It is inevitable when living in Florida that you will encounter bad weather. Hurricanes are a constant threat one half of the year and thunderstorms the other. In the event that your roof is damaged during a storm, it is imperative that you attempt a quick fix so that you do not incur even more roof damage, or worse, damage to the interior of your home.
The most effective way to protect your home from water damage is to tarp your roof. Weatherproof tarps can easily be picked up at your local home improvement store, such as Home Depot or Lowes. If you are desperate, even WalMart will have a tarp that can handle the job. These tarps are inexpensive and will only be needed to tide you over while waiting for a roofer to repair your roof. You can go with a heavy-duty tarp, but if you have no other uses for it, it makes better money-sense to go with a cheaper version. Purchase a tarp that will cover the entire roof with a bit of extra material hanging off each side. Use stakes in the ground to tether the tarp down.
Another quick-fix is patching the damaged area. Roofing cement is available at hardware stores and comes in a container similar to a paint can. There are formulas for both dry and wet application. Before applying, be sure to brush off any loose dirt or gravel from the area in which you will be working. Using a trowel, apply the cement and cover the damaged area, as well as six inches beyond.
Lastly, if you need to make your repair quickly and can not get to the store for supplies, you can use items that are commonly found around your house. With a hammer and nails, you can affix a piece of plywood over the damaged area. If plastic sheeting is handy, use a staple gun to cover the affected area, while leaving enough sheeting to hang over the side of the roof to allow water run-off.
No matter what solution you choose, be sure to solicit the assistance of at least one friend or neighbor, and wear your gloves to protect your hands. Do not work in foul Miami roofing weather as the medical expenses from a fall from the roof are sure to exceed any damage your home may incur from some water. Keep in mind these solutions are only temporary fixes, and you must have a roofer out to repair the damage as soon as possible.