8 Roof Safety Tips for DIY Homeowners


In the last few posts, we’ve been talking about roofing maintenance that some homeowners can perform on their own. Today, we are going to go over several safety guidelines for homeowners doing their own roofing work. These rules, if followed carefully, should get you up on the roof and back down to solid ground again safely.


1. Don’t work alone. It’s always wise to have an assistant or partner with you to help out and spot you in case anything should go wrong. You don’t want to be left alone in case of an emergency.


2. Be smart. Don’t climb up onto a roof right after a big storm. If you notice a leak in your roof when it rains, it’s natural to want to pinpoint the source right away. However, a wet roof is a very dangerous place. Wait until your roof is entirely dry and the weather is bright and sunny before you even considering climbing up on your rooftop. Also, don’t climb on your roof if there is dew, ice, or debris (such as leaves) on the surface. Any type of moisture can be very hazardous. Pick a day with light winds. A strong wind can knock you off your feet.


3. Be patient. Fixing a roof leak can be a slow process. It can take considerable time and patience to find the source of the problem. Don’t rush. Wait for the right weather and proper conditions, and then do a thorough job. Rushing through the work often produces sloppy results that can exacerbate the problem and cost more to repair down the road. Hurrying may also cause you to misstep, slip, or fall.


4. Be careful. Make sure your ladder is sturdy and placed down on the ground on a level surface. If you set it on cement, wood, or some other solid surface, place a board behind the legs so that the ladder stays in place while you're on it. When you’re on the roof, wear a safety harness, particularly if you have a steep roof. Make sure the harness is attached to something solid and sturdy that can hold your weight if you were to slip and fall. It could ultimately save your life. 


5. Be prepared. Have what you need ahead of time. Figure out what tools and materials you need to fix the problem before climbing onto your roof.


6. Dress appropriately. Make sure you are wearing appropriate clothing and footwear. You should wear sturdy, rubber-soled shoes or boots to offer good traction. Don't wear anything that you could trip on when moving around. Wear leather gloves to make things easier to hold onto, and consider wearing a hardhat and safety glasses as well.


7. Keep your work area clean. Keep your tools and materials organized, and clean up as you go along. You don’t want to create hazards that might cause you to trip over or slip.


8. Don’t take chances. If you have a bad back, messing around on your roof may not be the best option for you. You’ll have to put your body in uncomfortable positions that could exact a toll on your health. Roofing repairs are not best done by those who are afraid of heights, either. Finally, if you are unsure of what you are doing or whether you can successfully complete your intended project, it's best to leave it to the professionals. Your safety and getting the job done right come first. Don’t take unnecessary risks to save money.


If you are in anyway wary of performing roof maintenance on your own or would like a professional inspection or roofing repair, call Hedrick Construction. We proudly serve Ames, Huxley, and Ankeny with integrity and professionalism.

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