How To Tarp A Roof Incase Of An Emergency
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How To Tarp A Roof Incase Of An Emergency

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Posted By: Roof Troopers

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Few scenarios are more panic-inducing for a homeowner than stormy weather or a catastrophic event that leaves your roof exposed to the elements. Roof damage can lead to devastating water-related issues within your home if not addressed promptly. Unfortunately, you might not be able to reach a professional immediately. In such cases, tarping your roof is a crucial step in protecting your property from further damage.

Inside this blog:

  • Essential materials needed
  • Steps to tarp a roof safely
  • Identifying roof damage

Did you just experience a roof issue? If so, it’s paramount to act quickly to protect your home. Read on for a step-by-step guide to performing a safe, effective emergency tarping job.

Ready, Set, Tarp: Essential Materials You Need

When it comes to emergency tarping, being prepared is half the battle. Here’s a list of essential tools and materials you’ll need:

The Tarp Itself

The centerpiece of your emergency tarping is the tarp. You’ll need one that’s large enough to cover the damaged area with several extra feet around all sides to ensure a snug and effective fit.

Rope, Bungee Cords, or Straps

To secure the tarp, you’ll require something robust enough to withstand wind and rain. While ropes, bungee cords, or even straps will work, they should be durable and long enough to reach the ground from the roof’s ridge.

Ladder and Safety Gear

Safety should be your primary concern. A sturdy ladder with a level base is essential, as well as fall protection equipment. Never attempt to climb onto your roof without the proper gear and a spotter.

Utility Knife and Hammer

You’ll need a utility knife to cut the tarp to the correct size and shape, as well as a hammer to secure the edges and corners in case of strong winds.

A Partner

While not a tool, having a friend or family member with you is invaluable. They can act as an anchor, hand you tools, and assist you in making the tarp secure.

Steps To Tarp Your Roof Safely

Before you do anything, it’s essential to conduct a brief inspection from the ground to evaluate the situation and plan your approach.

Step 1 – Pre-Work Analysis

Start by evaluating the extent of the roof damage and the accessibility of the area. Note any particularly dangerous sections or electrical hazards that could make the job riskier.

Step 2 – Secure the Ladder

Place your ladder on level ground against a stable part of the roof. Tie it off at the top to prevent it from slipping.

Step 3 – Climb Up and Pre-Position

Climb the ladder and assess the best spot to position the tarp. You’ll want to avoid the origin of the damage and use the ridge of your roof to anchor the tarp with the ropes or cords.

Step 4 – Belay From Below

Have your partner hold the ladder at the bottom and instruct them to feed you the tarp after you’ve secured the ropes for safety and convenience.

Step 5 – Cover and Secure

With one edge of the tarp in hand, throw the rest over the damaged area. Secure one side with ropes first, and then work your way around, adding more ropes or straps, as necessary, to prevent water from seeping in and the tarp from blowing away.

Be cautious throughout the process and always maintain three points of contact on the ladder or roof for stability.

Identifying the Source of Roof Damage

Tarping your roof can seem like a more straightforward process than it is. Unless you know where the damage originated, you might not be preventing further damage. Here’s how figure things out:

  • Start Inside: The best place to start is inside your home. Look for fresh leaks or water stains near the ceiling.
  • Exterior Inspection: After that, you’ll need to inspect the roof from the outside, looking for missing or damaged shingles, holes in the roofing materials, or even signs of impact damage from a tree branch or other debris.
  • Flashing: Pay special attention to the flashing around your chimney, skylights, or vents. If it’s bent or missing, it could be the root cause of your leak.

Ensuring your roof’s dryness is just as important as covering it. A damp roof is a breeding ground for mold and other issues that could cause long-term problems for your home and family.

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To DIY or Not To DIY? When Professional Help is Needed

While performing these emergency repairs can save you time and money, it’s vital to know when to call in professional roofers.

Signs You Need a Pro

  • Structural Damage: If your roof has suffered significant structural damage, temporary tarping won’t be enough.
  • Steep Roof: A steep roof is inherently more dangerous to work on and requires specialized equipment and skills.
  • Electrical Dangers: If you suspect electrical issues resulting from the damage, contact a professional roofer

What the Pros Will Do

Professional roofers will assess the damage, advise you on your best course of action, and provide a more permanent solution. This could be a new roof or repairs to the existing one.

Remember, your safety and the protection of your home are paramount. There’s no shame in asking for professional help.

Beyond Tarping: The Next Steps After Emergency Roof Repairs

Your roof is now tarped, and your home protected… for now. But the tarp is a temporary bandage. Your next step as a homeowner is to:

  • Document the damage for insurance purposes, including before-and-after photos.
  • Schedule an inspection with a licensed roofing professional.
  • Be diligent in checking for signs of water damage inside your home, especially in the first few weeks.
  • Keep records of all temporary repairs and professional services for your insurance claim.

Taking these actions will help you recover the cost of repairs and ensure your home remains safe and dry.


Need Help With Your Damaged Roof?

Although tarping a roof can be a temporary solution, it’s a critical one. This process can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never tackled home repair. Remember, your safety and that of those around you are of utmost importance. If you’re unsure of anything, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional.

Emergencies are overwhelming, but with the proper knowledge and a cool head, you can take the right steps to protect your home. If you’ve gone through these steps and need long-term solutions, contact us at Roof Troopers!


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