How Long Does It Take To Tarp A Roof

If you don't currently have a roofing contractor to look for, this article will show you how to locate one. What are your alternatives if the water damage has been discovered but you can't afford to fix it straight away? Fortunately, most homeowners can fix the damaged area with a simple solution in only a few minutes: a waterproof tarp.

If your house is insured, the insurance company will most likely demand that you take steps to avoid additional damage until a professional can resolve the problem. If you do nothing, the insurance provider may or may not pay for necessary repairs.

nIt's difficult to determine how much of your roof has been damaged by water. A wet disaster can be a costly one for your house, and tarping your roof might help you get insurance coverage when you need it most.

Old traditional Dutch farmhouse with a reed roof repaired, How Long Does It Take To Tarp A Roof

How Long Can You Keep a Tarp on a Roof?

The maximum amount of time to leave a tarp on your roof is 120 days, according to one study.

Tarps will fail for a variety of reasons, including the materials used in their construction and the environments in which they are subjected. Some tarps might survive for a year or two if constructed appropriately.

Damaged and old roofing shingles and gutter system on a house

However, there are other things to consider when purchasing a tarp. Because you'll be covering the attic exhaust and intake vents, this will prevent proper ventilation.

When a heating system malfunctions, it will overheat, causing roof tiles to deteriorate. A blocked chimney can cause condensation, which can lead to mold development and additional water damage to your home. 

Consider using a tarp-like spare tire on your car as a backup measure. It's an emergency solution that works well in the short term. Then you'll want to address the problem as soon As possible, but not necessarily permanently.

Why Tarp a Roof?

Damage roof after a severe storm

Roof damage that isn't repaired might result in expensive and time-consuming home repairs later on. All visible wood will decay when water is available. Rotten rafters, ceiling joists, wall framing, and structural instability can all be caused by this.

Water in the attic or on the ceiling can short circuit wires, causing power outages or even fires and electrocution. Leaks in your house's ceilings might necessitate further repairs and replacement, such as sheetrock and ceiling beams.

The development of mildew and mold is another major issue with water damage inside. Mold can be a problem in your house. It might be unsightly and result in property damage, but it is rarely dangerous to your health. Certain mold types are mostly safe for people; they're just ugly and cause property damage. Others, on the other hand, pose a significant risk to one's health.

If you can't have your roof fixed immediately by a professional, tarping may be the best short-term solution.

When should you Tarp a Roof?

In the case of rain, if you detect or suspect that your roof has been damaged, you should tarp it as soon as feasible. This will depend on your geographical location. It is usually a good idea to tarp your roof as soon as possible so that you aren't caught off guard by an impending storm.

Recommended: How To Tarp A Roof After A Storm or Hurricane

What Type of Tarps is Best for Roofs?

Folded orange tarpaulin

Look for a tarp that is made of a heavy-duty and waterproof fabric.

There are a variety of tarps to select from, including coated canvas, polyethylene, and vinyl.

On boats, heavy-duty tarps with rust-proof brass grommets are popular. Poly tarpaulins are lighter and less expensive than poly tarps, but they're not as widely used for a variety of outdoor activities. They're also heavier than poly tarps. Canvas tarps are not tear-resistant, and they will shrink and/or stretch with time. Another disadvantage is that asphalt shingles are frequently less than ideal for roofing. The waterproof coating may wear off over time, making them less suitable for rooftop usage.

Polyethylene tarping is a long-lasting and versatile material. They are available in both waterproof and UV-resistant varieties, making them ideal for your roof. Polycarp tents are tear-resistant with welded seams and fire-retardant versions are available.

Vinyl tarps are thicker and more long-lasting than most other tarps. They're designed to endure a lot of severe weather and last a long time. Heat sealing, tearing, and abrasion resistance stretch them further. 

Read more: How To Tarp A Roof

What to Consider When Selecting a Tarp for Your Roof

Water Resistance

Of course, the priority when tarping the roof is to keep water out, thus you'll want a waterproof tarp. Numerous waterproof tarps on the market may not properly protect your roof, so double-check.

Almost all tarps are treated with a fungistatic substance to make the mold and mildew resistant. This is essential for preventing mold from entering your property. 

A red tarp wet from the rain


A lightweight tarp will be inexpensive and easy to store, yet it won't survive long if exposed to full weather. A tarp 12 mil thick or more will resist the elements and scuffs from being attached to the roof far better.

Why should you have a Professional Tarp on your Roof?

Adult professional builder in hardhat measuring length of wood lumber on site under blue sky

Anyone who goes on a roof is doing so at their own risk. You may slip and fall, the worst-case scenario, off the edge of the roof's edge. It's also possible that there will be significant damage that a non-professional will miss. A damaged roof may result in serious injuries or even property damage if you fall through it.

If you already have the tools and safety gear needed for the work, DIY may not be less expensive. We've compiled a list of tarping roof costs for when you'd want to employ a professional instead.

A too steep roof to negotiate safely, extensive damage caused by a severe storm or a fallen tree, and a large number of trees are some additional causes for hiring an expert.

Consider if you should attempt it yourself or hire a professional by tallying up the costs of all materials and tools, as well as time and effort. Make sure you're realistic about your physical fitness and the difficulties of roof climbing.

The skills and equipment required for the work are all there. When the time comes, a professional roofer can examine your roof and provide you with an estimate of how much it will cost to repair it.

Final Thoughts

An old traditional Dutch farmhouse with a reed roof repaired

It's possible that dealing with house repairs, particularly on a broad scale, would be difficult. It might be tough to know where to start and whether you should do it yourself or hire someone.

Tarping your roof is an excellent way to preserve it from additional harm, but it should only be used as a stopgap.

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