house roof top view covered with tarp
Hammerhead shark silhouette - black Posted BY Hammerhead Roof

Texas is no stranger to harsh weather, including tornadoes. As one of the most tornado-prone states in the country, there’s a much higher risk for homeowners to experience roof damage. 

Because of this high risk, TX homeowners should learn a few key ways to protect their homes after a major storm. One method to learn is emergency roof tarping, which can protect your home from residual damage when your roof is particularly vulnerable.

At Hammerhead Roofing, we’re no strangers to emergency roof tarping and other preventative measures. Today, we’re going to share some of that important information with you so that you can better protect your home.

Read on to learn more about emergency roof tarping, how to use it, and what steps to take.

When Is Emergency Roof Tarping Necessary?

Roof tarping is, in short, the process of laying a large tarp over your roof to cover any existing damage. As the phrasing suggests, this is done in reaction to an emergency, and it is never a permanent solution. 

Nine times out of ten, we urge homeowners to involve a professional roofing contractor in the emergency roof tarping process. Unless you are very confident in your skills and ability to navigate your roof safely, you should leave this to the professionals.  

Now, let’s take a look at some of the scenarios when tarping your roof is a must.

After Storm Damage

Once a storm passes, you may notice that you have missing shingles and other forms of roof damage. Because you may not be able to get roof repairs right away (or before a second storm system rolls through), you’re going to want to cover those damaged areas with a tarp. Never tarp your roof in high wind, rain, or other inclement weather.

Before Roof Repair or Roof Replacement

Storms aren’t the only thing that leaves your home vulnerable. General wear and tear can occur over time which can lead to the need for roof repairs or a full roof replacement. If it’s going to be several days or weeks before you can get this work done, an emergency roof tarp can provide extra security to prevent damage from worsening or spreading to your interior.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Roof Tarping

Oftentimes, emergency roof tarping is used to mitigate short-term damage. If you only need to tarp your roof for a few days or weeks before professional repairs, you can likely secure your tarp without nails for temporary protection.

However, you may find yourself stuck in a drawn-out claims process with your homeowners’ insurance. If this is the case, you’ll want to use nails for a more secure, long-term solution that can provide decent protection for up to three months. Keep in mind that your insurance won’t cover damage related to negligence, which includes things like water damage caused by an unprotected leaking roof, so secure tarping is necessary.

Steps to Take Before Tarping Your Roof

Whether you need a short-term or a long-term solution, there are steps you should always take before laying and securing your tarp. First, you’re going to want to clear away any debris that has fallen on your roof. This can include things like leaves and tree branches, which can obscure damaged areas or trap moisture and cause mold growth. 

Next, survey and document the damage. If you’re filing an insurance claim, ask a professional for a roof inspection that you can send to your claims adjuster. 

Finally, measure the damaged surface area. Your emergency roof tarp should be no smaller than this size. We recommend using a tarp that provides an additional three feet or more on all sides of the damage.

Always wear a roofing harness when you are working on your roof.

Emergency Roof Tarping With Nails

For a more secure or long-term solution, you will need the following materials:

  • poly tarp in the appropriate size for your roof damage
  • roofing nails
  • hammer or screw gun
  • wooden 2×4 planks

Work with another person to lay the tarp on the roof so that it has a snug fit. Wrap the edges around your 2×4 planks and nail the tarp into the plank to create an anchor. Then, use your roofing nails to nail the boards directly into the roof. 

If you are laying a large tarp, attach a few 2×4 planks to the center of the tarp. This will help to hold the tarp in place against strong wind.

Emergency Roof Tarping Without Nails

For a short-term solution, you can avoid nailing into your shingles. While nailing into your shingles creates a more secure fit, it will also require you to replace those shingles, which you may not want to have to do.

For a short-term solution, you will need:

  • poly tarp in the appropriate size for your roof damage
  • sandbags or cinderblocks 

Once again, work with another person to lay the tarp on the roof so that it has a snug fit. This method requires heavy lifting and you may need to work with more than one other person to complete it.

One or more people will then pass sandbags or cinderblocks one by one to you. Lay them along each edge of the tarp so that there are no gaps that could let rain or wind under the tarp.

Call Hammerhead Roofing for Roof Tarping and Repair

Emergency roof tarping is something that all homeowners should be aware of. When storms pass through that damage your roof, adding a tarp can prevent further damage from occurring that homeowner’s insurance won’t cover.

When you need help putting together a roof damage claim and repairing or replacing your roof, Hammerhead Roofing is here to help. Contact us to learn more about our services, pricing, and availability. 

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