Okay, so you’re handy. You live for home projects, and you scoff at the neighbor who hires someone for every repair. (Who needs someone else to clean the gutters anyway?) Now you’ve got a few roofing repairs to make, and while you don’t jump on the roof all that often, how hard could it really be?
Well, actually, it is a pretty demanding task, and if you don’t take the right safety precautions, it could be dangerous. We support your decision to DIY your roof repairs, but make sure you don’t hurt yourself, and take these 6 safety tips to heart. They’re simple, inexpensive, and will save you time, money, and maybe even your life. Here’s our top tips on how to repair your own roof safely:
If you don’t want to end up like this guy, cleaning the roof before you start your project is a necessary evil. You might want to jump right into your project, but if you value your life, just hold on one second. Give the roof a quick sweep to clear it of debris and other safety hazards. Making sure the roof is debris-free will save you time and trips to the hospital.
Side note: Don’t get on your roof in the winter unless it’s absolutely necessary. As you saw in the gif above, it doesn’t end well.
The absolute most essential part of safe DIY roofing is having appropriate footwear. You want steel-toed boots with a large tread; The steel toe will protect your feet in case you drop anything on them, and the tread will provide added traction, so you stay on the roof.
The amount of ladder fails out there should be warning enough. You don’t want to be the next YouTube sensation because you decided your ladder would “probably be fine.” If you don’t have a sturdy ladder with good safety catches, you really should rethink your roofing project.
Once you do have the right ladder, make sure it’s set on stable ground. You can even it out with a piece of plywood if the ground beneath it isn’t level. Your ladder should extend about three feet beyond the top of the roof for optimal safety.
Roofs are steep, there’s no question about that. Odds are you’ll be at least 10 feet above the ground, and standing on a pitch. So it’s a good idea to invest in a harness if you’re going to be doing all of your own roof maintenance. You can pick one up at most hardware stores, they’re easy to set up, and they make your life a lot easier. If you’re completely against a harness, at least consider toeholds. A simple plank that temporarily attaches to your roof with brackets, it gives you a stable, flat place to stand while you’re getting your work done.
Don’t go on your roof in windy or rainy weather. It really is a terrible idea. Though it might sound like a common sense situation, sometimes people set aside a Saturday to work on their roof, and are committed to getting the project done on that day, regardless of the weather. You’ve got a busy schedule, sure, but this is one of those times you really do need to wait. It’s already dangerous to be up there at all, so you don’t want to add to that danger by going out in unsafe conditions. It’s also a good idea to wait to get up on the roof until after any morning dew has dried off.
Make sure that whenever you’re up on the roof, you’ve got someone close by helping out. Even if they’re not helping, just making them aware of the fact that you’re on the roof is a good idea, in case of emergency. Remember those ladder fails we talked about? Well, the last thing you want is for your ladder to fall, leaving you stranded on the roof until someone realizes you’re gone. Having someone close by will make sure you stay safe, and it’s always nice to have someone hand you up extra nails, instead of having to get down and find them yourself.
Sound like a lot? Leave it to the pros. Give Werner Roofing a call at 616-844-5382 or contact us online for any of your roofing needs!