If you have any experience with roof repair or construction, you are trained in roof safety because it is part of being licensed and insured. Most companies provide regular education in safety techniques to protect the workers and the homeowner.
If you are the type to choose to do the roof repair yourself , you need to start with the basics, and getting up on the roof is the first step
If you don’t own one already, buy ($200) or rent (about $30 per day) a sturdy extension ladder that extends at least 3 ft. above the roof edge. Aluminum is the lightest, but fiberglass ladders provide better protection against electrocution in case the ladder accidentally touches a power line or live wire. If possible, set the ladder on firm, level ground. On uneven ground, place squares of plywood under one foot to level the ladder base and then secure it with wire or rope tied to stakes. Fasten the top of the ladder with rope or wire tied to a secure anchoring point such as a 20d nail driven into a rafter. That will keep it from sliding sideways as you step onto the roof.
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Climbing on and off the ladder is the scariest part. Securing the ladder so that it cannot move will help, but always be sure there is someone there with you to help hold the ladder and also call for help if (God forbid) anything happens.
You would also be wise to use a helper to get materials up on the roof as opposed to carrying them up the ladder. Holding on tight with both of your hands will prevent slips and falls.
Your clothing is another good way to protect yourself from harm while working on a roof and a good pair of shoes is crucial, as discussed in the video below:
Some roofers wear kneepads, but good gloves are a must. You should also consider wearing a hat as well as a long-sleeved shirt and pants to protect your skin from the sun.
Using a Safety Harness
Investing in a safety hardness and roof brackets will go a long way in the common sense department, especially for a steeply pitched roof or one that is more than one story high. If you haven’t used one before, here are some guidelines from DoItYourself.com:
Step 1 – Nailing on the Roof Brackets
With a hammer, nail a row of roof brackets about 3 feet apart and 16 inches up. The brackets should be placed directly on top of a truss. Install each bracket by sliding a bracket under a shingle tab.
Set up roof brackets and planks across the eave of the roof. Not only can you place your tools on this, but it will prevent you from falling off the edge of the roof.
Step 3 – Adjusting the Safety Harness
Strap on the safety harness to your body. Tighten the straps to make sure the harness fits snugly. Make sure to check that all of the buckles are secured shut on the harness.
A couple more tips for roof safety are to be sure to not get up on the roof if it is wet and clean any debris off before you trip on a branch or slip on some wet leaves.
The best pointer in this whole article, though, is to have an experienced roofing contractor do the work for you, if at all possible.