Most of the time, a roof tarp is a stopgap measure used to hold you over and keep your home safe until you can get a formal roof or replacement done. In the wake of a major storm or natural disaster, roofs of all kinds can develop holes or leaks. Even the smallest one can lead to major issues, from higher utility bills to water seeping into your home. And, of course, small leaks only get larger over time.

However, there’s a logistical issue here. Like any other contractor, roofing companies have a fixed schedule, and may not be able to service your home right away. This is especially the case after a major natural disaster, where there may be many roofs that need repair in your local area. Roof tarping is an essential service to keep your home safe in the meantime. Here’s everything you need to know about the process.

Preparing For Roof Tarping

First, before the emergency roof tarp goes on the roof, your restoration professionals need to take a few preliminary steps to gauge the scope and size of the damage to accurately size the tarp. First, wearing all the key safety equipment, they will scale the roof and do a close examination to try and find any clear damage indicators like broken shingles, holes, or other wear and tear. In addition, any debris still on the roof from the storm/natural disaster will be cleared off. It’s important to get these off before the tarp goes on because certain debris could further damage the roof or even the tarp. Generally, these include:

  • Branches
  • Leaves
  • Rubble
  • Garbage

In addition, if you see any leak, you want to cover it with plywood before the tarp goes on. After this, the damaged area will be measured out. Ideally, a roof tarp should cover the damaged area, while also offering four feet of overhang from the peak of the roof. Additional tarp can hang off the edge of the roof.

Some enterprising homeowners may want to go about checking their roofs themselves, but this isn’t recommended, especially after a heavy storm. Debris, rain, and structural issues mean a roof can become a lot more slippery than usual, presenting a major fall hazard. Doing a basic visual check from the safety of your ladder is a good compromise. In addition, you should have all the safety equipment possible available, including:

  • Protective clothes
  • Workboots
  • Gloves
  • Goggles

The Roof Tarp Process Explained

installing roof tarp

With the preliminary work done, it’s time to actually put on the tarp. This begins by using some lumber and driving it into the roof, surrounding the damaged area. This wood is used to secure the tarp. Next, take the tarp that you’ve measured out using the numbers from before and wrap it around the wood. It needs to cover the entire damaged area from eaves to peak, with that additional 4 feet on each side. Pull it as tight as you can before you secure that wood to either the roof deck or eave on the opposite side.

To finish the securing process, you want to add on more lumber on each edge of the tarp, screwing it into the roof deck. Naturally, creating more leaks is a concern. This is why most experts either screw directly into the roof rafters or use screws with rubber washers. Screws are preferred because ultimately, the emergency roof tarp is a temporary measure. You want something that can be relatively easy to remove when the time comes to actually fix the roof and screws are the safest and most time-effective way to do this.

If you think this is the fit for your needs, you don’t want to waste time before getting started. At Total Care Restoration, we are here to help, with roof tarping as well as a variety of other services to get your home back to its normal state after a disaster or accident. Contact us today if you are interested in one of our suite of services, have more questions, or are looking for an estimate.

Kyle Haywood

About Kyle Haywood

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