The best person to access your roof is obviously one who is trained and experienced with how to act when they’re up there – a roofer. But sometimes, whether it’s putting up holiday decorations, cleaning out your gutters or retrieving a lost basketball, there are times when you need to climb on your roof.
YouTube is full of videos just like the one above – people falling off their roofs because they didn’t access it properly.
Here are a couple guidelines for you to follow to ensure your safety and help be safe on your roof:
1. Avoid slippery roofs. If it’s recently rained or snowed, you want to avoid your roof at all costs. But also think about waiting until mid-day to access your roof so that it’s had time to dry from morning dew or frost.
2. Wear proper shoes. Flip flops and sandals are NOT good roofing footwear! Make sure you’re wearing tennis shoes or work boots with rubber soles and good treads – bad shoes can cause you to slip.
3. Keep your roof clean. Stray decorations, tacks or nails, pieces of wood – all of these can be tripping hazards and can cause a nasty fall.
4. Tie-off. If your roof is especially steep, you want to tie yourself with a safety harness – just make sure your anchor is sturdy and fall-resistant!
5. Remember ladder safety. Like the guy above, you can hurt yourself when coming down from your roof if you don’t have the right kind of ladder – a stepladder is NOT good enough. Make sure your ladder is sturdy, is sitting on a level surface and extends past the edge of your roof so you can access it easily to get down.
6. Avoid distractions. Trying to monitor kids or family pets will take your attention away from what you’re doing, and although the view can be beautiful, distractions can cause you to lose your footing.
7. Don’t work alone. Having someone to help you can help you stay focused on your task as well as be there in case an accident DOES happen.
Accessing your roof doesn’t have to be scary or dangerous. As long as you use Common Sense and a few basic safety tips, you can do your chores efficiently and safely.