Staying Safe While Working on Your Roof
Roofing work is not a job for amateurs. When working at height, it’s best to call in the professionals as roofing can be dangerous if you’re not sure what you’re doing. But if you think you’re up to doing a spot of roof maintenance yourself, stay safe with these tips.
Firstly, if you have a steep pitch roof don’t attempt any maintenance work yourself – call in a trained roofer as they have the equipment and the expertise to carry out roofing work safely. Just make sure you choose a good roofer who’s trained and up-to-date with current health and safety regulations.
Never work on your roof when it has been raining. Wait until a dry day so that there’s no chance you could slip and fall. Rubber soled shoes are a must because they allow you to grip properly. Use shoes that are comfortable and fit well too.
Debris on your roof can be a slipping hazard. Even the smallest pebble can cause you to lose your footing, so make sure that your roof is clean before you start any work.
While you’re working on the roof, use a tool belt to keep everything safe. If you were to drop something, your instinct would be to reach out and stop if from falling, which could make you lose your balance. It also means that you can use your hands to help you balance, rather than trying to hold your tools while you work. You could even rig up a bucket and pulley system to help you transport your tools to and from the roof.
If your property extends to a public area where people could get hurt by falling tools or debris, cordon off the area where you’re working to keep the public safe too.
Make sure you use the right tools. An extension ladder is a must. If your ladder is too short, you’ll be asking for trouble by stretching over to reach the roof, which could make you lose your balance. Your ladder should be angled at a safe position. The general rule is that your ladder should be angled at a quarter of the ladder’s length away from the wall. This means that if you have a 12-foot ladder, leave 3 foot space away from the wall at the bottom, and so on. This will ensure that the ladder is stable. If your ladder is uneven, place plywood under the bottom to steady it.
Make sure that the ladder is secured at the top by fastening it to a stable point of your roof. Use a ladder that is higher than your rooftop so you have something to hold on to when you’re climbing down. Take care when moving from the ladder to the roof and back again, and take extra care when climbing down as this is the trickiest part.
Finally, you can try nailing a strip of wood to the edge of the roof where you’ll be working. This will act as a guard rail so that if you do slip, you’ll have something to hang on to, to save your fall. Or you could try using roof brackets, securing them all the way along the eaves to act as a barrier just in case you slip.
The best way to stay safe is to hire a professional roofer to undertake repairs to your roof or chimney. A good roofer is used to working at height and will have insurance so that you don’t have to worry about your safety or the safety of your property.
For a trained roofer, call G&A Roofing and Building. We are a top roofing firm that provides professional care for homes and businesses. We offer a range of services, including emergency roof repairs, roof reports and surveys, chimney repairs, gutter maintenance and other services.
Contact G&A and speak to a roofer for advice today on 0800 626430