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Dayton Phone

(937) 520-5201

Service Hours

Mon - Fri 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM


910 South Patterson Blvd,
Dayton, OH 45402

How Ineffective Emergency Roof Tarping Can Make Your Leak Worse

Don’t allow a poor emergency tarping job to exacerbate a roof leak!

A roof leak doesn’t harm only the roof itself. It can damage your attic, flooring, insulation, and even the ceilings below. In short, it can create significant (and costly) damage for homeowners or landlords. Tarping a roof is a necessary emergency measure to protect against moisture intrusion in the event that a roof is damaged. However, poor roof tarping can do more harm than good.

Luckily for Northeastern Ohio residents, there are better ways to tarp a roof and protect the leak until it can be patched professionally.

What causes roof leaks?

Several events can lead to a leaking roof. Among them are the following:

  • The roof’s age and condition.
  • Missing or broken shingles.
  • Clogged gutters.
  • Chimney damage.
  • Damaged roof vents.
  • Ice dams.
  • Attic condensation.
  • Cracked or loose flashing.
  • Incorrectly sealed seams (especially in valleys).
  • Skylights that need repair.

And, of course, there is always neglect on the part of homeowners and negligence from cheap, fly-by-night roofing outfits.

What are some best practices for emergency roof tarping?

You might think laying a tarp on a roof will cover any leaks and prevent water from entering their homes and causing further damage. But more is needed.

The Proper Way to Tarp a Roof

People often use nails or sandbags to anchor a tarp to their roofs. But while that will hold it in place, it won’t stop water from seeping underneath the tarp and entering your home through the leaking area you’re trying to protect. As a result,  you risk allowing water (and possibly mold) to damage  your attic or your top-floor ceiling.

A better way is to attach the edge of the tarp by lifting a row of shingles and nailing it down underneath the singles. That way, water flows over the shingles, down the tarp, and into the gutter, bypassing the leak and allowing the home to stay dry.

Safety First

What if you have gas or propane appliances in your home and want to lay a tarp safely? Then you should:

  1. Cut a hole in the tarp and pull it over the appliance’s exhaust vent.
  2. Keep the tarp roughly six inches from an exhaust vent since tarp material is combustible and vents can be hot.
  3. If a vent is missing or seriously damaged, turn off the gas until the vent is repaired.
  4. Seal the tarp with caulk or similar material to prevent leaks where the tarp has been cut around the vent.

But even if your home doesn’t use natural gas or propane, tarping a roof can still be hazardous—especially in inclement weather. 

For example, you could slip on ice, snow, moss, or wet leaves. You could also find that the roof has a steeper grade than you’d thought. Or you could lose traction and fall to the ground. In short, leave the emergency roof tarping to a professional who is trained to complete the job safely and efficiently. 

What if you improperly tarp a roof or fail to tarp it altogether?

Ignoring roof leaks can result in mold and mildew growth, which can spread through your home. Mold and mildew can grow on everything from walls and ceilings to furniture and clothing. So if you don’t fix your leaking roof promptly, your mold problem could worsen.

And if you don’t deal with the mess on your roof and throughout your home, your insurance company might not cover additional harm, even if it still covers the costs of the initial damage. That’s why you’d be wise to hire a professional roofer to place the roof tarp for you.

JW Roofing: We’ll tarp your roof —and more.

At JW Roofing, our experts have extensive experience in effective emergency roof tarping. With decades of experience in storm damage repair in Northwestern Ohio, our team is prepared to tarp your roof today and walk you through the storm restoration process in the weeks to come. Don’t allow a small leak to become a huge problem in the not-so-distant future. Contact us today! Not only will we properly tarp your roof,  we’ll check for further roof damage and provide prompt repair services. Let’s get started. Give us a call at (937) 520-5201 or complete our online form today!

emergency roof tarping done to protect a roof following damage

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