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How To Patch A Hole In The Roof: An Expert Guide For Homeowners

Posted on November 30, 2023

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How To Patch A Hole In The Roof: An Expert Guide For Homeowners

If there is a hole in your roof and you are waiting for a roofing professional to arrive, sometimes it’s necessary to temporarily patch the area to keep water, debris, and pests from entering your home.

In this blog post, you will learn how to patch a hole in the roof until your roofing contractor can implement a permanent solution. We will cover everything from tools and techniques to safety gear. 

Patching A Hole In The Roof

Here is the step by step process of patching a hole in the roof before the roofing contractor arrives.

Step 1: Inspect The Damage

Inspect your attic for any signs of water stains or daylight seeping through. Once you’ve located the damage, head to the roof and take note of the damaged materials and the size and shape of the hole. Different roofing materials require specific patching methods. Whether you have asphalt shingles, metal panels, or clay tiles, understanding your roof’s composition and the extent of damage is crucial for an effective repair.

Step 2: Gather The Right Tools

Having the right tools on hand can make all the difference between a quick, effective fix and a prolonged headache. Here’s a list of the essential supplies you’ll need that should be readily available at your local hardware store:

Roof Tarp: Protecting From The Elements

A tarp is one of the most important tools you’ll need. Look for a roofing tarp or a heavy duty, waterproof tarp that can withstand varying weather conditions. Its size should be a bit larger than the hole, enough to cover the damaged area with ample overlap around the edges.

Roofing Nails: Securing The Tarp

Buy nails or screws that are sturdy and long enough to penetrate through the tarp and into the sheathing. 

Compatible Adhesive: Sealing The Edges

You will need an adhesive that works well with your tarp and roofing material. It is necessary to fortify the edges and create a watertight seal, leaving no gaps between the tarp and roofing material.

You can also opt for a self adhering tarp, which eliminates the need for roofing nails and additional adhesive by sticking directly to the roofing materials.

Other tools include a sturdy ladder, non-slip shoes, and rubber gloves. These fall more under safety gear, which are essential to wear while patching a hole in the roof.

Step 3: Follow Safety Measures

Safety should always be your main focus, especially when working on your roof, so it’s crucial to adhere to certain safety measures. 

Here are some steps you can take:

  • Use a sturdy ladder that is the right size to reach the roof.
  • Wear rubber gloves to avoid staining or hurting your hands.
  • Put on a face mask to avoid breathing in dust and fumes from adhesives.
  • Choose a clear, sunny day to patch the damage to avoid working on slippery or unsafe surfaces. 
  • Clean the area to avoid tripping over scattered objects.
  • Establish a clear exit plan in case of an emergency.
  • Work with a partner who can pass tools, hold your ladder, and act as an extra set of eyes to ensure your safety.

Now that you’ve got your tools and safety gear lined up, let’s move on to the process of executing a swift and effective temporary patch.

Step 4: Patch The Hole

hole in the roof

This is the final step, where you actually start working to cover the hole using the above tools and materials. Here are the steps to patch a hole in the roof:

1. Secure The Area

Before commencing the patch, clear the area around the damaged section. Remove any items that might hinder your movement and ensure a clutter free workspace. This includes organizing your tools and materials before climbing to the roof. 

2. Document For Insurance

Document the damaged area for insurance purposes. Take photos and detailed notes, including the date and time of the patching. This documentation will be very helpful when filing a claim.

3. Position The Tarp

Lay the pre-cut tarp over the damaged area, ensuring it extends beyond the hole. Use roofing nails to secure the tarp’s edges to the roof structure. Space and drive the nails at a proper angle so they don’t bend and create a solid bond, preventing the tarp from shifting or loosening. This step is critical in preventing water, debris, and pests from entering your home.

4. Secure With Adhesive

Apply a generous amount of adhesive along the edges of the tarp. This step fortifies the temporary patch, creating a tight seal against the elements. Ensure the adhesive forms a complete bond between the tarp and the roofing material.

5. Add Plywood For Additional Support

For an even more secure fix, you can line the tarp with pieces of plywood. The boards will weigh down the edges, ensuring that the tarp stays firming in place while you wait for the roofing contractor to arrive. 

6. Inspect Your Handiwork

Step back and inspect your temporary patch. Ensure the tarp is securely in place, the edges are sealed with adhesive, and the reinforcement with plywood, if applied, is stable. This thorough inspection guarantees the effectiveness of your quick fix.

7. Communicate With Professionals

With the temporary patch in place, it’s crucial to inform your roofing contractor of the situation. Provide details of the patch and schedule a thorough roof inspection. Clear communication ensures they are well informed when devising a permanent solution.

Steps Roofing Contractors Will Take To Repair A Hole In The Roof

Here are the steps a roofing contractor will take when repairing a hole in your roof:

Step 1: Find The Cause

Once your roofing contractor arrives, their team will begin by finding the cause of the damage. Holes are generally developed due to heavy impacts, which can be caused by hailstones, foot traffic, vandalism, or flying objects during a storm.

If your roof has been damaged by hail, read our blog post on hail damage roof repairs for tips to ensure a successful project.

Step 2: Roof Inspection, Report, And Estimate 

After finding the cause, the roofers will inspect the whole roof to find other holes, tiny cracks, or damage. They’ll create a detailed roof condition report with the recommended repair solutions and an estimated total cost.

Step 3: Discuss Roof Repair Solutions And Costs

The contractor will then discuss those roof repair solutions and costs with you. It can include replacing the damaged section of the roof, installing an ice and water shield, or adding new shingles or tiles.

Step 4: Sign The Roof Repair Contract

You and your contractor will then need to sign a contract that details the repair process, costs, legal requirements, and certain conditions to be met by both parties. Sign the roof repair contract only after reading it carefully and asking for clarifications or changes if needed.

Step 5: Procuring The Roofing Materials

After the discussion, your roofing contractor will ask for a down payment, which should not be more than 20% of the total repair cost. The team will use it to procure the required roofing materials and schedule a timeline for the work.

Step 6: Repair The Hole In The Roof

The professionals will start by tarping the ground to protect it from debris during the repair process. Then, finally, the repair work will begin. Make sure kids and pets don’t hinder the work so everything goes as planned.

Remember, the key to a leak free roof is proactive roof care. Regular inspections, trimming overhanging branches, clearing debris, and addressing minor repairs quickly are all crucial steps. You can also consider upgrading your attic’s ventilation and old roofing materials for a long lasting, comfortable, and more appealing roof. Remember, repairs can be the perfect time to implement such changes.

If you need professional guidance on fixing a hole in your roof, roof repairs, or storm damage restoration services in Pittsburgh, PA, our team is always ready to help!

Get Expert Roof Repair Services In Pittsburgh, PA

At Hepler Contracting, we’ve been restoring damaged roofs with world class materials and flawless workmanship for years. We are proud of our experts who know how to take care of your home while working and provide accurate solutions within your budget. If you are looking for a reliable roof repair service in Pittsburgh, you can trust our honest and friendly professionals for a seamless and stress free job! Call us at (412) 694-8785 for a free consultation and estimate on repairing the hole in your roof.

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