How To Tarp a Roof

How To Tarp A Roof: Step-By-Step Guide

When a roof leak springs up, it can be incredibly stressful for a homeowner. Roof tarping can provide a temporary solution before a professional roofing contractor such as Oaks Roofing & Siding can come out to fix the issue, saving you the headache of a constant water leak through your home.

Not sure where to start when it comes to tarping a leaky roof? Below is a step-by-step guide to cover a roof leak properly using the right materials, safety practices, and procedures. 

 

What Causes a Roof to Leak?

When a roof leak springs up, it can be incredibly stressful for a homeowner. Roof tarping can provide a temporary solution before a professional roofing contractor such as Oaks Roofing & Siding can come out to fix the issue, saving you the headache of a constant water leak through your home.

Not sure where to start when it comes to tarping a leaky roof? Below is a step-by-step guide to cover a roof leak properly using the right materials, safety practices, and procedures. 

There are several reasons why a roof leak occurs, including severe weather, faulty roof installation, or simply an old roof that needs to be replaced. If your roof is over 20 years old and has missing or damaged shingles, cracked flashing or fascia board, or water stains on your ceiling, these can be causes of a roof leak. 

If your roofing system is old or compromised, severe rain or wind storms can exacerbate the leak problem and allow more water to enter your home. If your roof is leaking, this may be a sign of more significant roofing issues if not addressed as soon as possible. At Oaks Roofing & Siding, we’ll assess the roof leak emergency and provide you with the best next steps to fix it as part of our inspection. 

How To Properly Tarp A Roof

Before we get into how to properly tarp a roof, there are a few ways to best prepare for the job. By understanding what tools and practices to use when tarping a roof, you can stay safe while temporarily fixing the leak. If you’re unsure about the information we discuss below, call us at 866-661-OAKS, and we will happily answer any questions. 

Tools & Materials Needed

Gather the materials and tools you’ll need before stepping on your roof. This will include:

  • Ladder
  • Personal Fall Arrest system (PFA) such as a body harness and lanyard anchored to the roof
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Broom
  • Tape measure
  • Roof tarp
  • 2×4” boards
  • Cap nails
  • Sandbags

If you don’t already have these items, you can find them at a home repair store. Make sure you have a heavy-duty tarp large enough to cover the damaged area and can withstand rain or weather. 

Safety Practices Before You Start

Tarping a roof should be done with at least two people to ensure it’s done correctly and safely. Ideally, you should put the tarp on when it’s not raining or windy and avoid stepping on a wet roof, especially if your roof slope is steep. If your roof is extremely wet or steep, we don’t recommend getting up on it, as this can be a safety risk. We recommend working with your insurance company if you feel unsafe or need guidance; an agent will assist you. 

Always have a spotter on the ground to help assist while you’re on the roof. Check to make sure your PFA system is working accordingly. If you slip or fall off the roof, your PFA system will prevent you from falling to the ground.


Step 1: Assess Roof Damage

Now that you’re prepared to tarp your roof, the first step is to examine the damaged area. In addition to your PFA, wear appropriate gear such as work boots, gloves, goggles, and protective clothing. Using your ladder, climb up to your roof. Do not walk on any area that appears to be damaged, as you may fall through the roof. Maintain a safe perimeter around the damaged area. 

Take photographs of the damaged area in case you need to show them to your homeowner’s insurance for an insurance claim or roofing company when they come to repair the roof. 


Step 2: Measure Damage Area

Using your tape measure, measure the roof damage area to determine how much tarp you’ll need to cover the spot. The tarp size should be big enough to cover the damaged area and have 3-4 feet of excess to secure it to your roof overhang properly. This way, you won’t have to worry about water leaking through areas of the tarp.

Step 3: Remove Roof Debris

Carefully remove debris from the damaged area. You can use your broom to avoid constantly bending over to pick up shingles or shingle granules, branches, leaves, and other debris. 

Step 4: Install Anchors & Prepare Tarp

Once the area is cleaned, it’s time to install your anchoring system to nail down your tarp. Drill on the 2×4” board around the damaged area to your roof, using screws long enough to go through the board and other layers of your roofing system. If your roof has a larger hole, you can screw down a sheet of plywood wide enough to cover the hole before you install the anchor boards. 

After installing the anchor system, unfurl your tarp to prepare to fully secure it. Use sandbags to hold the tarp in place before you screw it to the anchor system. 

Step 5: Secure Tarp

Position the tarp over the damaged area, leaving 3-4 feet of tarp excess to cover the area. Your 2×4 should be about two feet longer than the tarp width to fold the excess tarp under. Attach the tarp to the 2×4 board anchor system using the cap nails. Once the tarp is secured, place more 2x4s over the sides of the tarp and use the cap nails to pin them down. This way, you’re able to create a water-tight barrier that’ll hold until a roofing professional can fix the damage. 

Step 6: Hang Tarp Excess On Roof Overhang

Once the tarp is secured on the roof over the damaged area, you can nail down the remaining tarp over the overhang of your home, under the eave, for additional protection. By pinning the excess down, your trap won’t flap against your roof or home. 

Oaks Roofing & Siding: Quality You Can Trust

Now that you’ve properly secured your tarp to the roof, all that’s left to do is wait for your roofing professional to come and provide a permanent roof repair to stop further leaking. At Oaks Roofing & Siding, we’re equipped to tackle small to large-scale emergency roof leaks so you don’t have to worry about water getting into your home. 

Contact us today to book an appointment with one of our service technicians, who will inspect and provide a roof leak repair. Waiting on roof issues can lead to more extensive damage down the road, costing you more money and repairs. 

 

By | Allison Kesselring

Call Oaks Roofing and Siding today!