It goes without saying that roofing is not a job for amateurs. But, if you are a DIY enthusiast, chances are you will find a reason to go up and work on your roof. It could be to check on a roof leak, clear clogged gutters, or carry out regular maintenance. Whatever the reason, it is important that you make safety your first priority when you get up on the roof. Even experienced New Albany roofers take several precautionary measures to make roof work as safe as possible and minimize the potential of injury, which is quite high in this line of work. Here are a few pointers on how you can stay safe while you are up there.
#1. Pick the Right Day
There is a reason why roofers stay away from work in rainy, snowy, or high wind weather. A wet roof increases the already high chance of you slipping and falling off the roof while wind can easily throw you off balance. So, to avoid any unfortunate accidents, make sure to schedule roof work for a day with perfect weather. Warm summer days, or days when the weather is clear and calm are the best times to work on the roof.
#2.Gear up with the Right Attire
Part of roof safety entails dressing right for the job. Since you will likely spend several hours out in the open working on the roof, you should wear loose fitting clothing that keeps you comfortable and allows you to move around freely. If the weather is hot, light colored, long-sleeved clothing with protect you from sunburn and heatstroke.
For your feet, rubber-soled shoes or boots are the best option as they provide excellent traction, which helps minimize the potential for slipping. Steel-toed boots are also a good option since they maintain a good grip on the roof and protect your feet from scratches, cuts, and puncture wounds.
For additional safety, you should also invest in:
#3. Wear a Harness
When it comes to working on the roof, it is important to use a harness. Roofing is not like any other DIY project because your safety will be at risk. You will be working on a steep area or several feet above ground. Pitched roofs are particularly difficult to navigate. That kind of environment leaves you completely exposed to the risk of slipping and falling. A roof harness however, will minimize risk of slipping and catch you if you fall.
You should also consider using roof brackets. They provide a safe place to stand and store your tools as you work on the roof.
#4. Secure Your Ladder
After you are properly dressed for the job and safely secured with a harness, you next step will be getting up to the roof. For this, you will need a ladder. A ladder in itself is a safety hazard since it can topple while you are on it. Therefore, you will need to secure your ladder. This can be done in several ways including making sure the ladder is rested on even ground, placing strong blocks of plywood in front of the ladder at the bottom to prevent it from sliding, and securing the top of the ladder by fastening it to a stable part of the roof.
Make sure to position the ladder at a safe angle as well. Professional New Albany Roofers recommend the general standard of placing the ladder at a quarter inch of its length. This means if you are working with a 16ft ladder, it will need to be placed 4 feet away from the exterior of the house. It is also advisable that you use a lengthy (or extension) ladder that stands at least 3ft above the edge of your roof. It will make it easy for you to get on and off the roof and therefore reduce chances of you slipping and falling to the ground.
#5. Clear the Roof of Debris
The very first thing you should do once you get to the roof is to clear the area of any debris since they can be a tripping hazard. Make sure you get every last piece of debris off the roof, because something as small as a pebble and cause you to lose your footing.
Roofing is a dangerous job, which is why it should be left to the likes of professional New Albany roofers. However, if you insist on doing the work yourself, at least make sure to stay safe by following the tips shared above.