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Roof Safety 101

When you have a minor roofing problem, you might not think it’s worth it to call in a roofing company. You know the issue is an easy fix and you can do it yourself, if only you can manage not to fall off your house in the process.

However, it’s easy to have an accident on a steep or slippery roof, and the height of your house makes any type of fall dangerous. To keep yourself safe while you work on your roof, follow these tips for basic roof safety.

Wear Flexible Clothing

When a minor snag and little slip can turn into a fatal accident, you want your clothing to fit well and move easily. Although you should avoid baggy clothing that could catch on nails or trip you up, you shouldn’t wear anything that will restrict your movements. Opt for flexible clothes with a loose fit.

Use Rubber-Soled Shoes

Roofs are often steep and therefore slippery. When you work on the roof, you need footwear that increases traction. Use rubber soled shoes that will help you cling to the roof’s surface. Never wear shoes with worn-out or smooth treads that could cause you to slide.

Put on the Proper Headgear

Complete your roofing outfit with safety glasses. These protect you from flying nails or bits of debris so you won’t get hurt or distracted while you work. If you’ll be using lots of tools or moving around lots of shingles, you might also want to consider a hardhat.

Check the Weather

You should never get on the roof when it’s rainy or windy out. Check the weather forecast before you schedule your work. Keep in mind things like leaves can also make for a slippery surface, so clear your roof of debris before you start working.

Get a Good Ladder

If you rely on an old, rickety ladder that barely reaches your rooftop, you’re inviting an accident. For roof work, you need a sturdy extension ladder that clears the eaves of your roof by at least three feet. You should also set the bottom of your ladder on a sturdy foundation and secure the ladder’s top to the eaves themselves to keep it in place.

Use Both Hands

When you climb up the ladder and move across your roof, keep both hands free for grasping and holding. You never want to miss your grip and have your other hand too occupied to catch your fall.

Have a Buddy

Enlist the help of a friend or family member to repair your roof. Even if you don’t have anyone with the skills necessary to climb up and work on the roof, keep someone around the area to help you or call for assistance in case of an accident.

Clean as You Go

Debris on the rooftop can trip you up. This includes shingles, tools, old nails, and other things you might leave behind as you work. Clean up as you work to avoid slips and falls.

Use Roof Jacks

If you have an especially steep roof, use roof jacks to create scaffolding. When you nail the roof jacks into your roof, make sure you secure them directly to the rafters. You might have leaks later if you miss the beams.

Wear a Harness

Even if you’re careful, there’s always the possibility you could slip and fall. Wear a harness to catch you if you do, and secure the rope to a sturdy structure.

Know Your Limits

You should always recognize if a repair job is beyond your abilities. Call in the professionals to handle anything outside your skill set. You don’t have to risk your life just to repair some shingles. With these tips, you can keep yourself safe while you fix that minor issue on your house’s rooftop.