Perhaps you want to see if your roof was damaged by a recent hailstorm. Maybe you want to obtain a better idea of when you will need to replace your aging roof. Perhaps you have identified a small leak that you think you can fix yourself. Whatever your reason for wondering whether you can walk on your roof, you may need to revise your question. The real issue is whether you can walk on your roof without endangering yourself or causing additional damage to your roof. In most cases, you should not attempt to walk on your roof.
Austin Roofing: Can I Walk On My Roof?
Risk of Physical Injury
Every year, more than 150,000 people seek medical treatment for injuries suffered in roofing accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Hundreds of full-time roofers are injured annually, and approximately 52 out of every 10,000 roofers die from their injuries. Falling from the roof is only one category of injuries. Falls from ladders, electrocution, falling through the roof, lack or misuse of safety equipment, scaffolding collapses and being struck by falling or windblown objects also account for many injuries and fatalities. Unless you own and know how to use safety equipment, are unaffected by heights, are knowledgeable about constructing scaffolds, know where to step and understand your home’s electrical system, stay off your roof and call a professional.
Risk of Additional Damage to Your Roof
Homeowners often tell roofing contractors that the roof was not leaking until the plumber, cable installer, chimney sweep or some other service provider walked on the roof. Sometimes, the leak can appear as soon as the next rainfall. However, in many cases, months may pass before the leak reaches the home’s interior, and by then, the homeowner may not connect the leak to the previous work. Furthermore, some homeowners think that a roof that can withstand torrential rains, high winds, harsh sunlight and other extreme conditions must surely be able to emerge unscathed if someone walks across it.
Unfortunately, roofing materials can be far more fragile than many homeowners believe. For example, many clay tiles and virtually all wooden shingles can be dislodged or cracked simply by walking on them. Raised seams on metal roofs are easily damaged, and if the roof was installed without sheathing, the panels can easily be dented. Aging or damaged asphalt shingles can suffer extensive damage if cupped, curled, brittle, cracked or degranulated shingles are subjected to the weight of a human walking across them.
What Roofing Professionals Know About Walking on Roofs
Through training or experience, professional roof contractors learn a great deal about walking on roofs that the average homeowner does not know. Here are a few of the things that roofing professionals know.
• All roofs are slippery when wet, but metal roofs are the most treacherous when moisture is present.
• Metal roofs become even slicker in hot weather.
• Loose granules on asphalt shingles increase the risk of slips whether the roof is new or old.
• The risk of falling through the roof must be evaluated before leaving the ladder.
• Walking on a wet or icy roof should never be done unless the situation is a true emergency.
Alpha Roofing is a residential roofing and commercial roofing contractor based in Austin, TX and is well-known in Central Texas for quality workmanship and customer service. We have the gear and the knowledge to walk on your roof safely. We offer roof inspections, maintenance plans, emergency roof repairs, asphalt shingle installations, metal roofing systems, skylight installation, chimney repairs, flashing repair, moss removal and siding installation. When you need a reputable professional to assist you, you can count on us for prompt, personal attention and exceptional results. If you have more questions about Austin Roofing: Can I Walk On My Roof?, or would like a free estimate, call us at (512) 777-1086 or fill out the quote request form online.