This guide answers the question: how long can you leave a tarp on a roof? Persons with construction projects involving tarps will find the answers provided quite informative.

In discussing how long a tarp should be on a roof, we’ll cover relevant areas like why a tarp isn’t a permanent roof covering and reasons for using a tarp on a top.

Other areas discussed include tarp lifespan, how long to leave tarp on the roof, types of tarp used in construction, choosing the right tarp for roof covering, factors affecting the duration of tarps on the roof, and getting the pros involved.

How Long Does Roofing Tarp Last?

Tarps are multipurpose or versatile materials that serve various purposes, including construction. Tarps are placed on roofs to serve as temporary covering, and the length of usage matters.

Tarps Are Not for Permanent Roof Covering

To start our discussion, it’s important to state that tarps aren’t designed to serve as permanent roof covering. In other words, these are made to serve a short-term purpose as more durable construction materials are available.

Such include clay & concrete tile roofing, wood shingles & shakes, composite roofing, rubber roofing, and corrugated roofing.

Other more durable roofing materials include metal roofing, flat roofing, slate roofing, solar roofs, and many others.

Tarp coverings on roofs only serve a temporary maintenance function to keep out moisture until the damage is fixed, after which the tarp is removed.

So, are you looking to place a tarp over your roof and wish to know how long it can last before it’s removed? Read on.

Reasons for Using Tarp on a Roof

Tarps are roof coverings that help prevent moisture damage or water seepage through open roof areas.

Such opening may have resulted from poor roof installation, high winds & storms, hail, heavy rains, snow buildup, and falling debris.

These conditions can result in roof damage, which calls for immediate repair.

Immediate action often requires a temporary covering, which a tarp provides. This covering is installed for the time being as repairs are effected on the damaged part of the roof.

Sometimes, this may take a week or up to a month to fix. The tarp covering on the roof keeps out moisture during the waiting period. What’s the standard lifespan of a roof tarp?

Roof Tarp Lifespan

Before buying a roof tarp, knowing its lifespan and how long it will serve is necessary. Now, tarps vary in thickness, durability, and lifespan.

On average, a roof tarp will serve anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. However, it shouldn’t be left for that long on your roof. In other words, besides the lifespan, roof tarps are best used for 90 days max.

Another thing you’ll need to know about roof tarp lifespan is that it is determined by the type of material it’s designed from.

Common materials include clear PVC, poly, canvas, vinyl, and iron horse polyester tarps. Vinyl tarps belong to the most durable roof tarp category as they tend to last longer.

Others fall into this category as well.

How Long to Leave Tarp on the Roof

Now, to the main point of our discussion: there has to be a maximum period within which roof tarps are considered worthwhile. The most durable tarps will last an average of 90 days.

That is because continued exposure to the elements (rain, sunshine, and snow) will take its toll on this covering. In other words, roof tarps steadily deteriorate due to continued exposure.

However, your specific use will determine how long you leave the tarp on a roof. Some projects won’t require having tarps over your roof for up to 90 days.

For example, if you wish to perform a temporary roof repair, it wouldn’t take much time to fix. As such, covering affected areas with a tarp would only be brief (a few weeks or more).

Roof tarps may be left for much longer for construction and renovation purposes. In other words, it may exceed the 90-day timeframe.

However, we stated earlier that this is the maximum period to leave tarps on the roof.

You may need to have it replaced or adequately address underlying issues that led to using this covering in the first place.

You’re better off asking contractors about the best steps to take. Outside of this, the logical action to take as a novice will be to change the tarp to continue enjoying its protection.

Tarps are Temporary Solutions

Before using a roof tarp, it’s important to note that this is only a temporary solution and nothing more. As discussed earlier, there are more permanent roofing solutions to explore.

Roof tarps should only be used when necessary and only temporarily until the underlying problem is fixed. You’re better off discussing tarps and their functions with a professional.

These professionals include roofing consultants, installers, estimators, inspectors, and contractors. With the expert opinions of these pros, your use of roofing tarps is more effective and beneficial.

Plus, you get to use such covering within the recommended timeframe, thus avoiding problems arising with extended use of tarps beyond the required or ideal timeframe.

Is Tarp Use Necessary? 

Under normal conditions, your roofing is sufficient to withstand the elements.

However, sudden damages might warrant temporarily using a covering like a tarp. It’s expected that you’ll be able to fix the problem early enough to get your tarp out of the way.

In other words, tarp use isn’t necessary when your roof is in good condition. It only becomes necessary when there’s a problem or breach of the roof.

Types of Tarp Used in Construction

In construction, you’ll find a variety of tarps being used, each serving one or more functions. Some tarps include vinyl, poly, mesh, canvas, and iron horse polyester tarps.

However, not all of these would be ideal for roof covering. To ensure you’re using the right type, consider consulting any roofing professionals mentioned earlier.

Having discussed the maximum time to leave tarps on the roof, you’re left to take appropriate action. Ideally, tarps shouldn’t take longer than 90 days on the roof.

However, some conditions may warrant tarps staying beyond this timeframe, including when durability is guaranteed. As mentioned earlier, nothing beats expert opinion on the matter.

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