Whether you are upgrading an old roof on your house or you are getting ready for this coming winter, you can save money by doing working on the roof yourself.
While a DIY roofing project will save you a fair few dollars,the roof needs to do its job by keeping everyone under it safe. No matter how simple you feel the job is, roofs can be hazardous, so you will need to follow these ten safety measures to prevent accidents.
1. Select Appropriate Footwear
Shingles on a roof can look secure, but walking on them can shift the shingles loose. This means that you will need secure footing when walking over your roof. The usual pair of tennis shoes that you wear around the house will not be sufficient for the job. You should invest in a shoe with a rubber sole or find an old pair of work boots.
2. Check the Weather
A warm, clear day is the ideal weather for doing work on your roof, as you will feel comfortable and will be able to see what you are doing clearly. Rain and ice can make working on your roof hazardous even if the job will only take a few minutes. If you are facing an emergency during bad weather, then it is best to phone a local professional roofer who will have experience working in poor conditions.
3. Follow Ladder Safety
It is vital that you know your way around a ladder when repairing your roof, as you could cause serious damage if the ladder is placed on an uneven surface. If the ground is uneven, you will need to use a piece of wood to level it out before climbing up on your roof. You may want to think about securing the ladder with stakes if the grounds of your house are very unstable.
4. Make Sure You Have all of Your Supplies
A trip up to the roof may seem straightforward, but it is harder to navigate than you may think. With that in mind, it is important to make a check list of all the supplies that you will need for your DIY roofing project. You may want to use a pulley or roof harness if you have a lot of materials that you have to transport up to the roof. As you want your roof to be as sturdy as possible, you should invest in high-quality materials that will stand the test of time, so if you have supplies that you have had in the garage for years you may want to restock.
5. Take Your Time
It is important to take your time when working on your roof, as you need to take care not to hurt yourself and ensure carry out the process correctly. You may feel the need to rush, but remember, you do not want any leaks during bad weather or end up making things worse by being too hasty. It is essential that you take breaks if you are working on your roof for a long period as tiredness could lead to accidents.
6. Clear Your Work Area
Before you start your roofing project, you should make sure that the work area is clean and free of any debris that could interfere with your DIY project. Debris and leaves are likely to be stuck on your roof and guttering – these can get in the way if you are cleaning and painting the roof. If there are any loose nails, screws, or fasteners, then you should remove them so they do not stick in your feet or hurt your knees when kneeling to work. Investing in a good quality knee pad will alleviate any pressure to the knees when working.
7. Install Toe Holds
If you are working on a steep roof you should consider installing wood toe holds (”2 by 4” will be sufficient). Toe holds are easy to install, as you simply nail the wood onto the decking of the roof and they can be easily removed when the work is complete. If you do not want to install toe holds, you can use adjustable roof jacks for added security.
8. Wear a Safety Harness
A safety harness should be worn at all times when working on any DIY roofing project. You should tie the harness to something sturdy so that if you slip, the harness will then prevent you from falling off the roof.
9. Let Someone Know that you are Working on the Roof
While you should ensure that all of the above safety measures are followed, it is essential that you tell someone that you are working on the roof. If your family is not home, let a friend or a neighbor know that you are carrying out a DIY project on your roof so that they can listen out for any issues. It is wise to clip a cell phone on to your work belt or put it in your tool box so that you can call someone if you fall into difficulty.
10. Call a Professional if you Need to
If during any stage of the above process you feel unsafe, then you should refrain from going ahead with your roofing project alone. It is great to save money and gain the sense of achievement of completing your own project, but you should be aware of your limitations and put safety first. A roofing professional is the best person to complete any roofing project, even if it is just for the most difficult parts of the project.
If you make the decision to get support from a professional then you should take the time to get recommendations and read testimonials from businesses in your area. Once you have decided on the company that you would like to use, make sure that you have a list of questions to ask about the work that will be done and the after care that will take place once the work is completed.