Most roofing experts recommend inspecting your roof twice a year; once in the spring and once in the fall. This is to avoid the summer heat and slippery winter rain and ice. Also, people generally spend less time away from home during these seasons. While you’ll have no trouble finding roofing professionals in Ann Arbor to do the inspection for you, many homeowners opt to take on this task themselves. For those that choose this route, roof safety is top priority. Performing your own roof inspection comes with dangers; carelessness can put you in the hospital, or even the morgue. Here are some tips for the DIYer to remember in order to safely inspect a roof:
Don’t inspect your roof alone. Emergency personnel and professional roofers recommend that you always have someone nearby while working on a roof. Serious injuries incurred while working on roofs are a common occurrence every year. These injuries can be life threatening, which is why it’s vital to have someone else around. A friend can assist you with difficult tasks, and contact emergency services if something happens to go wrong. Get spotting help from your spouse or friendly (and attentive!) neighbor.
Bring the proper tools, the most important tool being a ladder. Make sure the ladder you bring is tall enough to extend a foot or two past the edge of the roof. Always plant the ladder on solid ground. Never position the ladder at too steep of an angle. If the angle is too steep, you risk falling over backwards while you’re on it. It’s also a good idea to have your spotter ensure the ladder stays firmly on the ground while you’re climbing it.
If your roof seems too steep to safely inspect, IT IS. Flat roofs and those with gentle slopes are relatively simple to inspect. If your roof is too steep, you should play it safe and have a roofing professional inspect it. Trust your gut. If you’re uneasy about climbing around on your roof, call a professional.
Wear the right shoes. Make sure the your shoes provide enough traction to keep you from slipping. Tennis shoes are usually a good choice, because they offer good grip and a soft sole. The soft sole will will be less likely to damage the roof when you walk on it.
Understand your roof’s materials. Know what type of material your roof is made of, and how to avoid damaging it. Terracotta and slate, for example, are extremely fragile and can crack or shatter under your weight. This poses a risk to both your roof and to yourself. Wood, composite and metal roofs can better withstand being walked on.
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