What is the best way to temporarily patch my roof?

Tomorrow I'm going to be taking two chimneys out of my house. They are both brick and mortar chimneys. Both of them stick out the middle of my roof -- i.e. neither is on the side of the house. I've got an air hammer and will be removing them brick-by-brick.

Once I get the chimneys below the roof, I'm going to want to temporarily patch the roof.

I've seen online how to tarp a roof. But it looks like you have to nail the tarp to the roof. Doesn't that damage the integrity of the roof? I wonder if I could just use that tacky felt paper and cover it for a day or so.

One of the problems is that since I live in Seattle, it will likely be raining tomorrow -- and for the rest of the week -- and likely for the rest of the month. So I need something that will give me some immediate coverage until I can get a roofer out.

2 Answers 2


A few holes in a roof that needs fixing anyway is pretty cheap insurance. Wind can be powerful and damned persistent. Use 1x2 along the perimeter of the tarp and a few nails or screws to hold them in place. Really, you don't want to be up on the roof in a storm trying to retrieve your flapping tarp.

  • 1
    +1 nail it in. Roof patch goop is amazing stuff, repairing those holes when this is over will take little time and he's very unlikely to ever have problems with the repair for the life of the roof.
    – jamietre
    Dec 11, 2012 at 11:16

Tarps can leak through the weave, make sure you get one with a plasticized coating and then put a layer or two of 6mil poly under it. Lap over the comb of the roof to keep water off from under.

Here's hoping the torrential downpour we were enjoying in Southern Oregon last week stays away. I'm leaving the fastening to someone who's had to make it more permanent, ours was Arizona style with a couple bald tires, the kind of farmer patch one does rurally.

And as with tents and other things that sag under water load, temporarily fill the hole with a piece of plywood so your waterproof covering doesn't develop a pregnant bulge.

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