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How to Safely Walk on a Roof Without Slipping (8 Effective Tips)

men repairing roof

men repairing roof

If you anticipate walking on your roof to change the shingles, clean the gutters, hang holiday lights, or for some other reason, it’s important to do so safely so you don’t get injured. If you are not sure about the safest way to traverse this dangerous area of your home, we’re here to help.

In this article, we’ll look at several steps you can take to make sure you return from your trip above without incident.

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The 8 Tips on How to Safely Walk on a Roof

1. Proper Attire

The first thing you should ensure before climbing any ladders is that you are wearing the proper attire. Your clothes must be close-fitting with nothing hanging down that can cause you to trip or get hung up unexpectedly. We recommend tying up loose hair because you never know what it might get caught on that might throw you off balance.

man with harness on top of the roof
Image Credit: Pixabay

2. Proper Footwear

While on the roof, wearing the proper footwear is extremely critical to your safety. Rubber sole shoes with plenty of tread on them are essential, so we recommend wearing relatively new shoes. If you have the extra money in your budget, cleats can add an extra layer of safety by improving your traction. We suggest something like these cleats that you can securely fasten with adjustable straps.

3. Secure Ladder

In our experience, too many people climb onto their roof using a poor-quality ladder that is several years old. Getting on and off your ladder is one of the most dangerous steps when climbing on your roof. We recommend regularly inspecting your ladder for signs of wear or damage each time you use it. We also recommend using a wide base, so you have more stability. Always make sure you secure both feet of your ladder before climbing, and never climb without someone holding the ladder for you.

man removing snow on the roof using shovel
Image Credit: Pixabay

4. Roofing Harness

A roofing harness is a great idea for everyone to wear while walking on their roof, and they are not too expensive to buy. These harnesses strap around your legs and arms and tether you to your roof by a rope. You secure the other end of the rope with multiple screws and can easily withstand the weight of a human body. If you slip and fall, the roofing harness will prevent you from falling to the ground.

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5. Clear Roof

Once you are on the roof, the first thing you should do is inspect it for debris and other potential dangers that may be present. Always remove items like leaves, pares, and other hazards so you don’t forget about them. If you have a flat roof, we recommend sweeping it regularly to remove dangers. If there is snow on your roof, it’s important to remove it completely before climbing on.

6. Proper Weather

Working in fair weather is extremely important. It’s never a good idea to walk on your roof during rain or a snowstorm because it can get extremely slippery in an instant. We recommend checking the weather and only walking on your roof when there is a clear sky and no chance of rain or snow.

men on top of the roof
Image Credit: Pixabay

Related Read: Metal Roof vs Shingles: What’s Right for You?

7. Work With a Partner

We only recommend walking on your roof when there is someone with you that can hold the ladder and get help if you need it. If you are climbing alone and you fall, it might go unnoticed, and you might not get the medical attention you need. A helper can also help you pass supplies and tools up and down if they are within reach.

8. Take Supplies With You

If possible, make sure you take everything with you when you climb the first time, especially if you don’t have a partner to help you because you don’t want to make any extra trips up and down the ladder. As we mentioned earlier, getting on and off the ladder while on the roof is the most dangerous part of walking on your roof—and the less you need to do it, the better.

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Safety First

When walking on your roof, the steps above can help you stay safe while doing what you need to do. One of the most important things to remember is working with a partner who can get help if you need it. Having someone on the ground is as essential as wearing good footwear. We also highly recommend purchasing a ladder with a wide, stable base.

Featured Image Credit: Sigmund, Unsplash


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