The best way to tarp a leaking roof in an emergency

The best way to tarp a leaking roof in an emergency

We really hope you never have to read this article or even do a Google search for ‘how to tarp a roof’ or ‘emergency roof tarp installation’ but the fact is we live in Australia, a land of extremes and harsh weather and it’s likely that at some stage you’re either going to have to tarp up your own roof or help out a friend or neighbour at some stage when their roof starts to leak and you’re trying to save their home.

Often storm season is roof repair companies busiest time so if you have an issue with your roof (missing tiles, leaks, water getting in, etc) we will do everything to get out to your home as quickly as possible but there’s a chance we and other emergency roof repair companies in Brisbane may be absolutely flat strap and it could take some time to get out to your home to inspect your roof.

If this is the case you may need to put a tarp on your roof just to keep the rain off until we can get there. If that’s the case, we’ve put together some information on how to tarp a roof to keep your home safe from water until we can get there.

First – A word about safety

There are a few things you should know about tarping a roof before you get all ‘bull-in-a-china-shop’ and start getting the ladder out of your shed.

If you can wait for a professional to tarp your roof for you (we can provide this service for you) this is ALWAYS a better option however, sometimes this isn’t an option and you will need to take swift action to prevent any further damage to your home. If you need to put a tarp up yourself, consider getting assistance from a couple of people if possible. Tarping a roof on your own is not recommended. That being said, here’s a few rules of thumb you should consider following:-

  • NEVER get up on a roof during an electrical storm
  • Don’t attempt to tarp a roof in high winds
  • Don’t step on wet tarps as they can be incredibly slippery
  • Try to reduce trips up and down the ladder by being prepared
  • Ladders can become extremely slippery in wet weather
  • Dunlop Volleys are by far the best shoes to wear when getting up on a roof 🙂

Evaluating the damage after a storm

For most Brisbane-ites tarping a roof comes after a storm has passed and you’ve either noticed that your roof is leaking or after evaluating your roof you’ve noticed tiles are either broken, moved, damaged or missing. Sometimes it’s difficult to find a leak – if you’re having trouble, take a look at our blog post What to do if your roof is leaking to get you started.

Sometimes leaks actually start in one area but will move in paths of least resistance to another section of your roof so it’s not always obvious that a leak is coming from an area close to a wet area or pool of water.

If your roof has sustained major damage, don’t get on it as it may be unstable and could be dangerous. If however you deem the roof is safe to walk on here’s a few things to look for:-

  • Missing, cracked or damaged tiles
  • Tears or warps in metal roofs
  • Metal sheets that lift or blow around in the wind
  • Broken skylights
  • Damage from items like tree branches or other items blown around

Tarping your roof

Once you’ve had a look around your roof and found where you need to cover up a leak or problem, it’s time to get your tarp and make a start tarping up your roof. Here’s what you will need:-

  • A tarp (obviously) the thicker and heavier the better
  • Ropes

The size of the tarp you have will determine what you’re able to do with it. For example if you only have a small tarp and can’t get a hold of a bigger one (often tarps will sell out during storm season) you may have to take a different approach than if you can get your hands on a large tarp that covers most or all of your roof.

Small Tarps
If you only have a small tarp available you can carefully slide the tarp under your roof tiles to secure it. It’s always better to tie down tarps to an anchor point around your house like a patio beam, carport support, etc.

Large Tarps
If you have access to a large tarp here’s what you can do:-

Carefully get onto your roof and unroll your tarp
Tie a rope to each corner and also to any eyelets in the around the edges of your tarp
Tie down ropes to something secure (beams, supports, trees, fence supports, full water tanks, etc)
Ensure the ropes are tied down tightly and are keeping your tarp flat against the roof.

There’s really no hard and fast rules when it comes to tying down or tarping your roof in an emergency. Anything that can keep the water out and stop it from damaging your home is going to be beneficial and how you do that will depend on what you have available or what you can purchase in an emergency.

The ONLY way to ensure your roof is tarped properly is to get a professional roof repair company like us to come out, evaluate your roof and tarp it up for you. Not only do we have the skills and expertise to ensure this is done properly, we have the right tarps and tools for the job.

Call us today on 0421 460 580 if you need a tarp installed on your home’s roof.

Call us on 0421 460 580
PO Box 200, Coorparoo, QLD 4151