Winter weather can wreak havoc on a home’s roof, especially on the East Coast, causing problems ranging from ice and snow build up to loose shingles and frozen gutters. While the snow and cold may discourage you from making immediate repairs, these types of problems need to be addressed promptly before they grow into expensive nightmares.
If you’re handling any roofing repair this winter, it’s vital that you put safety first. Winter poses unique hazards when it comes to fixing roof problems. Typical safety concerns include shorter daylight, slippery roof surfaces, hands and feet getting cold and numb, not to mention difficulty working with ladders or scaffolds. Therefore, planning and preparation are key to staying safe when repairing your roof in winter.
Winter Roofing Repairs: 6 Safety Rules to Keep in Mind
Here are six important safety rules that you should always follow if you’re going to attempt roofing repairs during the winter:
- Check the forecast. Experts recommend planning roofing repairs at a time when your region has experienced two or more consecutive days of relatively mild and pleasant weather, and to perform work on a day with precipitation-free conditions.
- Clear snow before you start. The first thing you should do if you’re going to attempt a wintertime roofing repair is clear the work area of snowfall accumulation. Be especially caution about structural hazards, such as skylights, drains, pipes, vent stacks, hatches, conduits, and roof-mounted HVAC equipment. Make sure all ladders are stable and slip-resistant, and that you wear appropriate footwear.
- Slip and fall protection. When professionals perform roof repairs during the winter, they go to great lengths to secure the perimeter of the roof with protective implements to prevent falls. Use personal fall arrest systems and/or temporary guard rails to enhance your safety.
- Understand materials specifications. Many roofing materials, including shingles, perform better when they’re installed during calm and stable weather conditions. Always read and follow manufacturer specifications for performance and installation.
- Recognize the warning signs of frostbite. If you’re braving cold weather to work, carefully monitor exposed skin for signs of frostbite. The key early indicator of frostbite is a loss of feeling in the exposed area, so if you find your skin feeling numb, move indoors immediately and leave the roofing repairs for a warmer day.
- Know when to call a professional. Some things are best left to the pros, and winter roofing repairs are one of them. Professional crews have specialized training and equipment that enables them to get the job done even in winter weather, and it’s well worth the extra investment to ensure necessary repairs are done safely and properly.
Always put safety first. Roofing can be hazardous, even in the best weather conditions. During the winter, it can be downright perilous. Never take safety risks, and if you’re faced with a pressing problem like ice dams or leaks, you’re probably better off leaving the job to a professional experienced in all aspect of residential roofing rather than trying to tackle it yourself.
Don’t Postpone Your Repairs Till Spring!
If you’re looking for a contractor with shingle roofing repair expertise, consider All Roofing Solutions, a family owned & operated Wilmington DE roofing contractor with over 15 years of experience. We are fully licensed and insured to do roofing & siding work in Delaware!
Call our DE office at 302-725-ROOF (7663) or our PA location at 610-551-ROOF (7663) for a free price quote or to schedule a roof inspection. And don’t forget to ask about our discount of 15% off any roof repair job!!!