We had a tornado touch down in our neighborhood last night. Everyones ok, but there's quite a lot of damage. We lost a 2'x8' section of shingles along our roofline and have water damage all throughout our drywall ceiling. The weather is supposed to be clear until Sunday. Should I cover it with a tarp immediately? We still have all the plywood on the roof so I don't know if it would be better to let it dry or not. How should I attach the tarp? Nails, screws, tape, rope?


My instinct would be to let things dry out as much as possible.

To put the tarp up, I don't know if there is an official way, but my personal solution would be to install it under the first set of intact shingles and drive some nails through the shingle and tarp together, essentially turning the tarp into a temporary shingle.

If the roof ridge is near, then just run the tarp over the whole thing, drive some nails around the edges, and a few more in the middle to make sure nothing gets pulled from an up-draft.

When you pull the nails, just use a little sealant in the holes that are left.

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  • This is pretty much what I ended up doing. I had an old blue tarp, and a roofer was coming through our neighborhood putting tarps up for people. He gave me some nails with plastic washers attached to keep the tarp down and waterproof it simultaneously. I went over the ridgeline so I didn't need to tuck it under any shingles. – Doresoom Apr 30 '11 at 4:32

I agree, let it dry out as long as you dare. When you do have to cover it up, get a tarp that is plenty large enough to cover the damaged area. A pic would be helpful. Get enough 1X3 cheap strapping and use it as a large washer with your tarps. i'd try to go over the peak, roll the edges of the tarp around the strapping and pull it as tight as possible and nail it down with 4 or 6d double headed nails. Then take more strapping and install it perpendicular to the ridge line on 4 ft intervals. This will help prevent wind from getting under the tarps but let water flow easily down the roof.

Sorry to hear of you misfortune, glad to hear you and yours are OK. A lot of people we not so lucky in the last couple of days.

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  • +1 for the good advice, but I had to work with the materials I had on hand. Our entire county doesn't have power, and almost no stores were open where I could get supplies. – Doresoom Apr 30 '11 at 4:33

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