenient and informative guide to Tarco's comprehensive selection of quality roofing products.

Tarco is one of the largest independently owned manufacturers of residential roofing products and commercial roofing products in North America. A major producer of underlayments since 1978, Tarco offers traditional roll roofing as well as premium LeakBarrier® underlayments and other roofing materials. You can depend on Tarco for superior value, exceptional customer service and convenient on-time delivery.

Tarco offers traditional roll roofing as well as premium LeakBarrier® underlayments and other roofing materials such as Ice & Water Armor, Asphalt Saturated Organic Felts, Door & Window Tape, EasyStick Plus self-adhering cap sheet, EasyTorch APP membranes and ValleyFlash. Whether your primary roof will be shingle, tile, metal or membrane, Tarco makes a product that has been specially engineered and optimized for easy installation and superior performance.

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The emergence of specialty underlayment for residential roofing applications developed over many years. Various modified bitumens were developed in Europe in the 1960s and eventually manufactured in the United States in the 1980s. Ray Johnson details this progress in his article, "History and Development of Modified Bitumen."

Initially, modified bitumen membranes were intended for commercial roofing systems but, by the turn of the century, premium underlayment products made from modified bitumen were offered to residential roofing contractors.

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For many decades, asphalt-saturated organic felts went unchallenged as the underlayment material for residential roofing, despite having several weakness and drawbacks. These include not performing well as a secondary water barrier, being prone to degradation from UV exposure, easily tearing and an inability to be left exposed for long periods after installation.

Luckily, in the past twenty years, two completely new categories of roofing underlayments entered the steep-slope roofing marketplace, namely mod bits and synthetics. So what are the factors driving this change? Along with the issues of traditional asphalt-saturated felt, many industry and economic drivers have favored the introduction of new underlayment categories.

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Roofing contractors should know their materials inside and out. To fully understand underlayment one must know something about raw materials as well as manufacturing. Subtle variations at the molecular level have large effects on the properties of materials; furthermore, variations on the microscopic and macroscopic scales also affect performance.

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