Safety Tips for Using Equipment on Your Roof


DIY roofing projectsDiligent homeowners and DIYers relish the opportunity to take care of their homes whenever possible. This oftentimes includes ascending the roof to remove leaves, repair shingles, fix leaks or even replace the entire roof.

Although we always recommend consulting with an expert for large-scale roofing projects, sometimes smaller projects can be handled safely on your own.

Safety should always your first priority when completing any task on a roof. Before you think about working on your roof, consider these basic safety tips:

  • Choose a clear day that isn’t windy and provides plenty of light. Avoid working later in the day, when you may be tempted to work past sunset.
  • Never work when the roof is wet or slippery.
  • Use a safety harness or toe boards and brackets for safer movement.
  • Wear eye goggles or other protection to keep debris or other materials from impeding your vision.

Use extra caution when operating equipment on your roof.

Now that you have a handle on basic safety, let’s take a look at some equipment you may need for common DIY roofing tasks, along with tips to keep you safe:

  • Leaf blowers. Buildup of leaves on your roof is an eyesore, and can sometimes cause leaks. Keeping your roof clear of leaves and other debris is much simpler with a leaf blower. Whenever you bring a leaf blower onto your roof, it’s important to use a gasoline-fueled blower rather than electric. Every step is important when working on a roof, and cords are a major (and common) tripping hazard.  
  • Power washers. If you really want our advice for using power washers on your roof, it's this: Avoid using power washers on your roof! It may be tempting to quickly clean your roof with this powerful tool; however, power washers can erode the surface of your shingles and cause them to wear out faster.
  • Nail guns. Nail guns (also known as roofing nailers) can make the task of replacing shingles significantly easier by reducing time and fatigue. Using them safely begins with proper maintenance. Before ascending your roof, adjust the nail gun compressor settings, visually inspect the gun to be sure everything is in working order and load the canister with nails. You may also consider wearing ear plugs to protect your hearing when using a powerful air compressor. (These can also come in handy when using a leaf blower).
  • Hammers. Using a hammer for small roofing tasks can be less of a hassle than a nail gun, although it is similarly important to work with caution. Hand and finger injuries are common when working with a hammer — and their danger risk increases exponentially when working on a roof. Sudden injury to your hand can cause you to lose your balance, with devastating consequences. Safety gloves are available that can mitigate the injury risk associated with using hammers. Also, careful prudence when using the hammer can go a long way. Remember, if you are inexperienced with hammers or working on the roof, it’s better to call a professional than to take unnecessary risk. Whenever using a hammer, carefully inspect it to be sure the head of the hammer is firmly attached to the handle. Be sure to notice whether the grip is intact, or whether any damage could lead to slippage during use. Inspect the striking face to be sure it is not misshapen, cracked or excessively worn, which could cause uneven pressure and lead to an increased risk of mistakes and injury.

Never shortcut safety in order to complete a task on your roof.

It can be tempting to try and complete repairs or upgrades yourself; however, if you lack significant experience working on your roof or with the necessary equipment, consider working with a professional (like Joye Roofing). We have the experience and equipment needed to safely and efficiently complete your roofing project. At Joye Roofing, we specialize in roof repair and roof replacement, and operate under the highest level of honesty, dignity and experience.

Call us today or click on the banner below to schedule your free roof inspection.


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Derek Joye has been roofing homes and businesses in the Midlands for over 10 years.