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Tarping a Roof and Other Emergency Repairs to Take Care of After a Storm


It seems like every day there’s breaking news about some sort of major weather event. From devastating hurricanes and tornados, to raging monsoons and bomb cyclones, people all across the United States are impacted by the wrath of Mother Nature

Are you prepared for the next major storm?

Storm damage repair and recoveryWhen a major storm rolls through, it often leaves plenty of damage in its wake. During the aftermath, insurance companies are flooded with claims and area roofing and restoration companies are scrambling to keep up with work orders. Tarping a roof and taking care of other emergency repairs can help protect your home and business while you wait for professional storm damage repair

Not sure where to start? These five tips will help!

Step 1: Reviewing Safety Guidelines

Before you do anything, remember that safety absolutely must be your number one priority. If your home has sustained water damage, don’t turn on the power. Avoid touching any appliances that are standing in water, and don’t attempt to re-light any appliances that burn fuel.

Watch out for fallen trees and downed or damaged power lines. If you notice live lines that are down, call 911 immediately and leave the area. If a tree has fallen on any part of your home or building, do not go inside.

Remember that if shingles have ripped off your roof, the nails are likely on the ground around your home. Watch your step to avoid potential injury!

Step 2: Assessing Damage

It’s often safest to assess your roof damage from the ground instead of climbing up there yourself. Check to see if any shingles or pieces of the metal fascia are missing, or if there’s any other obvious damage.

If it’s safe, go up into your attic to check for leaks or other signs of water damage. Also, check your ceilings and walls for water stains. If you find any, there’s a good chance that your roof is leaking and will need repair or replacement.

If you can, take photos of any damage you see. This will help you when it comes time to file your insurance claims.

Step 3: Tarping a Roof

In some cases, there is an obvious hole in your roof that you need to deal with right away. You can easily protect your belongings by tarping your roof until you can get it fixed. Here’s how to do it like a pro.

Gather Your Materials

Making sure you have the right materials on hand will ensure that everything goes smoothly once you start. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A high-quality tarp (thicker is always better)
  • 4 to 5 pieces of 2 x 4 boards or wooden planks
  • 3 ¼ inch long nails
  • Screw gun
  • Hammer
  • Utility knife (used for cutting the tarp)
  • Ladder
  • Safety gloves and goggles

Remove All Debris

Clear any fallen branches, leaves, and other debris from the area. This will help you find the area that is leaking. While you’re up on the roof, keep an eye out for damaged or missing shingles, tiles that are out of place, broken vents and damaged panels.

Measure the Area

Your tarp should be large enough to cover the damaged area and leave a four-foot overhang past the peak. Any remaining tarp can hang off the eave.

Create an Anchor

Attach a 2 x 4 to the peak end of the tarp using cap nails. Make sure your board is at least two feet wider than the width of your tarp.

Wrap the tarp around the board and attach the board to the roof with screws. This will be your anchor. To prevent tearing, you may also wish to attach another 2 x 4 on top of the anchor board.

Lay Additional Perpendicular Boards

The next step is to lay an additional 2 x 4 boards perpendicular to the anchor board. Choose six equally-placed spots to screw the boards into the roof. The screw should go through the board, then the tarp, and into the roof.

When you’re finished, make sure the tarp is tight against the roof as this is what keeps the water from getting in.

Attach the Overhang

If you’re left with more than four feet of overhang, you may need to cut your tarp. Nail what’s left to a 2 x 4 board and wrap the tarp around the board, pulling it down tight against the roof. Attach this board to the eave with your screw gun.

Secure the Edges

If you’re not sure your anchor boards are sufficient to keep water out, add more 2 x 4 boards along the edges of your tarp and screw them in. This will help ensure that the repair holds out until you can have a professional come fix the problem.

Step 4: Working with Your Insurance Company

You’re probably wondering whether your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover your storm damage. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is, it depends. The best way to find out is to contact your provider directly and file a claim.

They’ll likely send their own appraiser out to assess the damage and will let you know what is or isn’t covered. Make sure you coordinate your insurance requirements with the repair specialists so you have the best chance of having most of your costs covered.

Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT: Your Recovery Specialists

Now that you know the basics of tarping a roof and securing your property, let’s discuss the most important step. Finding a true professional to repair your damages will help you get back to normal as quickly as possible. At Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT, we’ve been helping customers recover from some of the worst disasters in history since 1981.

Whether you’ve been struck by fire and water damage, are dealing with mold or need other commercial or construction services, we’ve got you covered! Contact us today to learn more about our services and discuss how we can help you.