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Safety Tips for DIY Roof Repair

Roof access can be risky, especially when you climb from outside the building. Besides, even if you have access on the roof from inside the attic, you are still not 100% safe from risks, as there may always be fragile materials with a high failing potential.

When you climb the roof from outside the building, the minimum safety standard is the installation of a secure and stable ladder. This is not, however, sufficient.

roofing companies in Panama City FL safety tips

Roofing companies in Panama City FL also protect the edges of the roof with safety railing systems that are not less than 95 cm high, and, if there is a risk of falling material, they also install parapets and protection platforms. Not less important are mobile access platforms; in many cases, these are not necessary, but they are needed in exceptional situations: working on steep slopes, performing chimney repairs etc. Work platforms are also a more common solution when it comes to short-term projects that involve minor roof repairs or replacements.

When all these protection systems are not enough or cannot be installed, there are still a number of solutions to work safely on the roof. On one hand, we have protective nets or soft landing surfaces (such as pneumatic cushions or filled with PVC granules). It is considered that these accessories prevent accidents or reduce the severity of the fall. On the other hand, we have personal fall arrest systems, such as harnesses, designed to reduce the severity of potential accidents. These require a strong anchor point.

What do you do when you want to do some DIY roof repairs and do not have professional equipment?

  • If you want to inspect your roof, the safest way is to avoid climbing it and use binoculars. In most cases, you can spot the problems from the ground.
  • If you decide to climb on the roof to repair or clean parts of it, and the roof has a pitch of more than 15 degrees, use a staircase, approximately 80cm higher than the edge of the roof.
  • If there are sections you cannot reach by using the ladder, you must use a harness.
  • Never climb on a wet roof! Wet roofs can be very slippery – especially if there is also mold and vegetation on them.
  • Use comfortable, light and non-slippery footwear, and always walk along the nail lines.

Last but not least, you must be aware that experience has an important role to play in your safety. If you do not have the minimum experience and knowledge related to working at height, you risk very much if you get on the roof to perform DIY repairs, because you will certainly, unless you are assisted by someone who really has the necessary skills.

Even if you are not a professional roofer, you need to identify the risks before you climb on the roof and apply at least the basic safety procedures. It is good to have someone to help you climb / descend materials, debris, waste etc. and control or limit access to potentially dangerous areas, under the roof or near the house.

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