Blue Tarps For Temporary Roof Repair

How To Install Blue Tarps On Your Roof?

If you are like most homeowners you have experienced or know someone with the dreaded blue tarp on their roof after a severe storm. In this article, I will explain to you how to install blue tarps on your roof, such as a material list, the pros and cons of using blue tarps to prevent leaks in your home, and why it is important to use this as a way to mitigate the damage to your home. We will also cover briefly the use of shrink-wrapping your roof.

Blue Tarp Temporary Install
Blue Tarp Temporary Install

Places to purchase blue tarps after a storm:

Home Depot


Ace Hardware

Materials you will need for installing the tarp yourself:



Tape Measure

Boxes of 1lb plastic cap nails 1- 1/1/4 inch, use as many as necessary and make sure the nails pierce shingles and decking.

Blue tarps of course as many as needed. Size may vary per home.

“1×2” strips of wood 6-8 ft in length or more spaced about 3-4 ft apart on the tarp, the amount may vary per home.

Penny nails used to nail down the “1×2” strips

Blue tarps for temporary roof repair are very economically friendly, which is why it’s used wisely by both contractors and homeowners until a new roof can be installed.




Not meant for long-term use.

May need to be inspected frequently to prevent leaks.

Easily damaged by debris, limbs, wind, etc.

Tarping your roof yourself should not be done if you have any health issues, or are afraid of heights.

Tips for installing a blue tarp on the roof. First, you will start at the top of the roof, making sure to overlay at the highest point of the roof and place some plastic cap nails to hold and secure the tarp in place, next take your second piece of tarp and place it under the top tarp and continue this method until reaching or covering a desired area that is the source of the leak. Now that everything is in place start nailing your tarp down with cap nails mentioned in the material list. Next use your 1×2 wood strips spaced out every 3-4 ft on the blue tarp to prevent wind and water seepage beneath the tarps.

I have seen many homeowners and contractors suggest using the use of sandbags to keep tarps in place instead of nails, this is not my preference, however, I will not discourage homeowners from doing this.

It is important to know when installing the tarps to your roof, that you will most likely be replacing your shingles and some decking, with an average cost of 9 to 25k. However, the cost of not doing anything can cause health issues such as respiratory issues from mold. There is also the full financial impact costing you thousands more on top of the roof repair, from electrical hazards, drywall, warping of decking and truss, etc, eventually overwhelming you financially.

Damages from leaking roof, before being repaired.
Damages from leaking roof, before being repaired.

I hope that this article gives enough helpful information to homeowners dealing with this issue.