May 20, 2021

Roof Safety

If you are a homeowner, there may come a time when you need to do roof work. This is not something that should be taken lightly - it can be dangerous!

You want to make sure that your safety is always on the forefront of your mind so that you don't get hurt or put yourself in danger.

In this blog post, we will go over 6 ways for homeowners to stay safe when working on their roof at home.

Roof Safety #1: Always check the weather forecast

The weather plays an important role when you are working on a roof. You want to make sure that it is clear so that the roof doesn't get damaged and also in order for you to be able to work without any issues.

If there is a storm coming, stay off of your roof!

However, there are a few other weather hazards to watch out for. Rain can pose a threat because if you get wet and the roof gets wet, it can be slippery.

Snow on your roof is also dangerous because when melted, it becomes heavy and will cause water damage to come through any leaks in the roof.

If there are high winds or extremely low temperatures, stay off of your roof as well!

In addition, the hot summer sun can cause your roof to get hot. This causes many types of roof tile to dry out and lose their flexibility over time.

The weather proofing chemicals that protect your tiles will eventually dry up too. Once this happens, then your tiles are susceptible to becoming weak and then there is more of a chance that they will crumble.

When exposed to very hot temperatures followed by cold temperatures, the tiles can expand and contract. This will cause them to loosen creating gaps where the rain could cause leaks that seriously damage other parts of your home.

So, always check the weather forecast before going onto your roof.

Roof Safety #2: Make sure you have the right tools before you start

When you have all the tools and supplies you will need on hand ahead of time, you can prevent getting on and off of your roof more times than should normally be necessary.

The more efficient you work, the less of a risk you have of falling. With that being said, here is a list of some of the handiest supplies to gather before making your way onto the roof:

  • Nonslip shoes - investing in suitable footwear that gives you more grip under your feet can make the difficult and dangerous job of roof repair a little bit easier.  
  • Ladder - having a ladder suitable for roof work is important if you are going to be climbing onto the roof.
  • Safety harness - When on a roof, you need to wear a harness connected to a securely anchored safety rope. This will keep you from falling off the roof and injuring yourself.
  • Protective gear - safety equipment such as goggles, work gloves should always be worn when you are working on the roof. It is important to wear gloves that are sturdy enough to protect your hands against injuries caused by debris or rough surfaces.
  • Cordless drill - a cordless drill will come in handy for many different tasks, including removing tiles and loosening boards or nails with ease.
  • Tape measure - a tape measure is a valuable tool that will make it easier for you to determine the length and width of any tasks on your roof.
  • Torch or headlamp, chalk line - both are useful tools when trying to find out where the framing stops and starts in relation to an area that needs work
  • Crowbar – crowbars are beneficial to have readily available for hard to reach nails that can sometimes be difficult or impossible to remove by hand.
  • Shovel – A flat head shovel is a practical tool that is put to good use when removing existing roof tiles.
  • Roofing Tarp – When your repairs get interrupted by inclement weather, using a tarp will prevent your handy work from getting soaked as well as blocking water from entering your home.

Roof Safety #3: IMPLEMENT LADDER STABILITY AND SAFETY TECHNIQUES

Stepping onto a ladder to get onto your roof or to descend to the ground can be both precarious and unnerving.

However, as long as you make sure to use your ladder safely and implement the following stability and safety techniques, these risks can be mitigated:

  • Make sure that both sides of a two section extension ladder are secure on stable ground before ascending it. This may seem fairly simple, it is absolutely crucial to do everything within your power to avoid a fall.
  • Set your ladder against a sturdy backing. You can also reinforce the top of your ladder with wire for extra security. The bottom of the ladder should stick out about one foot away from the house for every 4 feet of elevation.
  • Once your ladder has been stabilised, raise the top of it to extend a minimum of 3 feet above the edge of your roof.  This allows you to have a firm grip as you dismount from the ladder and onto your roof.
  • When you begin to climb up your ladder face the ladder. Use one step at a time, keep either 2 feet or 2 hands on a step, maintaining a total of 3 points of bodily contact at all times.
  • When you are working for multiple days at a time, refrain from leaving your ladder unattended at night. You can remove it completely or simply lock it on the ground. This protects local children who may be playing in the area from getting injured.
  • Never stand on the top two rungs of a three section extension ladder. It is far too easy to get tripped up, and if you have any tools or materials in your hands at the time, they are likely going to be dropped onto the ground below; this could potentially cause injury as well as damage such as cracking tiles and falling to the ground.

Ladder Safety - How To Use An Extension Ladder Safely -

Roof Safety #4: Make sure that there is nothing blocking access to your roof before you climb up and start work.

Move any garden furniture, plants, or other items that may be in the way.

Keep all loose objects such as garden gloves and tools on a lower level so they do not get caught by wind gusts while you are up high.

No matter what type of roof you have, it is imperative to make sure there is nothing blocking access before climbing onto your roof.

Roof Safety #5: Never work alone - have someone else with you to help in case of an emergency

It is important to have a second pair of eyes and hands present for safety purposes, and in case an emergency situation arises such as you or your helper slipping while on the roof.

This will also allow them to help with any heavy lifting that needs done once up high - not only does this make it much safer for the person on the roof, it is also less taxing for them.

Remember that roofs can be slippery surfaces so always have someone nearby in case of an emergency such as falling off the edge of the roof!

Roof Safety #6: Leave steep and/or high roof work to the pros.

The few dollars you’ll save by doing it yourself aren’t worth the risk of death or a lifelong disability if you fall.

If you're new to roofing or have a fear of heights, you'll want to leave this job to the professionals.

When it comes to roofing, safety should be your number one priority.

We’ve discussed a few ways in this blog post that homeowners can stay safe while working on their roofs at home - and we hope they have been helpful!

But if you need more help or would like to learn about the best way to protect yourself from falls in general, contact the experts at Herrick Roofing. 

With over 3 years of experience in Melbourne's roofing industry, we can help you find the best service for your budget and needs. Call today!

Our roof repair specialists provide high quality, professional and cost-effective services.

If you have any questions about roof repairs, or would like advice on how to maintain your roof, feel free to call Nick on 0422 903 522 or click here to send a message and I will be more than happy to help.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to hire an expert to repair or maintain your roof, click the button below to request a free roof inspection.

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If you would like to hire an expert to inspect your roof and give it a clean bill of health, click the button below to request a free roof inspection.


About the Author

Nick Herrick is the owner of Herrick's Roofing a respected roofing contractor who services residential home owners in Croydon and Melbourne's Eastern Suburbs. Nick and his team can handle all issues with your roof.

Nick Herrick

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