Roof Safety Guide

Roofs can be a dangerous place to work because of their slope and the fact its a long way to the ground if you do fall.  Taking the right precautions and working with care will eliminate the conditions that lead to accidents.  In this roofing safety guide we provide 10 tips that will keep you safe when working on a roof.

1. Don’t work alone.  Having a second person available to hold the ladder, help load supplies to the roof or bring them down, or to be available in the event of an accident is wise.

2. Set ladders on solid, flat surfaces.  If the ground is uneven, dig a hole 4-6 inches deep for the ladder feet to rest in.  If the ladder is on concrete or asphalt, make sure there is no sand or gravel beneath the ladder feet.   On a wood surface, consider attaching a temporary board immediately behind the ladder feet to keep them from sliding out.   If the ladder is in a vertical, non-sloped position find a way to secure it to the house.  Always go up and down the ladder backwards, hanging onto the ladder with at least one hand, though both hands are better.

3. Avoid walking on a wet roof if possible.  If it is leaf-covered, remove the leaves before you get on the roof because they can be very slippery.

4. Wear sturdy footwear with good traction to prevent slipping.

5. When working with corded tools, be conscious of where the cord is at all times so you don’t trip on it.  Move tools  and supplies that you are not using at the time away from your work area.  Make sure that you and anyone else working with a nail gun know exactly how to use it before getting on the roof.  If using a circular saw, do your cutting on the ground whenever possible.

7. Keep the worksite clear of debris as you go.  Loose shingles, tar paper, and bundle wrappers can cause you to slip and fall.

8.  Attach a ladder to the roof to supply secure footing, or consider nailing temporary boards to the roof deck to secure a ladder or your feet.  Move them as you work your way up the roof.

9. Keep an eye on the weather.  If lighting or high winds are in the area, get off the roof until conditions are safe.

10. If you simply aren’t comfortable with heights, or feel unstable on a ladder, call a roofer to handle the work on your roof.  Most homeowners don’t feel comfortable with the physical demands of working with heights or on a roof.  It’s a work environment that takes time and experience to get comfortable with, like a new sailor who eventually gets his sea legs.


Good preparation, patience and an extra dose of caution will serve you well in terms of roof safety.  Follow the 10 tips in the roofers safety guide and you will get down the ladder the last time just as safe as you were when you went up it the first time.


Roof Safety Articles and Guides

Replacing Shingles on Low Sloped Roofs vs. Steep Sloped Roofs, Which Costs More?

There are many types of roof structures and the cost to install one depends much on the steepness or slope. Roofers use the term “walkable” to describe... more

Hurricane Preparedness Kit For Roofs

When hurricane season hits, it might take aim at your roof, tearing off shingles and leaving your home vulnerable to driving rain and wind. Having a Hurricane... more

How to Repair a Roof In the Winter

Many homeowners are of the impression that if their roof is damaged in the winter, all they can do is to tarp the roof and wait for spring. But that isn’t... more

Does Ice Dams Cause Damage to the Roof or Shingles?

With winter on its way, many homeowners are concerned about the effects snow and ice can have on their home, especially their roof.  Can snow damage a... more

Roof Snow Removal, 3 Ways to Get the Snow off Your Roof

Winter is on the way, and with it comes snow and the possible damage it can cause to your roof.  There are certain times when removing snow from a roof... more

Does IT Cost More For a New Roof in the Winter

Does it cost more for a new roof in the winter?  Having your home re-roofed is expensive enough without additional costs due to winter weather.  However,... more

What Can a Homeowner Do to Extend Roof Life?

Perhaps you’ve just had a new roof installed and the price of it has motivated you to find out how to make it last.  There are steps that handy... more

Knowing When to Call in a Roofing Contractor

Many homeowners have the skills and tools to work on their own homes, doing maintenance, repairs and renovations.  There are times, however, when calling... more