How to Tarp a Roof

tarp coverOne of the greatest dangers of a major hurricane is the damage it can cause to the roof of a home. High, sustained winds in excess of 111mph will wreak havoc with roofs whether they are made of timber, aluminum, cast iron or even steel. Once a hurricane strikes there's nothing you can do except wait out the storm. However, if your home sustains any damage to the roof it is imperative that you provide immediate hurricane relief by applying a sturdy tarp to stabilize the structure and prevent further damage. Heavy duty tarps, particularly polyethylene tarps, have a number features that make them excellent for use as emergency tarps. They have a dense weave with a high denier count that ensures that are tear resistant. Poly tarps are also water resistant and resistant to UV rays. A waterproof tarp is essential to protecting your home from water damage caused by heavy rainfall propelled by high winds. Reinforced corners and double-stitched seams ensure splitting and fraying under the pressure of the wind is impossible. Finally, heavy duty tarps are fitted with metal grommets that are spaced conveniently around the edges so you can get the tarp to fit tightly around the building.

Hurricanes are often followed by what's known as the tail of the storm. This is a less severe but still potentially dangerous system of wind and rain that can be the final straw that causes a roof to collapse if not protected. If you do not have time to have a professional contractor provide immediate repairs to your roof you should secure a tarp cover over the damaged area to prevent irreparable damage.

Several basic tools are required to tarp a roof including a tarp, utility knife, nails, 1 by 3 or 2 by 4 wood strips, hammer and gloves. This is a very simple procedure but can save thousands of dollars and maybe even the value of your home. Putting a secure tarp over a damaged roof will reduce repair and restoration costs, keep your home dry as it airs out and allow you to clean up inside without threat of more rain. First, try not to do this project alone. Though it is a basic repair a damaged roof can be a very dangerous area when wet and it's always best to have people around in case of a slip or fall. Once you are safely in place roll the tarp over the damaged area and around one of the wood strips and secure it with either nails and hammer or sturdy screws if possible. Make sure you have enough tarp to cover the area and double back for added protection. Place the roll against the roof so it won't collect water or branches and other debris that may have fallen during the storm. The remaining section of the tarp should be rolled over the ridge of the roof and left hanging several feet (2' is sufficient) beyond the damaged area. Then roll the opposite end of the tarp around another wood strip and again secure it with either nails or screws. Lastly use more nails and screws to keep the tarp secure. Remember, this is a temporary solution to what could be a major problem. You have provided yourself a window period to allow for a professional insurance appraisal and time enough to decide if the roof is salvageable.

Disclaimer: This is simply a suggestion on how you can provide a temporary repair to a damaged roof. A1 Tarps assumes no liability or responsibility for accidents that may occur during the repair or if the tarp you use is not sturdy enough to keep rain out. Information on this page was provided courtesy of consultants at A1 Tarps. 

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