Danny Lipford demonstrates how to secure a tarp to a storm damaged roof.
Danny Lipford demonstrating how to secure a tarp to a storm damaged roof.

In the aftermath of a hurricane, tornado, severe storm, falling tree limbs, or other cause of roof damage; it’s important to report the damage to your insurance company as soon as possible and take plenty of pictures.

To minimize water damage in the interim before long-term repairs can be made, cover the damaged part of the roof with a tarpaulin. Here’s how to go about it.

To secure a tarp to your roof:

    • Find the source of the roof leak.
    • Stretch a tarp flat on the roof.
    • Extend the top edge of the tarp over the ridge of the roof.
    • Positions several 1×2 pieces of lumber on the tarp running vertically down the slope of the roof.
    • Attach the 1x2s through the tarp and into the roof decking with eight-penny nails about every 16 inches.
    • Use felt roofing nails with a plastic washer to help secure the tarp to the roof.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: In the aftermath of a hurricane, it’s important to report any and all damage that you may have to your home to your insurance company right away, and take plenty of pictures. It’s also very important to take the necessary steps to minimize additional damage to your home.

Now, after a storm a lot of homeowners are looking for an immediate solution for a leaky roof. And in most of those cases, a plastic tarp really can help to minimize any additional damage that can occur with other rains after the storm.

Now, to hold it in place, a one-by-two like this is just perfect. You can stretch your tarp out over—lapping it over the ridge—make it nice and flat. Then use the one-by-twos with some eight-penny nails, like these, to hold it down in place. And you’ll want to nail it about every sixteen inches.

Also, occasionally, you’ll want to put maybe a few of these. These are nails with plastic washers on them that will kind of spread out the support that they provide, and really hold your tarp nice and tight.

Now, it’s important to remember to keep it nice and tight so that water will not dam up anyway. And run these strips down the slope, instead of turning them sideways that can create some ponding or damming that’s not a good idea at all.

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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