Your roof is your first line of defense for many external factors. Many of these external factors, you as a homeowner have no control over. Some of the biggest you need to worry about are rain, snow, ice, lightning, and debris.
As a homeowner, you need to take care of your roof. In order for your roof to effectively protect your home, you must protect it. The average homeowner, though, has little to no knowledge on roof maintenance and roof safety.
At Advanced Roofing and Siding, we are here to help. We have provided you with a list of 8 things you can do to make sure you are as safe as possible on your roof. After all, roof safety is essential for any homeowner who wants to avoid injury while doing any roof work.
If you are worried about climbing up on your roof and you want a professional opinion, contact us for your free quote.
Now, without further ado, let’s get up on that roof!
1. Keep it Neat and Tidy
The key to success in any home restoration or preservation project is cleanliness and orderliness. If your job site is a mess, you can bet your brain will be a mess too.
To avoid chaos taking over your whole process, keep everything in order. Keep your tools and materials neat and organized. Block your work area off from your children and pets.
Before beginning any work, make a note of any dangerous conditions or areas. Look out for hazardous, unsteady portions of your roof and avoid them. Beware of power lines or any unsafe areas in the ground around your work site.
If you take the time before you begin to notice and take care of potential dangers, you will have a much easier time completing the job.
2. Avoid Falls
Falls account for about one-third of all deaths on construction sites. There are many things you can do to avoid falling when working on your roof.
Let’s go over a few here;
- Never, ever work on a wet roof
- Before working on your roof, make sure that it is clear of debris. This includes leaves, stones, tools, or building materials.
- Acquire proper footwear that is durable, heat-resistant, provides good grip, and is supportive.
- Purchase a safety harness
- Use roof brackets
- Use a safety net
- Use guardrails
3. Ladder Safety
Your ladder is arguably the most essential tool you will be using in your roofing project. Check over your ladder before you use it. Never use a ladder that has visible signs of damage.
You should always set your ladder up on level ground. Driveways with a deep slope are not ideal for ladder placement.
Anchor your ladder with plywood or a ladder anchor. If necessary, use stakes and a rope to secure more soundly. Additionally, you should always allow at least 36 inches of extra space above the edge of your roof for your ladder to be secure. Never stand on or put weight on this overhang.
For general use, the base of your ladder should extend at least one foot out for every four feet of elevation. When you are ascending or descending, do so with care and caution. Don’t be in a hurry and concentrate on what you are doing.
Avoid accidents by never leaving your ladder unattended. Remove and secure your ladder, as well as other dangerous equipment, at the end of the workday and secure for safe-keeping.
4. Electrical Safety
Always be cautious around electricity. We recommend using wood or fiberglass or other non-conductive material in your ladder.
Never touch a live wire with your tools or your bare hands. If you are unsure, it is better to be safe than sorry.
5. Safe Tool Handling
Some of the tools you will be using, like an electric drill or nail gun, can be very dangerous. Always wear appropriate safety gear.
Use your common sense and any proper tool etiquette when working around sharp or dangerous tools.
6. Safe Material Handling
Anytime you are working with heavy, or hard to manage, materials, be sure to use proper lifting techniques. Remember, always bend at the knees and use your legs, not your back to lift.
Don’t try to carry too much at one time. It might take longer to split up the load, but the risk of injury will be less. Remember, it won’t be worth the few dollars you save by doing the job yourself if you injure yourself while doing it.
7. Watch the Weather
Keep your eye on the weather reports in your area for your projected working time. If bad or inclement weather is imminent, consider rescheduling your project to a safer day or time.
If the weather is going to be particularly hot, maybe wait for a milder day to work outside. Rooftops can reach incredibly high temperatures, much higher than the ground below. You can be in danger for heat-related injuries or illnesses even when you feel that the temperature is low.
Know the symptoms of exposure to high heat. Some of the most concerning are fatigue, nausea, excessive sweating, dehydration, and confusion. If you begin experiencing any of these symptoms, stop what you are doing immediately, and seek medical attention.To avoid succumbing to heat stress, take plenty of brakes in the shade, and drink lots of water. You should drink 16-20 ounces of water one to two hours before an outdoor activity. While working outside, you should drink 6-12 ounces every 10-15 minutes. After you are finished working, drink 16-24 ounces to replenish what you have lost.
8. Tools and Safety Equipment to Have on Hand
Some of the tools you may need on hand;
- Carpenter’s level
- Caulk gun
- Claw hammer
- Clean-up cloth
- Electric drill
- Nail gun
- Shingle cutter
- Utility knife
- Tape measure
- Wrench set
Some safety equipment you should consider purchasing;
- Eye protection
- Ladder stabilizer/anchor
- Roof anchors
- Roof brackets
- Safety harness
- Work gloves
- Sun protection
- Cold water/water bottle
As always, we here at Advanced Roofing and Siding are here to help. Use these guidelines the next time you plan on doing a little roof work.If you need a professional opinion, contact us for a free quote. Remember, roof safety is imperative; stay safe out there!