Roofing is a dangerous job that is best left to the professionals, particularly with steep or high roofs. The cost of a catastrophic injury is not worth the money you’re trying to save.
Owning a home means paying close attention to the areas we can’t always see or get to such as the cellar, the attic and even the roof. Some jobs are perfect for savvy DIYers while others should be avoided.
Inspecting your roof regularly is a good way to head off expensive repairs later on and make sure everything is running as it should. However, this is a job that is tremendously risky and has great potential for costly mistakes including catastrophic injuries or unintended damage caused by walking around on your rooftop.
The most common reason for homeowners putting their lives in danger on the roof is to save money. Ask yourself: is it really worth the risk?
For example, if your roof has been damaged in a hail storm, why not call your local roofing professionals to come and investigate it right away? They can give you an honest and expert opinion on how to fix it and no time is wasted.
Inspecting your roof regularly is a good idea, but you don’t necessarily have to set foot on the roof to see what’s going on up there. Consider getting a good pair of binoculars instead to spy on the roof from the lawn below. Walk around the house and change angles to get a look from the back, front, sides, and the street.
Another safe option is to use a camera – phone cameras are great tools these days – to zoom in and take pictures or videos you can inspect safely while sitting at the kitchen table.
If you really feel like you need to get a closer look at your roof, and if the weather is good, use a sturdy aluminum ladder to climb up to the edge of the rooftop but don’t go all the way up. From this angle, you can check on the state of your gutters and shingles a little more closely.
Transferring from the ladder up onto the roof is a dangerous move and that’s why we say – just don’t do it. The less you walk around up there, the better for your roof and you reduce the chances of getting into an accident.
Wearing a safety harness on the roof is like tying yourself to a boat while out on Lake Michigan. The harness may stop you from falling into the water – or on the ground in this case – but it doesn’t prevent potentially life-threatening accidents from happening in the first place.
A real danger we often see with DIYers is developing a false sense of security in a safety harness. A safety harness system is a lot more than just a vest and a few ropes. It takes knowledge and practice to understand how they work and to make sure they’re set up right.
What’s more, shopping for a reliable safety harness can be overwhelming to say the least. There are pages and pages of search results on Google and dozens of options on Amazon. How would you ever know which one to buy? Take this worry of your list by calling a professional roofer to help with your repairs and inspection.
Believe it or not, we’ve heard about accidents happening when homeowners go up on the roof in old raggedy shoes and even flip flops!
Solid footwear is an absolute must for anyone doing work on a rooftop – DIYers and the professionals. Roofing contractors always wear sturdy boots with good traction, and you should too. We also recommend you keep the bottom of your shoes clear of mud and make sure there’s not excessive dirt or debris on the roof that can cause you to slip.
There’s never an ideal time to go up on the roof, unless you’re a professional, and there’s certainly no worse time to undertake a DIY roof project roof than in the rain, wind and especially the snow.
Even if you have an industry-regulated safety harness system and good footwear with solid traction, wet or icy roofs can get very slippery and pose a huge danger for any homeowner – no matter how handy you might be. It goes without saying, never go up on the roof when it’s raining or immediately after a rainstorm, and never ever go on the roof during the winter months. Ever.
Less obvious, but just as dangerous, roof shingles can get soft and slippery when it’s extremely hot outside. Chicago summers can be sweltering with temperatures in the 80s and 90s for significant periods of time. On a hot sunny day, even if the weather is calm and clear, the heat can cause your shingles to soften. Walking on soft shingles can cause untold damage to the roof and put your life in danger too.
You’ve heard of the buddy system, right? Safety-minded DIYers should always have someone close by to call upon should you run into any difficulties. This is true for all home improvement projects from the basement all the way up to the roof. A good DIYer will always expect the unexpected and hope it doesn’t happen. But if something does go wrong, someone should be there to help immediately or call for help.
In roofing, always have someone on hand to make sure your ladder is sturdy on the way up and down. The person who volunteered to help should watch and follow your movements and always have you within eyesight. If they can’t see you, they can’t help you so be sure to check in regularly with verbal cues such as, “I’m OK!”
We are a locally owned, people-first roofing company serving residential communities across Chicagoland from our convenient location in Willowbrook. Proud to be trusted for high quality roof replacements and repairs, we are best known for our focus on solutions, instead of just the price. And all of that, we deliver with a smile.
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