Stories From the Field

Post: Heavy Duty Tarps: Effective, Durable Solution for Winter Leaks

Tuesday February 18, 2014

Despite the very cold weather this winter, the phones have been ringing steadily with landlords, property managers and homeowners desperate to stop the leaks coming through their exterior walls and into their living spaces.

Due to our region's Polar Vortex, it seems that many buildings' gutters and downspouts are frozen solid with ice. Even though the air temperature at high noon isn't even breaking zero, ice on the south sides of many buildings is melting a bit in direct sunlight and that runoff is causing leaks inside the units.

Because it is much too cold to make masonry repairs (when nighttime temperatures dip below freezing the mortar fails to cure properly), we have been installing a lot of heavy-duty vinyl tarps to masonry walls as a means of providing a physical barrier from the elements. The solution is 100% effective if the ice and snow in the affected area is first slowly melted with a blowtorch (perfectly safe for masonry walls) prior to tarp installation. What's neat about our tarps is their durability. If you don't mind having a tarp installed on the exterior of your building, our tarps may be left up indefinitely (i.e., many years) because they do not shred, rip or tear like the cheap tarps you may find in the big box stores. Once the tarp is installed, wind-driven snow and sleet are thwarted and water is no longer able to infiltrate the wall, allowing you to make the required repairs to the inside of your living space.

If you think your building would benefit from the installation of our heavy-duty vinyl tarps and secure fastening systems, please don't hesitate to give us a call 847/491-9700 (suburbs), 773/622-7300 (city), or e-mail us at

During this time of extreme weather, we ask that you look out for your neighbors and travel with caution.

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