How to Conduct a Temporary Emergency Roof Repair

emergency roof repair

The roof of your home protects all of the precious contents inside. From family to pets and belongings, everything that is most important to you depends on the protection that your home offers.

Now imagine that a tree falls on your house in the night, or a strong storm tears part of your roof off.

Would you be prepared?

In such an instance, emergency roof repair may be necessary, and if a professional can’t come right away, you may need to conduct a temporary repair yourself.

Don’t put your home in danger. Read on to learn everything you’ll need to know in order to conduct a temporary emergency roof repair.

What Qualifies as Damage Worth Repairing

When the unexpected happens and your roof’s structural integrity is compromised, this calls for an immediate repair.

For example, if a storm or hurricane with rain or hail is passing through your area, and the rain or hail is entering your home through the damaged area of your roof, this would qualify for an emergency roof repair.

Remember, a category one storm has winds strong enough to rip shingles off of your roof.

And, when in doubt, better safe than sorry! The time and effort that you spend making a temporary repair to your roof will always be worth it in the long run.

Water damage and other destruction can occur from these compromised areas that will cost you much more time and money later on if you don’t take the appropriate preventative measures.

The Anatomy of a Roof

In order to understand how to accurately execute a temporary repair on a roof, you must first understand the anatomy of the roof itself. Don’t worry, it’s simple- we promise!

Let’s break it down.

Shingles

Shingles cover the top layer of the roof. They are layered to protect the objects underneath. The most common materials shingles are made out of are asphalt, wood, metal, and tile.

Chimney

A structure that ascends above the roofline, the chimney allows smoke to exit a household fireplace.

Ridge

The ridge is the highest point of the roof if it is sloped. Sometimes, it will include a vent, which is meant to allow hot air to escape from an attic.

Fascia

The fascia is where rain gutters are usually attached. It runs horizontal and is attached to the roof’s rafters.

Eaves

The eaves are the sloped bottom edge of the roof that juts beyond the exterior walls.

Soffit

The soffit is the underneath side of the eaves. Often times, it is fitted with vents to get fresh air into the attic.

Gutters/Downspouts

These channels are attached to the fascia and are used to carry away rainwater.

And there you have it! Now, when you’re on your roof or talking to a professional, you will be able to identify each part.

And next, onto some step-by-step repair directions.

Don’t Panic

So, we’re ready to talk about the temporary repair. What’s the very first thing you have to do?

Stay calm.

Especially in emergency situations, panicking can lead to harmful mistakes.

It’s also important to keep in mind that working on a roof in wet conditions can be dangerous. Make sure that you are implementing all safety precautions possible, and if you feel unsafe at any time, discontinue the repair.

Roof Coverings

Temporary roof coverings are a great way to protect your home until a professional can perform a full repair.

Our recommendation for this type of covering is the classic, pervasive blue tarp.

These blue tarps are large, tough, and the little metal grommet holes on the sides make them easy to secure.

Make sure that if you do use a temporary roof covering, it is tied down- not weighed down with heavy objects. Weighing a covering down poses the risk of the heavy objects sliding and falling off of the roof.

In order to get the tarp over your house, get creative. For example, you could tie some rope to a light object (like a small, soft ball) and then throw the object over your home. Then string the rope through the grommets of the tarp and pull the rope on the other side to slide the tarp up and over. Just use caution when throwing anything around people or windows.

All you need to do to secure the tarp is put some rope through the grommet holes, and then tie the rope to some surrounding sturdy objects. Make sure the objects which the rope is tied to are very heavy, to avoid the objects being turned into flying weapons. A tree or a large, heavy trash can will work.

Keep in mind that the wind may be able to lift the tarp if it is tied to objects that are too high, or if the tarp is too small.

How to Use a Patching Compound for Emergency Roof Repair

Another option for a quick fix is using a bitumen patching compound. Here’s how.

This type of compound is a gluey, messy substance that can seal a damaged area immediately. If you can reach the damaged area safely with a ladder or from the inside, you can use it to seal cracks, secure shingles, and waterproof small areas.

Because of the nature of this substance, make sure that you use a disposable construction utensil to spread it, and we recommend wearing gloves as well.

And, as always, if your roof is very wet and conditions are unsafe, we do not endorse attempting a temporary repair.

What Next?

Once you have performed the emergency roof repair, make sure that you contact your insurance company, if necessary.

If the damage to your roof and home is the result of a widespread, serious storm, be wary of scam artists (or “storm chasers”) who capitalize on fear following these catastrophes in order to cash in by offering repairs.

And, of course, get in touch with a professional to repair your roof properly as soon as possible.

Wrapping Up

When disaster strikes, just remember- the number one priority is your safety and the safety of those around you.

Perform a temporary repair with a covering or sealing compound as quickly as possible, if it is possible, and then contact a trusted specialist for assistance.

Want to know more? Feel free to contact us anytime with questions or to learn more about our services. We’d love to hear from you!