Emergency Roof Tarping

Mother Nature just pulled a prank on your house – a good old hailstorm with torrential rain and gusty winds for added flavor!

As the storm subsides, you realize it’s not all fun and games: shingles are scattered around your yard like confetti and the threat of more inclement weather looms large. You picture the looming disaster – a waterfall cascading from your ceiling, drenching your priceless Persian rug and making your antique heirloom furniture look like it just participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Those family treasures – the ones money can’t replace – suddenly seem more vulnerable than ever. So, what’s the plan, Stan?

WARNING: You may not want to do this yourself. There’s plenty of midland roofers who are capable of taking care of this daunting task for you.

First off, you’ve got to protect the irreplaceable, the things you wouldn’t trade for all the tea in China. Start a little relocation project for them – move them to areas of the house that don’t look like future indoor rainforests, or give them a DIY armor with blankets and then wrap them in thick plastic, creating little disaster-resistant cocoons. Places like Home Depot and Lowes are bursting with stuff that can turn your house into a veritable fortress – so get shopping!

The next part involves some heroism, as we move on to battlefield – your damaged roof. Ideally, you’d want a squad of roofing professionals, those valiant knights of the construction world, to swoop in and perform an emergency tarping operation. Thankfully, your insurance will cover the costs for this emergency band-aid. However, if it was a particularly boisterous storm and every roofer in town is working overtime, you might be in for a bit of a wait.

But if the clock’s ticking and you feel like you’re starring in your own disaster movie, you can take matters into your own hands. Now, listen closely here: don’t play the daredevil by clambering onto a wet, slippery roof – leave that to the professionals. Wait until the roof is as dry as a bone to start your temporary repair mission.

Head over to your nearest Home Depot or Lowes and get yourself a tarp large enough to cover the damaged roof area, like a giant Band-Aid. While you’re there, grab some 1X3s, long enough to secure the perimeter of the tarp. The tarp should have a good three-foot buffer around the damaged area – no skimping on size here!

Once you’ve assembled your supplies, it’s time for a little rooftop DIY. Wrap one end of the tarp around a 1X3 and secure it firmly to the roof, giving it about 1.5 feet of extra space past the damage. Repeat this on all sides, pulling the tarp as tight as a drum as you go, and make sure to cover the ridge if necessary.

Avoid trapping ventilation pipes under the tarp like a scared mole. Instead, waterproof them with tape before tarp deployment, cut a neat little hole in the tarp for the pipes, and then secure the tarp around them.

If your roof looks like it’s auditioning for a disaster movie and needs full coverage, it’s probably best to leave it to the pros. After all, you want this tarp to hold up until the insurance company can send their own team to survey the storm’s handiwork, and they might take a while, especially if it’s peak storm season. So sit tight, make a cup of hot cocoa, and enjoy the rain from your dry and cozy home.

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