project rebuild

Keep Water Out of Your House

Keep Water Out of Your House

After contacting your insurance company, it’s important to take steps to keep water from coming in through the damaged roof.

Tarping a damaged area of the roof is a temporary step until you can have the roof repaired or replaced by a professional. But installed properly, a tarp can help protect valuable belongings and structures inside the house — even for a few weeks if necessary.




  1. Locate the source of the leak.

  2. Choose a tarp large enough to extend at least four feet over the ridge while thoroughly covering the roof damage.

  3. Stretch the tarp flat on the roof, extending one edge at least four feet over the ridge.

  4. Position several long pieces of wood (1x2s or 2x4s work fine) on the tarp, lined up vertically down the slope.

  5. Attach the board to the roof decking, through the tarp, with eight-penny nails.

  6. Use plastic-cap nails to secure the tarp to the roof.



  1. Never walk on a tarped roof area; especially in wet weather, tarps can be very slick

  2. Wear work gloves and safety goggles

  3. Never go up on the roof when it is raining

  4. Watch for downed overhead power lines and treat all power lines as “live.” Note that generators can energize lines that are not actively receiving power from the electrical grid.