Can I Walk On My Roof? Roofing Contractors Answer

If you are asking, can I walk on my roof, you might be interested in going up the roof, and there are plenty of things you can do up there. You might want to hang Christmas lights, identify the source of a leak, among many other reasons.

According to roofing contractors, you should avoid walking on your roof as much as you can as it comes with plenty of risks that include:

Damage to the roofing materials

Most roofing materials are tough and stand well against rain and other weather elements, but they aren’t designed to hold a lot of weight, such as someone walking on them. This means when you walk on them, the roof is bound to crack and lose its ability to protect your home.

Decking and hardware damage

You will rarely fall through your roof unless your roof is too old and damaged, but it could lead to shifting and wobbling of the roofing materials. This leads to misalignment that may result in cracks, leaks, and other areas where water can penetrate the roof, leading to severe roof damage.

You can fall

One of the prime reasons roofing experts advice against people walking on the roof is due to the risk of personal injury. As you are walking on the roof, you can slip and fall. If you have a two-story house, it could be as high as 25 feet off the ground. Falling from this height can lead to broken bones or even death.

What should you do instead?

The cool thing is there are plenty of alternatives you can go with:

Extension ladders: If you are trying to hang Christmas lights or clean gutters, and you can’t reach the areas you are interested in, invest in a larger extension ladder instead of stepping on the roof.

Extendable gutter cleaners: Some gutter tools extend so you don’t even have to get on a ladder which saves you time and keeps you safe.

Make use of windows: The second-story window won’t allow you to see the top part of your roof, but you can see the lower roof planes. You can not only clean these planes, but also hang charismas décor from here.

What if you have to get on the roof?

It’s wise you avoid going up on the roof, but if you have to, you should exercise a lot of caution. Some of the things you should do include:

Secure the ladder: To prevent the ladder from sliding side to side, secure it to an anchor point with a rope or cord. When placing the ladder against the roof, put it on a level ground free of bumps or divots.

For a great experience, ensure the top extends at least 3 ft above the roof.

Even if the ladder is securely in place, get a spotter to help keep it steady as you climb. This way, you have three points of contact, which helps secure the ladder even more.

When placing the ladder, keep it at a ratio of 4:1. This means for every 4 meters, the top of the ladder goes, the bottom of the ladder should go out 1 meter.

Wear a harness: You must wear a harness that will prevent you from falling. With a harness, you also need to secure a roof bracket onto your home. Anchor the bracket on a truss or rafter. This way you have a guarantee the bracket is embedded in solid wood.

If you don’t have a roof bracket, sling a long rope across your home, and then tie it to a tree or any other yard piece. You should note that this is much riskier, but it will get the work done.

Wear the right footwear: You want shoes that will provide you with a strong grip that will give you a strong footing on a sloped roof. According to roofing companies Riverside CT, some of the best shoes to go with are: approaching boots, hiking boots, and maritime deck sneakers.

Ensure proper weather conditions: To reduce the chances of slipping and falling, you need to ensure the weather is right. As a rule of thumb, don’t go up the roof when it’s raining or there are strong winds.

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