Saving your hard-earned money with the decision to complete a DIY roof repair is admirable. At the same time, however, it is incredibly important to stay safe while performing maintenance. You won’t save any money if you get injured and wind up in the hospital. Plus, no one wants to get injured! Here are some of the most important safety considerations to keep in mind when performing your own roof repair.
Make sure that your work area is clean and organized. It’s easier than you think to slip and fall because of a misplaced hammer or measuring tape. You’ll want to block your work area off from children and pets and identify possible danger zones before you get to work. This means locating unsafe access areas, dangerous power lines, and more. Also consider the temperature. You should never work in extreme elements. Very hot weather can lead to heat exhaustion and dehydration, while icy weather can lead to slick roof surfaces.
Preventing falls is obviously the main concern when performing roof repair. On average, six roofers die in the US every month from falls. There are ways to stay safe, however. First of all, never work on a wet roof, and keep your workspace as free of debris and tools as you possibly can. Make sure to wear safe footwear. Soft-soled boots provide great traction and are probably your best option. You’ll also want to protect yourself with a safety harness, net, guardrails, and other safety equipment. It might seem like a hassle, but it may save your life. Lastly, always make sure to wear your helmet and set up your ladder properly.
Electricity can actually “arc” or travel from a wire to a ladder located nearby. This is why ladder safety is so important. Make sure that your ladder is a non-conductive model made of wood or fiberglass when you’re working near wires. Never touch electrical wires with your hands or any tools. You should always call your local power company if you have to work close to wires. They can inspect them and insulate them if necessary to keep you safe as you work.
You’d be surprised how much material needs to be delivered during roofing repairs. Make sure to lift with your legs, not your back, to ensure that you don’t injure yourself. Be sure to carry your materials up one bundle at a time. If you’re carrying too much, you’ll overwork your body and be more likely to fall. Store your materials as close as possible to the roof – the less you have to travel, the less likely you are to fall.
Most importantly, if the job starts to get so difficult that you feel unsafe, don’t hesitate to call in a professional. Nothing is worth risking your health and safety.