Home inspection findings by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, Professional Real Estate Inspector TREC# 9073

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Hurricane Ike Home Repairs: Tarping Your Roof

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As we know, the high winds of a hurricane can do severe damage to our roofs. Materials like slate and clay tile can be broken by flying debris, and composite (asphalt) shingles fall off of the roof. Many people are dealing with temporary fixes until they can settle things with their insurance, and find a contractor to make the repairs. This generally means using one of those blue tarps to cover the roof.

This material is fairly easy to attach, but you may need two people. Yesterday I was by myself on a second story roof having the sheet blow over my head with each breeze. Not a fun working condition. Being a home inspector, I was trying to be cautious with the placement of the tarp. I did not want it to cover many vents. Covering the entire roof is fine for a temporary solution, but you should avoid blocking the vents as much as you can. If you have a gas water heater, the fumes will be coming up through the vent covered by this plastic sheet. It could melt, and if hot enough, it could help cause a fire. The vents for the plumbing system need air to allow the water to flow freely in your house. The best example to explain this is a drinking straw. Hold the top end of a straw in liquid; pull it out of the drink, and the liquid stays in the straw. If hot air is trapped in the attic because of a covered vent, that heat will eventually make its way down into the house.

As for securing the material to your roof, it is good to have a batten board to help hold the material down. This is just a strip of 1×1 board, which you can nail through. If you are not having the entire roof replaced, you should have roofing caulk handy. Those nails were driving holes through your shingles, which allows water to come into your home, so caulk those spots with a little dab after removing the tarp. As mentioned above, two people installing the tarp is safer. On a low roof, it may not matter, but a slight breeze can cause the sheet to billow up like a sail. On a second story roof, this can be a real danger.

In my next post, I am going to go over how water may be entering your home. At my inspection yesterday, I found that moisture in the living room ceiling did not come from the roof, but an exterior wall. I think that some people are quick to blame the roof when they see a few missing shingles, but it could be from any number of places.

« « Your Home and Its Repairs After Hurricane Ike| Hurricane Ike Home Repair: Finding Sources of Water Stains on Ceilings and Walls » »

One Response to “Hurricane Ike Home Repairs: Tarping Your Roof”

  1. Fire Sprinkler Systems Says:

    What a great website,the information on the topic is relevant and very on point. Navigating the site was real easy and I will bookmark your page for future visits.

© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States

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