If this is going to be your first time climbing up on your roof to inspect your roof, you may not be familiar with the proper way to use your ladder. Not following proper procedures when climbing up on your roof can lead to serious injuries. Before you climb the ladder, here are four safety tips you'll want to follow.
Keep it Stable
Before you set your ladder up, you want to make sure it's going to be on stable ground. Dirt and grass can give way, causing the ladder to tilt. If that happens while you're climbing on to the roof, you could fall to the ground. If you won't be setting your ladder up on concrete, place a piece of plywood under your ladder before you head up to the roof. The plywood will ensure that your ladder remains on solid ground.
Extension is Important
Your ladder should reach at least 2 feet above the edge of your roof. It's the extra extension that provides you stability and support when you move from ladder to roof. If the ladder you plan on using only reaches the base of your roof, you're going to need a longer ladder. It's also important that you position your ladder properly. For maximum protection and stability, the bottom of your ladder should be placed about ¼ of its length away from the wall.
Avoid the Gables
When climbing on to your roof, it's important that you never place your ladder by the gables – the angled portion of your roof. Placing your ladder by the gables will require you to climb onto the roof at an angle, which could cause you to slip and fall. Instead, place your ladder so that it rests against a horizontal portion of your roof and that the ladder rungs are parallel to the roof.
Pay Attention to Your Hips
While you're on the ladder, you need to pay attention to where your hips are. Your hips should always stay equally positioned between the side rails. This is particularly important if you're going to be staying on your ladder to do maintenance along the edges of the roof. Leaning over the side of your ladder could cause you to lose balance and fall. If you need to work further down the roof, don't stretch. Climb down off the ladder and reposition it before working on the next area.
Don't take chances with your safety. When performing maintenance on your roof, be sure you follow the ladder safety tips provided here. If your roof is in need of extensive repairs, be sure to contact roofing companies in your area to get some bids.