Roofing repairs do not always need to be done by a professional but they nonetheless pose difficulties when it comes to both access and safety.
Much of the official health and safety advice states that, for any domestic roof repairs, scaffolding is needed. But scaffolding can seem unnecessary for small one-man jobs, so in these cases, it is often considered perfectly acceptable to use a ladder that is safely secured.
Before you attempt any roofing repair it is essential that you fully consider your ability to do the job safely. Whilst relatively simple, many roofing repairs are crucial to ensuring your entire building remains in a good and stable condition.
If not done properly, water can get through and damage internal ceilings and walls – a costly and inconvenient issue to rectify. If you have any doubt as to your ability to fix your roofing problem – it’s probably far more cost effective in the long run to call in an expert.
So when do you really need to get scaffolding? We consider the following questions:
Health and safety will nearly always advise that if you have more than four people working at height then a proper risk assessment needs to be carried out, the result of which will often conclude the safest way to do this is with scaffolding.
Jobs that involve working on the entire roof will also need scaffolding. Scaffolding is not only designed to keep those working at height safe, but also those on the ground. If there is any risk of tools or materials falling from the roof, then scaffolding with an edge fitted around the platform is essential. This type of scaffolding can be hired easily from many local scaffolding suppliers. If materials are being passed from the roof to the ground a chute can be fitted to the edge of the scaffolding to allow for safe transportation.
If your job is likely to last more than a couple of days, or particularly if the weather is looking temperamental, scaffolding is also advised. It can help when covering up an unfinished roof to have the scaffolding in place to protect the roof, tools and materials from the elements.
If your repairs involve working on a chimney you should always consider scaffolding to allow you a safe platform to work from. There are other alternatives, but none are as safe as scaffolding and your safety is well worth paying that little bit extra for.
If your job is relatively simple, and likely to take no more than a day, then a ladder safely secured is probably all that is required. If you think there is any risk of you falling, or tools and materials dropping onto the ground below, then maybe think twice. Replacing tiles, working on guttering and mending valleys are all examples of jobs for which you may not need scaffolding.
Single story flat rooves may also not need scaffolding. A secure ladder and a chute to dispose of any discarded materials to the ground may be sufficient. Always think about your safety first.
As tempting as it is to do a job yourself, or save some money by skipping the scaffolding, you always need to think about the safer option. You can’t put a price on your safety! So always factor this into your costs.
If you decide you need to hire scaffolding for your roof repairs, ensure you take your safety seriously and always ensure that you wear the appropriate safety gear, including a harness that clips onto the scaffolding to prevent yourself from falling. Below is a video courtesy of Peakworks explaining more about the harness you should wear and how to properly put it on.
Whichever way you decide to tackle your roofing repairs – we hope you found this article helpful! Head over to this useful article by Clinton Kemp which explains which tools you need for DIY roof repairs!
Disclaimer of Endorsement: Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favouring by Piper Scaffolding. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of Piper Scaffolding, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.
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