Climbing up onto a roof to inspect it is dangerous, and we do not recommend that you try! If you are fearful of the idea or worried that you might fall, don’t do it! Hire a professional roof inspector from Roofing Recovery to do it for you. But if you are comfortable and confident in your ability to inspect your roof, we might have a hard time talking you out of it. So instead, we have collected these tips for roof inspection safety.
1. Wear the right shoes
If you wear smooth-soled shoes like dress shoes or loafers, you will slip. Asphalt shingles won’t grip a slick shoe and you’ll find yourself sliding down a slope that feels like sandpaper before it sends you flying one or two stories.
You need to wear shoes such as tennis shoes, gym shoes, or work boots with rubber soles and lots of traction. Shoes that grip the ground will also grab the roof under your feet and prevent you from sliding off.
But remember, no shoe can replace good balance. If you have any concerns about being sure-footed at a treacherous height, please do not attempt to inspect your own roof.
2. Secure your ladder
Securing your ladder is a crucial step to ensure your safety. When you are finding a place to set up the ladder, find an even surface that will hold it steady. Wet surfaces or those with sand, mud, or loose dirt are not appropriate spots and will put you in danger.
When you lean it against the building, be sure that the angle is correct. If the ladder is too vertical, it can tip away from the house and cause you to fall with it.
Follow the 4 to 1 ratio rule: For every 4 feet of height, the ladder should be set 1 foot away from the building. If this is done properly, the ladder will sit at a 75-degree angle.
Watch out for your gutters when you lean the ladder against your house. It can crush or damage your gutters with your weight. To avoid an accident, purchase a “ladder stabilizer” so that your ladder rests on the roof and not the gutter!
3. Wear a Safety Harness or Ditch the DIY
If a roof is steep, it’s impossible to safely inspect it without help. When a roofing contractor needs to inspect, repair, or install a roof and the angle is sharp, we always use a safety harness to get around.
Safety harnesses are a worthy investment for roofers who use them every day, but if you do not have a safety harness lying around, you won’t save money on a DIY roof inspection. The price you’ll pay for a high-quality harness is just as much as a roof inspection.
Steep roofs are nothing to play around with, and you do not want to risk your life. Hire a professional and skip this venture.
4. Never Inspect Alone
Have someone spot you from the ground. If your ladder falls or you slip, your spotter can reposition the ladder and help you to get down safely.
If the worst should happen and you fall off the roof, having someone there to give you first aid and call emergency responders can be the difference between life or death. Inspecting your roof alone is never an option. Always have an able-bodied person there with you in case of an accident.
5. Don’t Leave the Ground
We aren’t kidding with this one! With advancements in modern technology, you can inspect your roof by yourself without ever leaving the ground.
Use a drone with a video camera!
Drones are especially useful if you live in an area of Florida that receives strong storms and heavy winds frequently. Who can afford constant roof inspections? Even if you can, you wouldn’t want to. But a drone is a one-time purchase that will help you to catch major repairs before they lead to serious water damage.
When the weather has changed for the better and the sun is out, fire up your drone and pilot it around the roof to scope out the area. If you find something suspicious, send it over to us and we will be more than happy to give you a repair quote!
DIY Roof Inspection
Now that you know more about roof inspection safety, you should check out our DIY guide on how to inspect your roof. It will teach you how to identify damage and deterioration that can compromise the function of your roof.
If you discover a roof problem that requires an expert’s skillful hand and you live in Dade, Broward, or West Palm Beach, call in the pros at Roofing Recovery! We will carefully trace leaks and find the source. Whether you require a quick repair or a full roof installation, Roofing Recovery has you covered!