15 Safety Tips When Tackling DIY Roofing Projects
DIY can be a cheap and quick way to get a project done yourself, but it also comes with many risks that some people completely overlook. While a project might not be particularly dangerous for an experienced contractor, for an amateur it could be a completely different story, and therefore you must be very cautious when tackling a DIY roofing job.
- 1 Choose Safe Footwear
- 2 Work in Good Weather
- 3 Work Slowly and Carefully
- 4 Clean Your Work Area
- 5 Consider Toe Holds
- 6 Wear a Safety Harness
- 7 Notify a Family Member or Neighbor
- 8 Keep Children and Pets Away
- 9 Keep Metal Ladders Away from Power Lines
- 10 Maintain Three Points of Contact with the Ladder
- 11 Setup Your Ladder Properly
- 12 Don’t Shoot Nails
- 13 Keep the Nail Gun Safety On
- 14 Don’t Carry too Much at Once
- 15 Lift with Your Legs
Choose Safe Footwear
The footwear that you wear is critical. An old pair of running shoes isn’t good enough; you need a soft soled work boot that will protect you from any falling material and provide you with extra grip on the roof.
Work in Good Weather
The weather in which you work can make a huge difference to the safety of the job. Wet and windy conditions will increase the chances of you falling drastically, while bright sun can make it more difficult to see. Ideally, you should work on a warm and calm day in the morning or late afternoon to reduce the chance of any accidents from happening.
Work Slowly and Carefully
Roofing can be incredibly tedious, and when you’re not getting paid to do it, it is even more boring. However, rushing at a job is going to increase the chance of you making a mistake which could cause a serious injury or death. Take your time and work carefully, it will leave you with a superior roof and a healthy body!
Clean Your Work Area
Before you start working it’s important that you take the time to completely clear your work area, both on the roof and on the ground surrounding the ladder and your materials. A safety warning from Zimmerman roofing company Northface Construction, “Failure to clean the area will lead to you tripping and falling over objects which can cause severe injuries when you’re carrying work equipment or materials.”
Consider Toe Holds
Toe holds are sections of wood that you nail into the roof temporarily to give you a section to rest your feet. These holds can give you extra stability and traction on the roof, which is particularly important for amateur roofers.
Wear a Safety Harness
Very few DIY roofers take this step, and many have been permanently injured as a result. A harness doesn’t need to be expensive and can be rented from many companies. They will attach to an object and prevent you from falling from the roof or ladder.
Notify a Family Member or Neighbor
Before you start working it’s wise to inform a family member in the home or your neighbor. If they hear anything they will be more likely to come outside to help, which can be the difference between life and death.
Keep Children and Pets Away
It’s not only your safety that you must be concerned about, but you should also think about any children or pets that could wander around under your working area. Keeping them away either with a physical barrier or by locking them inside can reduce the chance of them becoming injured.
Keep Metal Ladders Away from Power Lines
If you’re using a strong metal ladder, be careful to ensure that it’s kept a good distance away from any overhead power lines that could be connecting to your or your neighbor’s homes.
Maintain Three Points of Contact with the Ladder
When you’re climbing a ladder, you should ensure that you always have three points of contact with the ladder. Climbing too fast will prevent this, and therefore you must take your time, especially if you’re carrying something up with you.
Setup Your Ladder Properly
To set up your ladder, you should take the time to do it properly. Failure to do this can lead to the ladder slipping from its rest or tipping sideways and causing you to fall.
Don’t Shoot Nails
When using a nail gun, you should never be shooting nails; you should only pull the trigger when it is fully in contact with the surface and therefore goes straight into the roof rather than flying through the air.
Keep the Nail Gun Safety On
Before pulling the trigger and punching a nail out, you should ensure that the safety is always on when not in use, this is particularly important when you’re climbing the ladder.
Don’t Carry too Much at Once
Rushing at the job is only going to cause mistakes and mistakes lead to injuries. Rather than attempting to carry everything up in one go, carry less than you think you can handle.
Lift with Your Legs
Finally, when you’re picking up an object, even if it is relatively light, keep your spine straight and lift with your legs to prevent any back or hip injuries.