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Monday, July 18, 2016

DIY Roof Safety Tips

10 Safety Tips When Tackling DIY Roofing Projects

DIY roofing projects can extend the life of your current roofing system as well as give you the satisfaction of completing your home’s needs on your schedule. However, if the proper precautions are not taken, you could be hurting in more ways than one. Following these 10 safety tips, you could avoid most roof related accidents.

1. Buddy System
Working with one or more partners will not only provide assistance with the project but also allow you to safely meet your goals knowing that others are active in the project and aware of the surroundings.

2. Appropriate Attire
To prevent slipping and ensure proper stability, wear shoes with good support and rubberized soles. Also, taking precautions against sun exposure will keep you healthy and ready to tackle your next project.

3. Map It Out
Create a plan of action before stepping on the roof; knowing what, how, where, and materials needed will make the project less stressful, run smoother and much easier. You’ll thank yourself later for the extra planning and strategic thinking.

4. Surrounding Environment
Before you begin any roofing project, it is important to check the building’s surroundings to ensure that no children, pets or pedestrians are around the hazardous zone. Electrical wires must also be taken into careful consideration, as they are sometimes hidden and can cause irreparable damage.

5. Weather Warnings
Watch the weather a few days in advance to maximize the project’s potential. Working on a dry roof will not only assist in completing the project sooner but a dry roof is a safe roof. Roofing injuries increase tenfold when a damp environment is involved.

6. Preparation of the Roof
One small detail that makes the biggest difference in the success of your project is making sure the roof is clean and free of debris. Take care to sweep the entire surface and watch for signs of bigger roof issues, such as cracked or buckling shingles.

7. Tool and Material Education
Properly familiarize yourself with the tools and materials you will beusing for the project; doing this simple and easy step will help into prevent any unnecessary injuries.

8. Ladders
Injuries associated with ladders are one of the most commonly reported roofing accidents. For this reason, it is extremely important that careful precautions are taken to avoid situations that may provoke issues with safety. Make sure you use a ladder designed for your specific project and with weight limits that are appropriate for the project at hand. Additionally, securing your ladder to the gutter spikes, when applicable, will provide a strong and steady support.

9. Safety Harness and Foot Brackets
Once on the roof, maintaining your stability is the key to safely and successfully completing a project. Foot brackets, although seen as a nuisance, can easily be created from a wood board and a few nails, creating a more secure environment than before. However, when dealing with a steeply slanted roof or if you are new to the DIY roofing scene, a safety harness is highly recommended and can be affordably purchased at your local home improvement store.

10. Know your limits
Listen and watch for the signs; don’t demand more than your body can offer. Recognize your body’s limits and don’t try to push them as overworking yourself might cause more harm than good. Take breaks often when working in the sun to avoid heat stress, and be sure to drink plenty of water. A healthy, well prepared body is ready to face the demands of a DIY roofing project anyone would be proud of. 

~ Meghan Beck