How to Tarp a Roof in Case of an Emergency

Posted By An Coon

While we all hope for sunny days, sometimes Mother Nature throws us a curveball in the form of a storm or other emergencies that can damage our homes. One of the essential skills every homeowner should have is knowing how to tarp a roof in case of an emergency. Whether it’s a sudden leak or severe storm damage, this guide will walk you through the steps to protect your home and belongings.

Inside this blog:

  • Why you should tarp your roof in the first place
  • 6 easy steps for how to tarp your roof
  • The DOs and DON’Ts for temporary roof tarp

Keep reading to learn how to effectively use roof tarp in case there’s an emergency so you can keep you and your home safe!

Why Tarp Your Roof? 🤔


Tarping your roof might not be the first thing that comes to mind during an emergency, but it can make a significant difference:

Immediate Protection

Tarping your roof provides an immediate solution to prevent further water damage to your home’s interior and belongings.


A damaged roof can be hazardous. Tarping ensures safety by covering exposed areas and reducing the risk of accidents.

Cost Savings

Quick action with a tarp can save you money by minimizing damage, reducing repair costs, and preserving your home’s structural integrity.

Temporary Fix

While you’ll still need professional repairs, tarping provides a temporary fix that buys you time until proper repairs can be made.

🛠️ What You’ll Need 🛠️

Before you start, gather the necessary tools and materials:

Tarp: Choose a heavy-duty tarp that’s large enough to cover the damaged area with some overhang.

Rope or Bungee Cords: You’ll need these to secure the tarp in place.

Ladder: Make sure it’s sturdy and tall enough to reach your roof safely.

Work Gloves: Protect your hands when handling the tarp and other materials.

Safety Gear: Wear appropriate clothing, including non-slip shoes and a safety harness if you’ll be working on a steep roof.

Check Out the Damage


Before you start tarping, assess the damage to determine the extent and location:

Safety First

Ensure the storm has passed and it’s safe to inspect your roof. Be cautious of any hazards like downed power lines.

Exterior Inspection

Check your roof for visible damage, such as missing shingles, holes, or leaks. Identify the damaged area that requires tarping.

Interior Inspection

Examine your home’s interior for water stains, leaks, or any signs of damage. This will help pinpoint the source of the problem on the roof.

How to Tarp Your Roof in 6 Steps

Now that you’ve assessed the damage, it’s time to tarp your roof. Follow these steps:

1. Prepare the Tarp

Lay out the tarp near the damaged area, ensuring it covers the damaged section with some overhang on all sides.

2. Secure One End

Start at one corner or edge of the tarp. Use rope or bungee cords to secure this corner to a sturdy part of your roof, like a chimney or vent pipe.

3. Unroll and Stretch

Carefully unroll the tarp across the damaged area, making sure it’s taut and covers the damaged section completely.

4. Secure the Opposite End

Once the tarp is in place, secure the opposite end with rope or bungee cords, ensuring it’s tightly anchored.

5. Secure the Sides

Finally, secure the sides of the tarp, working your way around the damaged area. Pull the tarp tight to prevent it from flapping in the wind.

6. Inspect and Double-Check

Walk around your home and inspect the tarp from all angles to ensure it’s securely fastened and covers the damaged area effectively.

Temporary Repairs and Mitigation

While your roof is tarped, take these additional steps to mitigate further damage:

Interior Protection: Place buckets or containers under leaks inside your home to catch any water. This will prevent further damage to your ceilings and belongings.

Temporary Repairs: If you can safely make temporary repairs to the damaged area, such as patching holes or replacing missing shingles, do so to further protect your home.

Document the Damage: Take photos or videos of the damage and your tarping efforts. This documentation can be useful for insurance claims.

When to Call a Professional

While tarping is a useful temporary measure, it’s essential to call in professionals for proper repairs:

Significant Damage: If the damage to your roof is extensive or structural, don’t attempt to repair it yourself. Call a roofing professional immediately.

Safety Concerns: If you’re uncomfortable or unsafe working on your roof, leave it to professionals who have the necessary expertise and equipment.

Insurance Claims: Contact your insurance company to report the damage and inquire about the claims process. They can provide guidance on necessary repairs and documentation.

List of DOs & DON’Ts

Here’s a handy list of DOs and DON’Ts when using temporary roof tarp.

DOs ✅

  • Prioritize safety at all times.
  • Assess the damage thoroughly.
  • Gather all necessary tools and materials.
  • Secure the tarp tightly to prevent wind damage.
  • Make temporary emergency repairs if possible.
  • Document the damage and tarping process.

DON’Ts ❌

  • Don’t attempt to use roof tarp during a storm or when it’s unsafe to do so.
  • Don’t ignore damage to your roof, as it can lead to further issues.
  • Don’t use a tarp that’s too small or not heavy-duty enough.
  • Don’t forget to secure all corners and edges of the tarp.
  • Don’t delay calling professionals for severe damage.
  • Don’t forget to contact your insurance company for guidance.

Keep Your Roof Dry With Effective Tarping 🌦️

Knowing how to tarp your roof in case of an emergency is a valuable skill for any homeowner. By acting swiftly and effectively, you can minimize further damage to your home and belongings, protect your family’s safety, and save on repair costs. Remember, while tarping is a temporary solution, it’s essential to call in roofing professionals for thorough repairs to ensure the long-term integrity of your roof and your home. Stay safe and be prepared for whatever challenges come your way as a responsible homeowner! 

Contact our expert team of contractors at Boss Exteriors today and give your home the care and expertise it deserves. Give us a call or fill out our easy online form to ask us any questions or tell us your needs for your next project. We can’t wait to connect with you!


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