Damaged Roof? How To Protect Your Home Before Repairs

Damaged roof from strong winds

An unresolved roof leak can cost you money and your health. Within 24-48 hours of a water intrusion problem, mold can start to develop. Extended exposure to mold can cause brain fog, fatigue, shortness of breath, and vertigo.

And mold isn’t the only concern. A damaged roof can lead to structural damage and drywall failure, not to mention the loss of electronics and sentimental items like photographs and keepsakes.

If a storm has done a number on your roof, get it covered right away. Here’s how to reinforce your roof until you can get it repaired.

Collect Your Tools

You can probably attempt a temporary roof repair with tools you already have. You’ll need a sturdy ladder to access the roof. Make sure you have a sharp utility knife, a charged cordless drill, and 2″-3″ decking screws.

Head to the hardware store to buy a sheet of 3/8″ plywood. Take measurements so you can have them cut it to size or use a circular saw at home. You’ll also need some furring strips or 2x4s.

Get the thickest tarp available, ideally a blue hurricane tarp. You can buy the FEMA tarps which have UV inhibitors and are fire rated. Or you might qualify for the Blue Roof Program after a storm.

Quick Fix

If all you need is a quick fix, you can use the tarp’s grommets to attach it to the roof sheathing.

Drape the tarp over your wind damaged roof. Using 2″ screws and 1 1/2″ washers, fasten the tarp through each grommet.

If you’ve only lost a shingle or two, fashion a makeshift shingle out of aluminum flashing. Keep it in place with roofing nails, and replace it with a real shingle as soon as you can.

Longterm Solutions

Sometimes a longterm solution is a necessity. If your roof was damaged in a hurricane, there could be a long line ahead of you making insurance claims and getting repairs. A more extensive temporary fix is worth the effort.

Use the plywood to cover the hole, securing it every six inches with decking screws. Lay out your tarp, making sure that it extends over the roof’s peak and one inch past the damage.

Wrap the tarp around a furring strip and attach it to the roof on the undamaged side. This keeps it from slipping around while you secure the rest of it. Keep wrapping and securing the furring strips every eight inches, pulling tight as you go, until you’ve covered the hole.

Leave a four-foot overhang that you’ll wrap in a firring strip and attach under the eave. This keeps water from collecting on the roof.

Keep in Mind

A tarped roof is always temporary. Even if you get a government-grade tarp, it’s not meant to be a lasting solution.

Tarps can loosen over time. They don’t insulate your home like proper roofing materials, and they provide little protection from the next hurricane-force storm.

Fixing Your Damaged Roof Is a Priority

If a storm leaves you with a damaged roof, securing it immediately is a priority. Quick fixes with tin and screwed down tarps will work in a pinch. A more comprehensive tarp patch with furring strips is even better.

Ultimately, a compromised roof requires a professional repair.

Do you need a roof repair? We’d love to help! We’re GAF certified and committed to doing the best job the right way.

Contact us to get started today.

1 thought on “Damaged Roof? How To Protect Your Home Before Repairs”

  1. Our landlord tried “fixing” the massive flood that was coming from our roof leak, and after three months of monsoon season showing up, she finally had a professional roofer come out and do the work… Oh the joys of renting!

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