If your home has recent storm damage to the roof, one of the first things that comes to mind will be to tarp your roof. A blue tarp can provide a good temporary means of protection, but they don't last forever. Blue tarps are typically made of a woven UV-resistant poly-blend ranging in thickness and size. They can be found at most local hardware and home improvement stores. After a hurricane, FEMA as well as other organizations will help provide blue tarps for those in need at no cost while supplies are available. Due to their easy accessibility and fairly low costs, many homeowners seek to do the install themselves or with the help of a handyman after noticing roof damage or discovering a leak. If you plan to tarp your own roof, you can click here for some helpful instructions.
Once the tarp is in place and correctly installed to the roof you may ask, how long will this last? That depends on several factors such as quality of the tarp material, thickness, quality of installation, and weather conditions. However, on average it should last about 30 days. After this initial protection is when we start to see issues arise. As the suns powerful UV rays continue to break down the tarp, it begins to lose its integrity as well as its waterproof rating. Once the tarp begins to degrade, moisture will become trapped between the tarp and roof. This trapped moisture will cause rot and mold if it's not able to escape and dry out. Another thing that happens once the tarp begins to deteriorate is it will also become more susceptible to wind damage. The tarp can tear away from attachment points, or tear from any weak point. Once the tarp is flapping in the wind, it will begin to release more small blue particles throughout your lawn. Not to mention, it's no longer protecting your roof.
The biggest problem we see with blue tarps is that they get used beyond their working lifespan. It's common to still see blue tarps on roofs for years after a big storm. Not only is the tarp no longer functional, but it most likely has moisture trapped beneath it as well. This trapped moisture can heat in the sun and turn into vapor that can penetrate through decking, given enough time. We've had to do many complete roof deck replacements due to leaking tarps that had been installed for over a year. If you have to use a tarp for an extended period, you should remove, allow to air out, and replace with a new tarp every couple of months. If you know you may be on hold for a while with the roof replacement, it may be best to consider a shrink wrap roof covering.
What's our recommendation? Acquire the thickest or best quality tarp within your means. Better quality will last longer and may save you from having to do it twice. Correctly install the tarp yourself or hire a professional roofing company to do it for you. A properly installed tarp will not only last longer, it will actually work to keep the rain out too. Last but not least, arguably the most important, have your roof repaired or replaced before the tarp goes bad. You don't want to be on someone's wait list for more than a month or two. If your tarp is older than that, you are taking a risk of more water/mold damage occurring. Our storm response team works 7 days a week, and our projects are completed in weeks, not months. This greatly reduces additional damage and saves you money.
If you would like something better than a tarp, that will provide better protection, and comes with a warranty, check out roof shrink wrapping. When we install the shrink wrap, you will receive a materials & labor warranty for an entire year! This service is more suitable for commercial & historical applications.