If you are thinking about undertaking some DIY projects around the home, safety should be your first priority. This is especially true if your home projects involve your home’s roof. A simple mistake or wrong move can lead to disastrous results. The roofing safety tips in this week’s article will help keep you – and your roof – intact.
Nearly 10 professional roofers die each year and even more suffer serious injuries. As a nonprofessional DIYer, you are even more at risk due to the lack of experience and man hours roofing professionals have on tap. While the roofing safety tips below may help you avoid injury, we always suggest you call in a home remodeling expert for any home projects – especially those involving dangerous areas, such as the roof or electricity. If you have any hesitations about your ability to perform the work or remain safe, call in the pros!
General Roofing Safety
As with any home remodeling work, always start by making sure your work area is clean. Keep your tools and supplies organized and not scattered about, as this can lead to a dangerous trip and fall. Be sure to keep your tools close at hand so that you don’t have to lean to reach them, as this can cause you to lose your balance – something you definitely do not want to happen when you are up on your rooftop!
Observation is another key to roofing safety. Be aware of any power lines, tree branches or other obstacles on the roof that you might bump into or trip over. Check for any weak spots in the roofing area as well and mark the area off so that you do not accidentally step there.
Keep in mind that your safety is not the only one at stake. Cordon off your work area and make sure children and pets are well away from the area. A running child or dog can easily knock over your ladder, leading to disaster. Likewise, a curious child might climb up your ladder if you leave it unattended, so make sure to always be vigilant if young children are around.
An obvious, no-brainer tip for roofing safety is to check the weather forecast before beginning work. If a storm is expected, delay your project. If it has recently rained, snowed or the weather has dropped to freezing conditions, do not work on your roof. The slippery conditions are very dangerous to work under.
Wearing safety equipment is another common “best practice” for any home remodeling project – roofing or otherwise. Soft-soled shoes with good traction, goggles, a visor to keep the sun out of your eyes, work gloves and even a roofing safety harness are all good tools that can reduce your risk of injury or fall.
When climbing a ladder, keep three points of contact at all times. Examples of this include two feet on the rungs and one hand on the ladder or two hands on the ladder and one foot on the steps. Check that the ladder is dry before stepping foot on it and that it is properly locked and positioned. If you are bringing roofing material up, make sure that it is not too heavy and that you only carry a simple load up each time. Too much weight or awkwardly positioned supplies can make you unstable as you climb the ladder, leading to a fall.