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The basics of roof safety

by: Kirsten Land on October 16th, 2018 about Roofing Advice

The roof of your home or business wasn’t really designed with foot traffic in mind, which means climbing on it can be dangerous. If you do need to venture up on your roof for cleaning or maintenance, here are some basic safety tips to keep in mind.

Choose the right ladder

If you are going to use a ladder, use a sturdy ladder. Aluminum and fiberglass are popular options, but check the weight rating for any ladder you use. When the ladder is set up against the side of a house, it should extend at least three feet above the edge of the roof.

Do not climb on any rung above the edge of the roof, and keep both hands on the ladder as you make the transition onto the roof. Raise and lower tools after establishing yourself on the roof, not while climbing. These same actions in reverse will also help with making a safe descent.

Secure the ladder properly

A ladder is your link from roof to ground. It should be stable, which means all legs should be sitting flat on the ground to avoid rocking or slipping. A partner on the ground can help with stabilizing the ladder, as can tying off the ladder.

The angle of the ladder is an important part of set up and use. The general recommendation is that the bottom of the ladder should be one foot away from the roof for every four feet of ladder height. For example, a sixteen foot tall ladder should sit four feet away from the edge of a roof.

Avoid steep roofs

Steep roofs should be left to the professionals or those who know how to safely set up a roof harness system. If you are uncomfortable with a more shallow roof, harnesses and roof brackets are available for your use. Always follow instructions on installation and be sure the brackets are nailed into an actual truss or rafter.

Watch for other areas of risk

There are lots of areas of risk on a roof, so be sure to keep an eye out for these dangers anytime you are on a roof. Avoid stepping on any debris or impediments like leaves, branches, or tools. Be aware of any skylights and avoid stepping on them. Also watch out for edges and level splits that can be a tripping hazard. It’s also important to check the weather before getting on the roof to avoid high winds, rain, or lightning. Finally, keep in mind that lifting and working on a roof can lead to strains or other injuries.

For most people, getting on the roof is a rare occurrence, and those who are not properly trained or prepared should avoid it. It is better to seek the help of a qualified and experienced roofer rather than putting oneself at risk.

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The winter-ready roof checklist

by: Kirsten Land on October 2nd, 2018 about General

Is your home ready for winter? Before the weather starts to get cold, it’s a good idea to take a look at the state of your roof. Snow, ice, and tree branches could be in the forecast for your roof.

Here are some simple steps to follow to see if the top of your house is in tip-top shape.

Clean it

The first step you can take is to clear your roof of any debris, leaves, and twigs. This keeps the gutters from filling up and causing damage to the siding from excess weight. Go ahead and clean out the gutters as well. When gutters fill up with debris, they can damage a home and create unnecessary hazards. In the winter months, rain, snow, and ice will be falling on the roof. When the precipitation runs over the gutter instead of down the drain, dangerous icicles can form along the edge of a roof.

Examine it

After the roof has been cleaned, take a close look to see if it has sustained any damage. Watch out for frayed edges, lifting and curling shingles and flashing, and any missing shingles or bare spots you think shouldn’t be there. These problem areas can allow leaks, and it’s best to repair them before major damage occurs.

Go ahead and check the surrounding area for any potential threats like dead branches or a high concentration of overhanging trees, too. Most Oklahomans know what happens to trees in an ice storm, so be sure to keep branches trimmed back away from your roof.

Tune it

It is about to be very cold outside, and you won’t want all that cold coming inside your home. Check that your vents are clear and that you have a well-insulated attic. Depending on what kind of insulation you have, your roof may need anywhere from 14 to 18 inches. Older homes tend to require more insulation as well, so it is important to get a professional opinion.

In addition to these steps, you should also learn about possible winter threats like ice dams, sideways rain, and strong winds. Ice dams cause a similar issue to clogged gutters, but in this case the gutter is full of ice and can cause leaks in your roof. Strong winds and sideways rain can lift up edges and allow water inside the roof.

If you are concerned about your roof, Land Enterprises Roofing offers a free roof inspection. We also offer preventative maintenance plans for both residential and commercial roofs. For more information, email info@landroofingokc.com.

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