There are plenty of DIY jobs that happen on the roof. Gutter cleaning, gutter repairs, fixing leaks and tiles, roof cleaning, painting. The list goes on.
If you’ve got work that you need to do on the roof, then it’s vital that you take all the proper safety precautions. Many injuries and even deaths are a result of roof cleaning accidents. You can easily slip off the edge or fall through the roof if you aren’t careful.
Before clambering up onto your roof, take a moment to read these tips for staying safe.
Be aware of hazards
There are plenty of hazards on a roof, these are just the most common:
- Edges: Whenever possible, stay away from the edge of the roof and try to keep it in your line of sight. It’s incredibly easy to take a step back and realise too late that there’s nothing under your foot. You can install edge protection and railings to prevent this.
- Fragile areas: This includes skylights, areas that have been damaged and the middle of tiles. Do not walk on fragile areas. It may be worth setting up barriers around fragile areas while you’re working on the roof.
- Poor weather conditions: Do not go on your roof if it is windy, raining or has rained recently.
- Steep inclines: If possible, avoid having to climb a steep incline on your roof to prevent overbalancing. If you do need to work on a steep incline, you should consider using a safety harness system.
- Slippery areas: Avoid stepping on areas of mould, algae or moss. They can be deceptively slippery and this can increase the risk of falling.
Always wear safety equipment
When working on a roof, you should be dressed appropriately. For starters, avoid loose clothing that can snag or catch on anything. Similarly, you do not want to be wearing anything so tight that it restricts your movement.
You should invest in a good pair of rubber-soled shoes with a non-slip tread. These can help stop you slipping and injuring yourself or damaging the roof.
For extra protection, you can also get a safety harness. The safety harness attaches to an anchor point so if you do slip and fall, you will be caught before you hit the ground. Make sure the safety harness is anchored correctly and fits properly.
Always have safe access
You should be able to access your roof safely. Use a ladder to get onto your roof. The ladder’s non-slip feet should be firmly on the ground and the top anchored to the roof. Have someone hold the ladder securely as you climb.
The ladder should not lean against guttering. Guttering can easily pull away from the roof and the ladder can slip and fall.
Never work on a roof alone
In case of an emergency, you should never work on a roof alone. A partner or team can also minimise the time you need to spend on the roof and help prevent accidents.
Ensure you work together safely. Make it clear if you are moving behind someone or coming to stand on the same area. Try to distribute weight evenly so the roof does not break.
Roof cleaning and maintenance is part of looking after your house. It can be dangerous, so take precautions to keep yourself safe. Alternatively, you can hire a professional roof and gutter cleaning service.
Bunnings has a great guide for cleaning a tile roof if you want to handle the job yourself.