Your home's roof protects the contents of your home, and if it's damaged by a storm or another unforeseen event, then everything beneath it is at risk of being ruined. our home's roof protects the contents of your home, and if it's damaged by a storm or another unforeseen event, then everything beneath it is at risk of being ruined.
Most insurance companies require homeowners to take action to prevent further unnecessary damage after an incident, and that is why you should know how to perform temporary repairs to keep water from entering your home. Below you will learn how to safely seal a roof opening to protect your home from additional damage until permanent repairs can be made.
What You Will Need
You can purchase the following supplies and tools from a home improvement or hardware store. Some of the items may even be available at general merchandise stores.
- One-by-two (1x2) boards
- Watertight plastic tarpaulin
- Two-inch long wood screws
- Bricks or paving stones
- Roofing cement
- Putty knife
- Measuring tape
- Electric drill with screwdriver bit
You will also need an extension ladder, if you don't already have one, to gain access to the roof.
How to Perform a Temporary Roof Repair
After gathering all of the necessary supplies and tools, you are ready to begin the job. Be sure to wait until weather and lighting conditions are safe before starting.
1. Survey the Roof for Safety Concerns
Before you begin any type of repair work, take a few moments to survey the site of damage. While you want to prevent additional damage to your home, it's much more important to be safe.
That means that you should carefully analyze the roof and surrounding area for signs of structural weakness and other hazards. For example, be alert for exposed electrical wiring that could cause a deadly shock.
Never climb onto the roof until you are completely certain that the area is safe for your weight and that there are no other dangers present. If you are unsure about either of these things, then wait until a roofing contractor or other construction professional can take care of repairs on your behalf.
2. Assess the Damage
Once you have determined that you can safely climb onto your roof, the next step is to take stock of the damage by inspecting the area. Specifically, measure the width and length of the roof penetration to calculate how much material you will need to perform the repair.
3. Cover the Opening with a Tarpaulin
After calculating the size of the opening, you will need to obtain a tarpaulin that is sufficiently large to cover the hole in your roof. The edge of the tarpaulin should be at least three feet away from the opening on all sides, so use the measurements obtained earlier to determine what size to buy. Be sure that the tarpaulin is waterproof, heavyweight, and resistant to ripping.
Once you have the tarpaulin, lay it out over the roof opening until it is flat and the edges are evenly spaced around the area of penetration. Next, place bricks or similar heavy items around the perimeter of the tarpaulin to hold it down until you can fasten it more securely.
4. Seal the Edges of the Tarpaulin
After the tarpaulin is positioned, use a putty knife to apply a thin coat of roofing cement to the full perimeter of the tarpaulin along its underside. This will help the tarpaulin better adhere and will form a watertight seal with the roof covering.
Next, align 1x2 strips of lumber along the edges of the tarpaulin until the boards are even with its edges. Hold the boards in place to prevent them from slipping, then drill two-inch wood screws through the boards, tarpaulin, and roof decking beneath it. Space the screws approximately every two inches apart along the entire length of each board.
5. Obtain Help From a Roofing Professional
While you should feel good about your efforts to protect your home from further damage, don't hesitate to contact a roofing professional about making permanent repairs. The tarpaulin is only a temporary measure, and leaks are likely to develop within a relatively short period of time.
If you are in central Mississippi and need help, be sure to contact Deep South Roofing LLC for assistance. The professionals at Deep South Roofing are ready to be of service.