Emergency Roof Tarp: How to Know If Your Roof Is Protected
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Emergency Roof Tarp: How to Know If Your Roof Is Protected

Facing a Leak? An Emergency Roof Is Essential

While roof repairs should always be completed promptly, it’s often important to put in temporary measures to protect a home from an ongoing leak in the interim. An emergency roof tarp can help prevent additional moisture from penetrating the roof, protecting the underlying structure as well as the interior of the home. 

Unfortunately, at Dolan Roofing & Construction we’ve seen many instances where an improperly installed emergency tarp wound up doing more harm than good to the roof beneath it. These mistakes can be costly, increasing the scope of repairs and potentially necessitating a premature roof replacement. Here’s what homeowners should know about tarping—and how to identify a poorly installed roof tarp.

Why Tarp a Roof?

Sometimes, circumstances occur that prevent an immediate emergency repair. For instance, if a major storm system has just passed through, chances are roofers will be booked up for weeks. In other cases, weather may not permit extensive roofing work—if another storm is due within a day or two, or if frigid winter temperatures make a repair or replacement impossible.

In these cases, an emergency roof tarp can help prevent damage from worsening. While far from a long-term solution, it’s better than leaving your roof completely exposed in its vulnerable state.

What Are the Risks of Improper Tarping?

Poor roof tarping can lead to roofing problems for a few reasons. One is that it creates a false sense of security. While you might think your roof is protected, if the tarp is poorly installed there’s little protection against moisture at all. If you delay a roof repair, this will allow leaks to worsen and create problems in your attic and your home’s interior.

Another issue is potential damage to your roof. While rarely the case with professional roofers, homeowners may choose improper methods to fasten a tarp, potentially leaving holes or tearing away roofing material.

How to Install an Emergency Roof Tarp

When our team installs an emergency roof tarp, we follow a careful procedure that takes the flow of water into account and ensures your roof is adequately protected. More than simply dropping down some plastic and securing it with a few weights, a roof tarp needs to be secured in such a way that water cannot reach the vulnerable portion of your roof.

During installation, the top of the tarp will need to be tucked under shingles. While this will likely damage a few shingles in the process, it’s a much more reliable way to secure the tarp and will better protect your roof until a repair can be completed.

Tarps should be large enough to protect the problem area against water, but small enough so as not to damage more surrounding shingles than necessary. Larger tarps may be secured using a furring strip to better secure the tarp against wind. And if a roof leak is at or near the ridge, both sides will need to be tarped.

The most critical part is to consider the flow of water, making sure that the tarp will protect from rain as it flows down your roof.

Don’t Tarp a Roof Yourself!

Because of the potential for damage, the false sense of security, and the risks of climbing on your roof—particularly after a storm—we never recommend that homeowners tarp a roof themselves. Even in instances where we’re fully booked, our team at Dolan Roofing will help put emergency measures in place to protect homeowners’ roofs against further damage. 

Contact Dolan Roofing for a Storm Damage Inspection

If you’ve noticed a leak in your roof or your home was just hit by major storms, reach out to our team here at Dolan Roofing right away. We’re San Antonio’s leading roofers for storm damage repair and restoration. Not only that, but we take all necessary steps to ensure the job is done right and your roof is well protected from the next big storm. 

Contact Dolan Roofing today to book your inspection!

Join the growing list of happy Dolan Roofing Customers.

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