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If you live in places with harsh or extreme weather conditions, you will likely need to tarp a roof on your own or with the help of someone at some point. Whenever there's a nasty storm, it's likely to cause damage to your roofing system, and one of the best ways to prevent further damage from occurring is to tarp the roof.

You don't always have to call a professional to help tarp your roof, but it is always advised to consult with experts if you are unsure of the proper procedures. However, with the correct information, you can tarp a leaking roof on your own. In this article, you'll find all the information you need to help tarp your roof and protect your home. Continue reading for more.

Importance of Tarping Your Roof

Placing a tarp on your roof might not look amazing, but it's a great way to protect it and prevent further damage, especially when done correctly. Big storms can cause irreversible damage to a roof, almost making it impossible for an emergency repair.

This is why it's essential to know when and the right way to tarp your roof to protect your home and prevent further damage, especially if you live in areas with extreme and harsh weather conditions.

Working on Roof Safely

Before tarping your roof, safety is one of the most important factors to consider. Even though the safest option is to get a professional to do it, taking swift action and doing the job yourself will help mitigate further damage to your home.

Before tarping a leaking roof yourself, it's essential to ensure that you have some assistance, as doing the job alone is not recommended. Here are some basic things to keep in mind:

  • Ladders can get slippery, especially in wet conditions.
  • Do not get on your roof during an electrical storm.
  • Minimize trips up and down the ladder.
  • Wet tarps can be slippery, so do not step on them.
  • Do not tarp your roof during high winds.
  • Dunlop volleys are the best shoes to wear when tarping your roof.

How to Tarp A Roof: Six Easy Steps

If you're intelligent and adventurous, you might already have tarps available, especially if you live in an area prone to hail or storms. However, if that's not the case, you might need to get some large blue tarps at your local hardware store.

They are available in different sizes, including 12 x 12 and 20 x 40 feet. The option you choose depends on the type of roofing system you have and how extensive it is. With your tarps in hand, here are the steps to follow to tarp a leaking roof:

Step One: Assess the damaged roof

The first thing to do is to assess the roof damage; it's best to avoid the whole tarping process if you can't determine the level of damage. You wouldn't want to be on your roof when it has already started leaking inside, as this can cause other hazards and won't allow you to tarp well.

Assessing the roof damage will also allow you to avoid more significant leaking roof repairs. For increased safety, hiring professional roofing contractors to check the damage is best. The contractor can also schedule the repair and provide an estimate of what the repair will cost.

In some cases, leaks start at one spot but move along a leak-resistant part to another part of the roof, making it challenging to identify where the leak is coming from. Here are a few crucial things to look out for to ensure that you easily find the damaged area.

  • Broken skylights
  • Cracked, missing, or damaged tiles
  • Items like tree branches that cause damage
  • Metal sheets carried around by wind or storm damage
  • Warps or tears in metal roofing

Step Two: Check the weather forecast

After assessing the damaged roof, the next thing is to check the weather forecast before tarping the roof. You wouldn't want to be caught in a situation where you are already on your roof when a strong and sudden wind comes through. Ensuring your safety remains the most crucial factor to consider when tarping your roof, which is why you need to check the weather forecast.

Step Three: Ensure safety

Another way to further guarantee safety is by ensuring that the roof is easy to access and that there are no physical signs of structural damage on the roof. It's vital to ensure that the structural integrity of your roof is intact before you lay the tarp. Avoid the entire process if you notice any sign of damage affecting the roof's integrity. In such a case, you may need to call for an emergency roof replacement or repair.

Step Four: Take measurements of the surface area

Once you are sure it's safe to continue the process, the next step is to take measurements of the roof. You will need a measuring tape to take measurements of the damaged area that needs a tarp. This is also a great way to determine the number of tarps you need to get.

Step Five: Position your tarp and hold it down

At this point, you should already have the tarp and all necessary measurements of the damaged area. The next step is to lay the tarps over the damaged area and secure it properly. When doing this, ensure that the damaged areas are completely covered without sagging or gaps.

Another thing to ensure is that there's an overlap to ensure that water does not seep under and into the seams. For increased efficiency, it's best to use wooden boards to hold the tarp down during the process. Consider starting at the top of the roof and allowing excess tarps to hang above the roof's edge.

Step Six: Secure the tarp in place

With everything above, you only need to secure the tarp in place, and you can use nails on each side of the board. Ensure every nail is appropriately secured and there are no visible holes in the tarp. Another thing to ensure is that the boards are properly secured so they don't get detached by a strong wind.

The last thing to do is to keep the tarp wholly sandwiched between the roof and the boards to create a completely tight seal that can resist the effect of any extreme weather condition and ensure that water doesn't go under the tarp.

Small Tarps Vs. Large Tarps

The size of the tarp is the main factor determining what you can do with it. You can slide the tarp beneath the roof tiles with small tarps to hold it in place. However, the better thing to do is to tie the tarps to an anchor point like a carport support or patio beam. On the other hand, for larger tarps, you may need to get on top of the roof to unroll the tarp.

Here are the key things to note about large tarps:

  • Tie a rope to eyelets and corners around the tarp edges.
  • Secure the ropes by tying them down to something like a full water tank, fence supports, trees, beams, or other sturdy support.
  • Ensure the ropes are firm and the tarp is flatly laid on the roof.

Professional Roof Tarping

Ultimately, there's no almighty rule to follow when tarping a leaking roof. You can always utilize whichever measures work best to keep water out or prevent it from getting into your home.

The main thing is to ensure that safety is your top priority when tarping your roof. Only tarp your roof if it's safe to do so. In cases where the weather is getting worse, the damage is severe, or you don't have all the tools for the job, the best thing is to hire a roofing contractor to tarp your leaking roof safely.

Contractors always have the right equipment to use for any roofing, whether a sloped or flat roof and in many cases, they can effectively and safely tarp roofs regardless of the damage and weather conditions.

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