EPPING — Selectmen voted Monday night to spend $17,450 to seal the roof on the fire department side of the safety complex to stop a leak that has become so bad that tarps have been used to keep electrical equipment, storage bins and air compressors dry.

The plan is a Band-Aid approach to fix the roof that officials said will likely need to be replaced in the future.

Fire Chief Don DeAngelis said the work will involve using an acrylic sealant to seal all of the joints.

Exeter Roofing Corp., the company hired for the work, will offer a five-year warranty on labor.

“We think that’s going to do the job for us,” DeAngelis told selectmen.

He said he has money in the department’s facilities budget to get the job done.

The leak, located in the area of a back wall, has worsened over the past few years. The water often pours in during heavy rainstorms.

According to DeAngelis, the leak was caused by panels on the metal roof that lifted up due to snow and ice over the years.

Tarps have been used to cover electrical equipment on the wall, storage bins, and two air compressors used for self-contained breathing apparatus and fire vehicles.

DeAngelis has joked that the tarps resemble a “tent city” inside the complex, which houses police, fire and rescue and was first occupied in 2001.

Selectman Joe Trombley insisted that the sealing job is the best way to address the problem until the town can afford a new roof.

“My general feeling is, and kind of what we’ve been discussing is, if they’re going to guarantee their work that it won’t leak for five years, that’s comfortable to us. So if it does leak they’ll come back and fix it and we will have five years to come up with funding to replace the roof that needs to be replaced,” he said.

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