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Now is the time to check your tarp as Nicole gets closer to Florida

Blue tarp
Posted at 4:00 PM, Nov 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-08 01:53:04-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — As subtropical storm Nicole approaches Florida, homeowners are anxious to see how the tarp of their roof will handle a storm. Tarps are meant to be temporary, not withstand a storm.

They typically last about a month, depending on the weather. They're not a permanent solution, just a temporary fix for homeowners like Janelle Garcia.

"We lost a ton of shingles all over the neighborhood," she said. "We have a tarp over it now."

Garcia said most of her roof was damaged after Hurricane Ian. At first, she put a blue tarp with sandbags over it before getting a US Army Corps of Engineers blue roof.

She is concerned with another storm on the way.

"With the rain, we might find more leaks, you never know with that kind of stuff," Garcia said.

There's one leak in her sunroom. She says the ceiling is seeping down a little and the paint is peeling. Water came in shortly after Ian hit southwest Florida. Garcia also has a small hole in her ceiling, too.

With Nicole potentially heading toward our area, you should be proactive to secure your tarp.

"If you do have a big, blue tarp and it’s ballooning, that is when you wanna kinda go up there and secure it with one of these boards," said Tristan Starbird with Trademark Roofing.

If you feel comfortable checking your roof, Starbird says to check the boards on your tarp first.

"Don’t lift the board completely up. You just want to get it loose. You want to pull the tarp as tight as possible and then nail that nail back down," he explained.

You do not need new nails, just use the ones already on the board. If your roof has a synthetic tarp, he says the cap nails should be good to go.

Starbird says if you do not have any leaks or see your tarp blowing in the wind, do not worry about checking it.

To be on the safe side, you can add some sandbags on top of the tarp. However, your tarp's security is also going to depend on the winds.

"If we have anything over 65, 70 miles an hour, I’m not going to be surprised if we see rips right down the center of some of these blue tarps," Starbird said. "We’re going to have this blue tarp state here for a while."

Garcia is going to check her tarp before the storm potentially hits and put her old sandbags on the roof.

"We're going to prepare better," she said. "I think it's decently secured, but it's still a tarp. It's not our shingles."

Every storm is different, but Starbird says he expects some tarps may need to be replaced if Nicole does hit our area.

The best thing to do is take pictures and document it all for your insurance claim if the storm does more damage to your home.