Roof Safety Basics: DIY Tips and When to Leave It to the Professionals
Most of us are lucky to have a roof over our heads, but having a roof comes with responsibilities. Owning anything requires upkeep; a roof is no exception.
Keeping your home in good condition requires regular roof maintenance. It’s tempting to try to save money by taking care of specific projects ourselves. However, some tasks are just better left to the professionals.
What Can You Safely and Properly DIY?
As a homeowner, there are some things you can do on your own when it comes to caring for your roof.
Inspect for leaks
Look for damaged or missing shingles
Homeowners can safely and adequately perform these roof maintenance tasks without prior roofing experience. For anything more complicated than this, seeking professional roofing assistance is recommended.
For the Professionals
Professionals have the experience and knowledge to work safely on a roof and properly perform many aspects of roof maintenance. Here are some reasons it is worth enlisting their help.
First and foremost is the safety of yourself and others. Roofers are trained and experienced in how to work on roofs safely. They know how to walk and climb on roofs without damaging the structure or their work. Plus, they know how to avoid putting themselves in danger.
Professionals have techniques to keep themselves safe. They are aware of the potential risks. They know which areas need extra attention to avoid falls and injury to themselves and the roof.
It may seem more expensive upfront, but hiring a professional is often cheaper in the long run. First, roofers arrive equipped with the proper materials and equipment for the required roofing job, saving you time and money. It also ensures the work is completed correctly, minimizing the likelihood of additional repairs later.
Roofers can obtain quality supplies at lower costs. They have the expertise to select and correctly utilize materials the first time. They can do the job accurately from the start. Their experience reduces the time needed for roof installation, repair, or inspection.
Professionals can speed up project completion. They can quickly assess the damage, identify problem areas faster, and install things correctly. This knowledge saves time. Correct installation will extend the life of the shingles and provide relief to homeowners and commercial businesses.
Attempting to install shingles yourself could be dangerous and time-consuming. If the installation is incorrect, it could void the warranty associated with the shingles. Having professionals who are familiar with the materials and the process can save you on both materials and labor.
How to Safely Work on a Roof
Professional roofers need to be aware of a variety of roofing safety tips. These range from tips for routine jobs to climbing a steep roof. Additionally, they consider commercial roof safety.
To safely work on a roof, avoid common risks such as:
Power tool hazards
Before beginning work, checking out the area and recognizing potential hazards is beneficial. Develop a plan and hold short team meetings daily before the shift to ensure everyone is informed and ready to work safely on the roof.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that 34% of fatal falls are from roofs. On top of that, falls are the number one leading cause of death within the construction industry, so don’t take roof work lightly.
Use lanyards and harnesses properly, and be intentional about where you place them.
Check the ladder for damage before using it, place it against the structure carefully, and ensure it is stable before climbing.
Identify and guard skylights, holes, and openings that may be a fall risk and mark them with proper signage.
Clean and sweep all debris and dirt from the roof before and after the job to ensure it’s clear.
Wear non-slip shoes.
Avoid working in bad weather conditions.
Take extra precautions on tile, slate, metal, and steep roofs.
Professionals receive specialized training to work on a roof and avoid potential fall risks safely.
Extreme temperatures, hot or cold, are another hazard for roof work safety. Roofers work outdoors and are at the mercy of the elements. They experience extreme heat from the outside temperature as well as from the use of power tools.
Extremely cold, stormy, snowy, or rainy weather is not safe to work long hours in. Taking appropriate safety measures is essential.
Stay hydrated, and bring a hat and sun protection.
Take breaks if feeling dizzy, overheated, or unwell.
Wear the proper wet weather gear if working in wet conditions.
Pay attention to the weather and know when to stop working when weather conditions are less than ideal.
Depending on your geographical location, there will be different weather conditions to look out for.
Electrical and Power Tools
Reducing the risk of electrical dangers on rooftops is essential to help prevent accidents. Be aware of any power lines that may be in close proximity to the roof. Power tools and electrical equipment used on roofs can be dangerous. Mishandling can cause slips and falls, shocks and burns, and even start fires. In some cases, misuse of such items can be fatal.
Position extension cords intentionally and out of the way to avoid tripping.
Wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, eye protection, hearing protection, and hard hats when necessary.
Test power tools ahead of time and check all team members understand how to properly use them.
Identify electrocution risks.
Using electricity and power tools is essential for roofing. It is best to have someone who is knowledgeable and can do it safely.
Working on roofs comes with risks of being exposed to various substances that are hazardous to humans. Asbestos is a big one roofers will run into, along with paint fumes and other potentially harmful chemicals.
Scope out area for any substances that may be harmful to the team and handle them appropriately prior to starting work
Wear proper PPE and respiratory protection when necessary.
Even though roofing occurs outside, avoid touching or inhaling toxic chemicals.
Legacy Knows Roofing Safety
You can trust the professionals at Legacy Roofing. They can help you with roofing needs such as an inspection, repair, or replacement. Plus, they ensure proper, efficient, and safe work.
Our team is knowledgeable, trained, and experienced for all your roofing needs. We will treat you and your home with utmost care and expertise. Take precautions for your safety and the safety of others. Call Legacy Roofing at 928-460-4430 to find out how we can help.