No roofing material lasts forever. Every home or business owner has to deal with having their roof repaired at some point during their life. Many times it is minor issues that need to be tended to, but in the case of extreme weather like we occasionally have here in Colorado, you can potentially have your roof totaled. This is usually due to Mother Nature, such as a bad hail storm or strong winds that blow a tree onto your roof.
Roofs also need a regular inspection for signs of wear and tear. In all of these cases, it means someone is going to have to get up on your roof to examine the damages and do the repairs. With this type of elevation, there is always the risk you may get injured or even fall off. Therefore, it’s advisable to have a professional look at your roof.
No matter whether you are an amateur or an experienced roofer, or even if you are just hanging your Christmas lights, you need to follow these safety tips for roofing:
Wear Good Shoes
Clean your shoes of mud and dirt. Make sure your shoes are designed to grip roof surfaces. Rubber soled shoes are recommended, and clean shoes prevent you from slipping. You probably don’t want to see dirty footprints on your roof while you work on it, either.
You also need to clear the debris off of your roof, and this paragraph from DoItYourself.com stresses that point:
Clean It Up
Before you get started on whatever job you’re undertaking on the roof, start by giving it a good sweep and cleaning it of any accumulated dirt and debris. While you’re working, you don’t want to have anything up there that could trip you, and you don’t want to inadvertently kneel on old nails or the like, either. In fact, the roof should regularly be swept clean.
Read more here: Roof Safety: 6 Essential Safety Tips | DoItYourself.com
Utilize A Safety Harness and Toe Holds
If you are a roofing contractor, you know the importance of using safety harnesses. Even for a homeowner who wants to try their own repairs, a makeshift harness with ropes attached to something solid on the opposite side of the house could save your life.
Also, some sort of roof jack or toe hold can be a lifesaver. You can purchase them or make your own out of 2×4’s, but on a steep roof it gives your feet somewhere to grip and push against.
This video from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) shows a demonstration of how effective a harness can be:
Use the ladder carefully
To protect against electrocution due to contact with roof power lines, the ladder used for roofing houses should be made of fiberglass. A strong extension ladder that stretches at least 3 feet from the roof’s edge is also recommended.
Place the ladder on hard, flat ground, and make sure it doesn’t sway while you climb. Once you’re at the top, secure the ladder in place so that it’s easier for you to come down once you’re done with the job.
This post from Popular Mechanics tells it like it is as far as statistics with ladder safety:
Don’t Be an Idiot: How to Use Any Kind of Ladder Safely
You don’t need me to remind you that climbing ladders is potentially dangerous, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do: According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, about 250,000 Americans required medical treatment in 2012 for stool or ladder-related injuries. And a 16-year study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that 97 percent of ladder accidents happened at home.
Avoiding a wet or icy roof is another tip that seems obvious but is worth mentioning. It is wise to leave the more difficult repair jobs to professionals. For jobs that involve the repair and replacement of shingles or tiles, or the entire re-roof, it’s best to entrust the work to people experienced in roofing houses that have training and insurance.