How to Cover a Roof with a Tarp
How to Cover a Roof with a Tarp

How to Cover a Roof with a Tarp

How To Cover A Leaking Roof The Right Way

Its every homeowners worst nightmare: a leaking roof. Whether its been caused by wear and tear or is the result of a hurricane, this is a situation that requires immediate attention. Failure to take proper action can seriously compromise the structural integrity of your roof, as well as cause major damage to the interior of your home. Simply slapping some plastic over a damaged roof is not sufficient; you must make sure that you use the right materials and take the correct measures to do the job right.

When a leak occurs in a roof, the damage extends far beyond the shingles and structure of the roof itself. A roof that experiences water damage can weaken or rot; over time, it can even completely collapse. Also, water damage can result in mold, which can further weaken your roof and make it structurally unsound. Therefore, as soon as a roof has incurred damages that may cause leaks, it needs to be covered thoroughly with the proper material.

The first - and most important - step in properly covering your damaged roof is choosing the right kind of tarp. One of the most popular, widely used choices is 2.7 ounce blue tarp. This kind of tarp is a big seller because it comes in a huge selection of sizes and is one of the least expensive options. However, you do get what you pay for: in exchange for saving a few dollars, you run the risk of not properly protecting your roof. Blue

Tarps are just not heavy duty enough to do this important job adequately.

Rather than skimp on the materials, you should invest in a heavy duty tarp that will do the job right. A great example is a silver, 6.0 ounce per square yard style tarp. These are incredibly strong and tear resistant. Using a tarp like this to protect your damaged roof is a great first step in ensuring that further, irreversible damages do not occur.

Once you have purchased the proper kind of tarp, gather the other necessary supplies. You will need a couple of 2 x 4 wood strips, nails, a hammer, a knife, safety glasses and a ladder. You will preferably want to have all of these supplies at the ready on a utility belt so that your hands are free. Pinpoint the areas on the roof where the damage has occurred and where leaks have started, then carry your silver tarp and tools to the roof and follow these steps:

1) Roll out enough of the tarp to cover the damaged section(s) of the roof; it should extend from the eaves to the peak, and it should be cut so that an additional four feet are on either end.

2) The 2 x 4s should be two feet longer than the width of the tarp; wrap one end of the tarp around one of them. Carefully nail in or staple the tarp to the 2 x 4.

3) Nail another 2 x 4 over the tarp that is already secured to the first 2 x 4; the tarp will now be between the two strips of wood.

4) Place the secured end of the tarp on the eaves line; drape the tarp over the ridge and to the other side of the roof.

5) Secure the other end of the tarp the same way you did the first one (see step 3); nail it to the roof cheathing.

6) Use additional 2 x 4s to nail down and secure the other sides of the tarp.

By purchasing the right kind of tarp and carefully following these steps, you can make sure your roof is properly protected. Why run the risk of having your roof destroyed? Doing this job the right way, with the right materials, is imperative.


Robert Page has worked in the tarps industry for over 25 years. For more information about blue tarps please go to

or for infomation about heavy duty tarps please go to