Whether you realize it or not, there may come a day when you need to grab a ladder and carefully ascend to your roof for inspection. Usually, this type of task is best left to the professionals, but there are ways for you to walk safely on a roof. It’s not something to take lightly, considering falls from roofs could be deadly.
Safety should be your top priority when deciding to walk on a roof. But where should you begin? Read on to learn more about how to walk on a roof safely.
HOW TO WALK ON A ROOF
Walking on your roof can be hazardous, especially if you don’t take the time for safety precautions. It’s best to take note of all the conditions surrounding the roof of your home or property. Before you begin, ask yourself these key questions:
- Do you have a steep roof pitch?
- Does it have asphalt shingles or slippery metal panels?
- Is there a low-hanging power line near your roof?
- Are you trying to access it during inclement weather?
Taking the time to carefully assess your situation will help you better understand the safety equipment needed for the job. Now, before you venture on your roof, you’ll need to gather some essential safety supplies. Some of the general safety items you’ll need include:
- A ladder
- A roof bracket
- A safety harness
- Proper footwear
- Appropriate clothing
- A toolbelt
These essential items are the foundation of any roofing project. Let’s take a closer look at how you can use them efficiently for safer roofing projects. Alright, so you’ve got your supplies and are ready to get to your roof. Follow these steps to help reduce your chances of serious injury.
1) SECURE YOUR LADDER
Deciding which type of ladder to use is your first step. Fiberglass, aluminum, or wooden ladder work well as long as they are safely secured. Consider using a cord to anchor it in place. That way, you don’t need to worry about losing it mid-project.
Remember to place your ladder on flat, level ground that follows the 4:1 ratio. Ex. For every four meters that it goes up, you extend the bottom one meter away from your house (1 meter=3.28 feet).
2) WEAR A SAFETY HARNESS
The best way to protect yourself while walking on a roof is by wearing a safety harness. Attach it to the roofing bracket for added support. Just make sure the roofing bracket is also anchored securely in a truss or rafter. This guarantees greater support since those areas are solid wood. If you’ve never used safety harnesses before, check out the video below to learn more.
3) USE PROPER FOOTWEAR AND CLOTHING
Choosing the right pair of shoes will help you traverse a tile roof. That’s why it’s recommended to use shoes with a soft rubber sole for extra grip. Some styles include:
- Hiking boots
- Approach shoes
- Non-slip tennis shoes
Also, ensure you’re wearing the right clothing for the job. Make sure to wear durable, slip-proof pants and gloves, and also consider if you need sunglasses or a sun hat. These will all enhance your roofing experience while keeping you safe.
4) CHECK WEATHER CONDITIONS BEFOREHAND
The last place you want to be during inclement weather is in the middle of a roofing project. A steep roof becomes deadly when wet, so make it a rule to avoid climbing on one during or after bad weather. Also, work on your tile roof when the weather looks clear.
5) MARK OUT YOUR WORKSPACE
Whether you’re updating your tile roof or clearing debris, you’ll want to set aside an area around two feet by your ladder for your workspace. This gives you a “fall zone” that’s safer than near other sharp items.
DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW EXPERT ADVICE
It’s imperative you take the proper safety precautions when walking on your roof. Although major falls are common for roofing projects, you can reduce your chances of injury by following those steps.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth roof inspection, make sure to reach out to the experts at Mars Roofing. Our team is ready to help make your roofing project as stress-free as possible. Contact our team today to book your free inspection.