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How to Tarp a Roof – Roofing Tarp Installation Tips

How to Tarp a Roof – Roofing Tarp Installation Tips
When a storm hits or your roof suffers from elemental damage, a critical time is initiated. In this short – but important – window, the opportunity for the homeowner to incur additional repair fees is great. One available circumventive option is to install a tarp onto your roof as a temporary shield against the elements. Two key points need to be iterated before you take such a project under consideration. First, understand that a tarp is not a long-term solution for roof damage. Next, remember to always exercise safety and caution when you’re working on a roof. Get assistance for the project; don’t go it alone. And never ascend onto a roof during dangerous weather.




Identifying the broken areas caused by hurricanes, tropical storms as well as additional natural elements are often challenging at first sight but you can find some key indicators that destruction has taken place. A number of those primary indicators consist of but are not limited to:

  • disturbed shingles triggered by high winds
  • dipping or even indentations to the roof
  • broken roof tiles
  • missing sheet metal panels
  • water damage towards the inside of the house as a result of leaking or dripping


  • Water will travel the path of minimum resistance therefore the location the leak appears to be in might not really be the source. If feasible, attempt to track the water leak to its origin. So that you can accomplish this you might have to crawl inside the attic or actually cut a square from the ceiling drywall to locate the source.

    If you’ve assessed all damaged location and decided to move forward with the tarp installation, follow these roofing tarp installation tips to learn how to tarp a roof:

    Buy Materials: First, you’ll need to purchase the necessary materials for the project.

    Tarp: An appropriate tarp should be your first purchase. Some important considerations in the tarp selection process include the size and material. For installing a tarp your own roof, bigger may not always be better. You may want to opt for a number of smaller tarps rather than one large one – several small tarps are more manageable and less dangerous. For the material of the tarp, we recommend a polyethylene material given its resistance to tearing.

    Wood: Purchase several 2 x 4 wooden studs to frame out the area of damage.

    Ladder: Get a ladder tall enough to reach your rooftop. Be sure to use caution when climbing, and have someone steady the base for you while you work.

    Heavy-Duty Gloves: Protect from splinters (or a direct hit from the hammer).

    Hammer or Screwdriver, depending on your fastener of choice

    Protection Glasses: Safety first!

    Slicing Instrument: to trim the tarp, if needed

    Saw: to properly size the wooden studs

    Screws or Nails: 3-1/4” screws or framing nails.

    Begin Work: Begin by laying out the tarpaulin over the damaged area. If you need to use several tarps to entirely cover a location, join the two pieces simply by overlapping them.

    1. Use a 2 x 4 strip of wood that's longer than the width of the tarp and put it on top of the tarp’s edge which is overlapping the bottom cover.

    2. Fold the wood strip back on itself using both the bottom and top tarp at the same time.

    3. Complete 3 entire rotations prior to securing the 2 x 4 strip to the roof using nails or screws. The folding of the tarps with the wood strip will produce a seal and stop water from seeping through the two individual covers.

    4. Position an additional strip of wood, of equivalent length, on top of the 1st and secure it using nails or screws. This sandwich effect can further decrease water seepage in addition to strengthening the hold along the roof.



    The last step in the procedure will involve putting 2 x 4 strips of wood cut into three or four- foot sections alongside the perimeter of the tarp cover. Attempt to space the strips of wood around 1 foot apart from one another. The room between strips will permit the movement of water, dust and debris and inhibit it from gathering on top of the tarp and broken area.

    REMEMBER: Safety is of the greatest importance and utilizing a tarp cover as a short-term alternative ought to only be performed during an emergency circumstance. Never try to fix a roof during a storm and always discontinue working if the weather begins to worsen. Roof repairs are better left for the experts, so if there is any qualified assistance available please utilize it. Moreover, always remember to make use of the friend system while on a roof or using ladders. Roofs are particularly dangerous and under no situations should these procedures be attempted in foul weather or unsafe circumstances. These directions are a suggestion and the author holds no liability or accountability for accidents that may occur in the course of the repair, nor holds any accountability for faulty repairs. It is advised that you confer with a pro if there is any question whatsoever regarding safety or procedure.

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