How To Perform An Emergency Roof Repair To Cover A Hole Caused By Storm Damage

Storms can cause a lot of damage to structures, but one of the most serious is a punctured roof. If your roof has a hole that penetrates the shingles and decking, you need to promptly repair the damage to provide temporary protection for your home. The following repair is only for the short term, and your roof will require permanent repair before more than a few weeks pass. But it will keep your home safe for a period of time. Here is what you need to know:

Tools and materials you will need

  • Roll or sheet of metal flashing - Purchase galvanized steel in either sheet or roll form, and be sure the minimum dimensions in either direction are long enough to cover an entire shingle. Try to find material that is either 28 or 30 gauge thickness for the best protection.

  • Tin snips or aviation snips - Either cutting tool will work, so use whichever you have available. Just keep in mind that aviation snips are designed for making rounded cuts; tin snips will make the job of making straight cuts a little easier.

  • Tube of roofing cement - Roofing cement is a tar-based material that provides watertight seals and is useful for a lot of roof repair work. Buy a tube suitable for use with a caulk gun, since it is easier to dispense than scooping it from a can.

  • Caulk gun

  • Putty knife

  • Leather gloves

  • Measuring tape

  • Straightedge

  • Wax pencil

  • Ladder

Step-by-step procedure for making the repair

  1. Make safety your first priority - Even roofing work during perfect conditions can be hazardous, but performing an emergency repair in less-than-ideal circumstances, such as in the rain or in the dark, demands your full concentration. Always be sure of your surroundings and never perform work in lightning or high winds. If you are doubtful about your ability to perform a repair, don't risk your life or personal safety; instead, contact an emergency roofing contractor (like those at for assistance.

  2. Assess the damage - When you first survey the hole in your roof, you will need to be sure your repair coverage is sufficient. Look around the edges of the hole and underneath the shingles; the roof decking may be damaged to a greater extent than the shingles, and the hole itself may be much larger than first appearances. Measure the dimensions of the hole to determine the width and length of the opening in the decking.

  3. Determine the size of the flashing - Once you have measured the size of the hole in the roof decking, you will need to determine the cutting dimensions for the flashing. The flashing needs to exceed the hole by at least 3-inches on all sides; this means adding 6 inches to the measured width and length of the hole when laying out dimensions. For example, if the hole in your roof measures 2 inches-by-3 inches, then you will need to lay out an 8-inch by 9-inch rectangle on the sheet metal.

  4. Lay out the cutting dimensions and cut the flashing - Put on a pair of leather work gloves to protect your hands from cuts while working with the sharp metal flashing. Next, measure and mark off the dimensions on the flashing as determined in step 3. Following that, use a straightedge and wax pencil to draw the cutting lines on the flashing. Grasp the flashing with one hand and carefully cut along the wax pencil lines with a pair of tin snips or aviation snips. Be careful not to bend the flashing so it will lay flat on the roof when cemented.

  5. Cement the flashing to the roof - After you have cut out the piece of flashing, lay it over the hole in the roof and slide the top end of the flashing under the nearest undamaged shingle above it. If the flashing fits and covers the hole, turn it over and apply a generous amount of roofing cement all along its edges. Flip the flashing back over and slip it under the shingle; push the flashing down firmly to spread out the roofing cement. Don't worry if the roof is wet, as roofing cement will adhere to wet or even saturated surfaces. Next, apply a line of roofing cement along each vertical side of the flashing where it meets the shingles. Using a putty knife, spread the cement out so it covers the edge of the flashing and overlaps the shingles.

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Exploring Large And Small Home Improvement Projects

Hi, my name is Wesley Bhanda. I strongly believe that a quality contractor should perform nearly all residential repairs and upgrades. Although homeowners are crazy about DIY projects right now, having a contractor perform the risky or large jobs ensures the work abides by local building codes. These codes protect homes from electrical faults that could lead to fires or plumbing problems that may result in serious floods. I will teach homeowners which projects need a professional touch and which ones are appropriate for DIY projects. I will also discuss common pitfalls that occur during particular home improvement projects. I hope you will visit often to learn more about the right way to get work done around your home. Thanks for coming to my website. Visit often!