Safety Tips for Walking on a Metal Roof

Metal roofing is extremely popular these days, though being on top of a roof remains an activity select individuals are willing to chance. Because it can become extremely slippery when dirty or wet, metal roofing is even more than dangerous than other types of roofing material, such as asphalt tiles. Whether you’re a roofer, home inspector, chimney sweeper, or an insurance adjustor, safety is your number one priority before you step onto the metal surface. If you’re a homeowner, we insist you do not climb on any roofs, even if you think you can handle it. Walking on any type of roof is dangerous, which is why we’ve identified some key tips for walking on a metal roof.

Check the conditions

The first thing you should do before walking on a metal roof is to check the condition of the roof. As with any roof, check for any weak spots, holes, or other hazards that could cause you to slip or trip on the roof’s surface. Next, look to see if there is any pollen, residue, dust, or moisture on the surface. If there is, do not step onto the roof. The metal surface needs to be clean and completely dry to be safe.

Wear clean, lightweight shoes with rubber bottoms

The roof isn’t the only surface that needs to be clean. Your shoes need to be free of rocks, dirt, and debris as well. The roof is already slick. Wet or dirty soles make walking on the roof even more dangerous. This is why you’ll want to wear soft-soled shoes or boots made of a lightweight, pliable rubber. Rubber is slip-resistant, even if it comes into contact with water or oil.  Your shoes should have such good traction that they almost feel like they’re sticking to the metal. That’s how you know they have a secure grip and will help you safely navigate the sleek metal roofing.

What if it’s raining?

Do not walk on a wet metal roof, period. In general, you should avoid walking on any wet rooftops, even asphalt or wood roofing. Your best bet is to reschedule roof work for a day with clear skies. If you have no other option, make sure you take every possible safety measure, including using safety harness, safety rope, anchors, and a fall protection system. Make sure you have all safety systems in place before you step onto the roof. Then, pay close attention to each step you take, walking as slowly and with as much caution as possible.

As metal roofing becomes more popular, you’re more and more likely to find yourself on top of one. It can be dangerous work, but if you take the necessary precautions, you can accomplish the job smoothly and safely.