How to Cover Your Roof with Paterson Poly Blue Tarps

If your roof leaks, it can have a devastating trickle-down effect on the rest of your home. Whether you’re a homebuilder constructing or refurbishing a house during the threat of bad weather, or a homeowner seeking shelter or protection until a damaged roof can be prepared, blue tarps are the easiest and most cost-effective way to cover your roof.

Paterson Poly supplies homebuilders and DIY homeowners with the best heavy-duty polyethylene tarps. These tarps are 8 ft. x 8 ft. mesh we’ve, weighing 110 grams or 95 grams per square meter. Edges are reinforced using Polypro Hem, double stitched and welded to provide the most tear-proof protection possible. Grommets are made of metal, and they’re zinc plated so that they’re more durable and more rust-resistant than aluminum. Each grommet is placed at 3 ft. Intervals to provide ample tie downs.
At Paterson Poly, we provide the best heavy-duty polyethylene tarps on the market, and in this post we explain how to use our blue tarps to safely and securely cover roofs.

Step 1: Measure for and Buy Roof Covering Supplies
First, you need to measure the area that needs to be covered. 10 ft. x 10 ft. usually covers a leaky area. Take a look. Once you have numbers in mind, consider measuring for reinforcement that’ll help keep the blue tarp in place. We suggest using furring strips. These pieces of wood will help tightly fasten the blue tarp to almost any damaged roof.
Measure a bit more closely to know how many furring strips you’ll need. If you’re hoping to cover a 10 ft. x 10 ft. area, double it to account for both sides of the tarp. That’s 20 ft. x 20 ft. Multiply both numbers by 2. That’s 40 ft. x 40 ft. Add them together. That’s 80 ft. Divide 80 ft. by the length of the furring strips, usually 8 ft. The answer is 10. That means you’ll need to purchase. 10 pieces of 1 ft. x 4 ft. and 8 ft. long furring strips.
Once you have blue tarp amount and furring strip numbers in mind, add furring strip fasteners to your list. We use 2 1/2 in. or 3 in. Galvanized roofing nails since they need to go through furring strips, tarps and at least the first shingle layer of roof sheathing.

Step 2: Secure the Blue Tarp to the Rooftop
Choose a sunny and wind-free day to unfold the blue tarp and lay it out over the damaged roof area. Do this task with a buddy to save time and limit frustration over trying to get the tarp to stay in position. If you’re on your own, place and drive nails halfway in at each grommet. Then bend them over the metal rings to secure the tarp.
Tip: Overlap the roof’s ridge line with the blue tarp, otherwise water will leak inside.

Step 3: Add Furring Strips Over the Blue Tarp
Now it’s time to create a seal around the edge of the blue tarp. This is done by using galvanized roof nails to install furring strips at the edges. Start at the top—the roof’s ridge line—and go from corner to corner. Pull the polyethylene tarp tight, then add furring strips along the bottom. Finally go up both sides with remaining furring strips.

Step 4: Add Roofing Tar to Waterproof Nails
This is an extra measure to ensure that your new blue tarp installation is as leakproof as possible. Use a tube of roofing cement and a caulking gun to squeeze out enough sealant to surround each nail head. This stops leaks from seeping in around the nail.


A heavy-duty polyethylene blue tarp is an excellent way to provide short-term solution for new construction problems or roof damage, and the folks at Paterson Poly hope that this helps you figure out how to do it yourself to save time, save money and, most importantly, save your home. 

If you have any questions, view our FAQs or contact us.
Need tarps for your DIY roof job? Select and buy our heavy-duty blue tarps online.