Having a small hole in your roof is bad enough. Having a larger hole requires immediate roof repair, and at the very least, a means of covering the hole until it can be repaired. If you do not cover the hole with a tarp, a board, or something else that can be pulled taut over the hole, a lot of things can get into your attic under the roof as well as out of the attic through the hole in the roof. Consider the following while you search for something to cover that hole until the roofer can arrive to fix it.
Birds Might Come Explore
Birds are innately curious creatures. A hole just the right size for flying into is an invitation for them to explore. Before you know it, you have birds flying in and out of your attic and making quite a mess with their feces. If the birds cannot get into your attic because you have covered the hole, that is one less creature you have to worry about.
Bats Are Attracted to Potential Shelter
Bats are another flying creature that immediately look for darkness as soon as dawn breaks. Imagine how content a family of bats would be in the dark corners of your attic after discovering the hole in your roof! Their fecal mess and urine is even worse than a bird's because bat guano is heavy-laden with toxins that can kill you.
Squirrels, Mice, Raccoons, Rats, and Opossums Will Find a Way In
If these creatures can shimmy up a drain pipe or drop from a tree that overhangs your roof, they will take full advantage of that hole in your roof. While a tarp might deter the larger creatures in this pack of unwanted guests, you are going to need something more solid to deter the mice and rats, and possibly the squirrels. A thin board of plywood tapped into place should help.
Rain and Other Precipitation Will Get In
As if the critters were not enough, that hole in your roof is bothersome where the rain and other precipitation is concerned. The last thing you want is water in the attic because it can cause a lot of water damage. A tarp can keep some of it out, but it will not stop the downward drip of rain if and when the rain follows the shingles under the tarp. If you use a tarp, make sure it covers the entire roof, including the ridgepole above the area of the roof that has the hole. Then the rain and other precipitation will just roll down the tarp and never through the hole in the roof. Hopefully, your roofing contractor can make the repairs long before the next storm occurs.