Professional roofing contractors must master the basics of rooftop safety to protect their employees and your home. By applying some of our strategies, you can avoid falling and hurting yourself when you access your roof.
Your rooftop is a dangerous place, and you should avoid going on it whenever possible. The potential for falling and suffering a serious injury is enough for most Utah homeowners to leave repairs to a professional roofer. You can also inadvertently damage some types of roofing materials by walking on them.
But you never know when a freak storm could rip off some of your shingles or cause a large tree branch to crash down on your house. A professional roofer can fix the damage, but in the meantime, you may need to lay down a tarp to keep water out of your home.
If you must go on your roof, taking proper safety measures is essential. And that’s where the advice of an experienced roofing contractor can come in handy.
Use the Right Ladder to Access Your Roof
Naturally, roofing contractors have professional equipment designed for safety in the field. In other words, we have really great ladders that most homeowners don’t.
To safely climb up to your roof, your ladder must extend a full three feet beyond the top plate of the house. This extra height above the roofline puts the rails in reach and gives you a hand-hold for transitioning between the ladder and the roof.
For most two-story Utah homes, a 28-foot extension ladder is required for reaching the rooftop safely. If you attempt to access your roof with a ladder that’s too short, your chances of falling will be much greater.
Ladder Positioning Tips for Rooftop Safety
Placement of your ladder is critical as well. It must be situated at the proper angle for optimal rooftop safety. For roofing contractors, this is second nature. For homeowners unaccustomed to climbing up and down ladders all day, it requires extra attention to detail.
Check your angle by standing at the foot of the ladder and reaching your arm straight out toward it. If your fingertips just reach the rungs, you have the right angle. (see illustration)
Make sure the base of the ladder is situated on a solid, level surface. Otherwise it can tip sideways, taking you with it.
Before climbing up, make sure the ladder’s rungs are level. And don’t forget to strap your ladder to the roof. This provides additional stability and prevents a gust of wind from knocking over the ladder and leaving you stranded.
Roofing Contractor Climbing Tips for Safety
Play it safe and make sure you have three points of contact when moving on and off the ladder. Keep both hands on the rails while stepping onto the roof, for example, or place one hand on a rung and the other on the rooftop. However you transition between the ladder and the roof, maintain three points of contact at all times.
In addition, never use the top rung of a ladder as a step unless it was designed for that purpose. If yours says, “THIS IS NOT A STEP,” don’t put your weight on it. Failing to heed this warning can cause you to fall.
If you need an emergency roof repair, your first step should not be up the ladder, it should be to call an experienced roofing contractor. The team at Knockout Roofing, serving homeowners throughout Utah, can access your roof and fix the damage without risking your safety. Contact us today for a complimentary cost estimate.