There is no such thing as being “too safe” when it comes to working on your roof. If you are afraid of heights or feel uncomfortable working up on your roof, it is important to call a professional rather than attempting it yourself. However, for you brave souls, make sure to follow these procedures while on top of your home:
1. Wear the right shoes. This may seem either silly or common sense, but it is worth noting. Wear shoes or boots that have good rubber tread to decrease the risk of slipping and falling. Get rid of those old, worn-out boots and invest in some new ones.
2. Clean up! Before getting started on any work, give the roof a sweep of dirt and debris. You don’t want to trip over anything, or unknowingly kneel on old nails or other materials. Your roof should be swept regularly, even when not doing any work.
3. Wear a harness. A safety harness isn’t always necessary. However, if you are working on a roof with a steep pitch or a building that is several stories high, it is good to err on the side of caution.
4. Use a gutter guard. Gutter guards keep your ladder steady, as well as keep the gutters protected. A gutter guard is generally a scrap piece of wood or plywood fastened to the roof deck. You make a notch in the wood, lean the ladder legs against the notch and secure it in place. Another way to steady the ladder is by putting some shingle bundles against the feet.
5. Install toe holds. This is especially important if your roof has a steep pitch. You can install your own temporary toe holds in order to keep your balance and prevent slipping. Take several two- by four-inch wood wedges and nail them to the roof deck, and remove them when the work is done!
6. Avoid wet roofs. When there has been any kind of precipitation on your roof – such as rain, snow, frost or dew – hold off on your work. Unless it is an emergency, NEVER perform roof work in the winter.
Courtesy of Do It Yourself