Nearly 20,000 homes across Collier, Lee, and Charlotte counties have blue tarps substituting as roofs, according to the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
The tarps, which provide temporary protection against water and the elements in the time between Hurricane Ian’s damage and repair, may not be very effective as Southwest Florida prepares for another storm.
“If you have an exposed roof, you want to get it tarped as soon as you can and hope the tarp doesn’t blow away. At the end of the day, I’d like to think optimistic, but it’s probably gonna blow away,” said Joshua Brown, a roofing contractor and manager for Pro Roofing of Florida.
Brown told NBC2 that since Ian, his company has completed more than 500 jobs from as north as Port Charlotte and as south as Marco Island.
“Depends on the area, most of the jobs we are doing are where people lost quite a few shingles, tiles, a lot of them are complete redos. Right now we aren’t in the repair business, we are taking care of people right now,” said Brown.
No matter the damage, inch, or massive gap, any opening can lead to severe damage. Brown told NBC2 that you should book a roofing construction appointment as soon as possible.
“At the end of the day, the roof is your umbrella. It protects you and everything you own on the inside. It’s so important we act quick and make that happen for them,” said Brown.
Options to protect your home if you have a blue tarp currently include shrink-wrapping.
“This is a much better system than your typical blue tarp. Blue tarps tend to rip. They don’t last. They’re not meant to last. They’re a very temporary solution. This is a more permanent solution — it’s more durable,” said Drew Mauro from K Simon Construction in Naples.
Mauro told NBC2 he advises everyone to contact a construction company before Subtropical Storm Nicole makes impact on the southeastern coast of Florida Wednesday into Thursday.
“We all know the damage water can do… it is really important to make sure you are secure and safe before another storm. Don’t leave it to chance,” said Mauro.
If you are not able to get into contact with a contractor, weigh your tarp down. Sandbags can help reinforce the tarp at least slightly.