Time And Weather Taking Toll On Blue Roofs

Crews are busy seven days a week putting new roofs on damaged homes. But you can still find blue roofs covering houses in almost any neighborhood. FEMA says most have outlived their purpose and homeowners need to hire a roofer.

"They were just designed as a temporary measure to keep the water out of the house to prevent further damage and maybe even make it possible for folks to live in it until they make those arrangements," says FEMA spokesperson Len DeCarlo.

As time passes, DeCarlo says it's likely the tarps will become more frayed and shredded.

"We're talking four months now and depending on the weather conditions, you get high winds, that sort of thing. It's a temporary fix and it's not designed to last forever."

But how long the blue material lasts is debatable. FEMA and the Corps of Engineers estimates up to about a year, maybe even 18 months. But one contractor told us they're showing wear and tear now four and a half months after the hurricane.

"We're starting to get calls from people saying, 'My blue roof's starting to leak,' and that's probably what's going to happen. And it's going to get worse from here on out because they're not made for long term," says Joan Cravens.

Cravens says more than half of her roof contracts are to replace the blue covers.

"We're averaging about 25 a week, my company. But that's only a drop in the bucket [compared to] how many really need to be done here on the Coast."

The Blue Roof Program ended on November 20th. FEMA says it used more than 60,000 rolls of the blue material on homes in the six southern counties.