How to install a roof tarp on a gravel roof.

After a weather event such as a hurricane or wind storm, you may have a time where your flat roof system either gets pulled back on the corners or punctured by a falling limb or branch.   When you need to make temporary roof repairs to a gravel roof system is more complicated than installing a tarp on a shingled roof.

You will need some supplies: Ladder, nails, hammer, tarp, tape, sandbags or any heavy objects, and furring strips. Furring strips are any long strip of material that you can nail into so the nail does not go right though and tear the tarp material.   You can use 1x2 strips of wood, baseboard or anything similar that you can find in your garage or local hardware store.

First locate the area of the roof leak.  This can be tricky as water runs. Don’t just look around the area just above the leak. Water can run down rafters or along electrical lines.  Around vents and pipe stacks are common areas where roof leaks can also develop.

Because of the gravel you cannot nail into the roof system. It will require pulling the tarp over the edge of the roof and securing it to the fascia boards.   Fascia is the trim piece that goes along the edge of the roof .  You will not be able to nail the tarp right into the fascia, as the nails will pull through.  Nail into the furring strips on top of the tarp.

 You will need to cut openings where the vents are so that the air can escape your home.   For the pipe stacks and vents, first cover the area with tarps. Then cut a X right over the top of the vent, then pull the tarp down around the pipe. Then tape the tarp to the edge of the pipes and vents.

You will need to secure the middle of the tarp area with sand bags or heavy objects, so wind does not get under the tarp.   You may also need to tape 2 tarps together to get them large enough to cover the damaged area.

Also be careful setting up your ladder. Work in a team of two if possible to stop the tarp from blowing around.   Following these simple steps will stop your roof leak until permanent roof repairs can be made.