A DIY safety guide for emergency roof and gutter repairs can be found on the internet and in home repair books. Roofing tasks are judged to be the most dangerous of all projects, which is pretty scary when you remember electricity and the risks it might pose.
If you feel any trepidation about getting up on your own housetop, you might consider calling a professional to do what is necessary. Gutter maintenance, however, is one chore that needs attention so often that you might want to do it yourself. If you are going to try high repairs and maintenance, you need to know how to do the job safely.
First of all, remove the word ’emergency’ from your mind and your agenda. Never venture onto a roof until conditions are dry. Wet surfaces or ones covered in ice and snow are not places you want to be. This goes for wooden shingles as well as metal roofing. If things are so bad that something needs to be done immediately, call a professional who is both skilled and insured.
Before you start, educate yourself. How long a ladder do you need? How should it be angled? What tools does the job require, what measurements do you need to know before you buy materials, and what constitutes safe practices and equipment? This will be the time to get what you need and plan the step-by-step progress to complete it. You will thereby save many trips up and down that correctly-placed ladder or returns to the lumber yard.
Safety gear includes protective glasses or goggles and sturdy work gloves. Getting a metal fragment or some dislodged debris in your eye will shut down the process real quick. Metal guttering and roofing may have sharp edges, and gloves will protect your hands from raised nails or other hazards. Rubber-soled shoes that are non-skid on wet surfaces are important for good footing when climbing around above ground.
Many homeowners never consider wearing a safety harness, but this is the one thing that can save you if you do fall off the ladder or the housetop. No one plans to slip off, but severe injury or death are the probable consequences of doing just that. Get a well-fitting harness and figure out a strong anchor for the rope that is attached and set at the proper length to keep you in position. A ladder laid on the roof for extra security should be strongly secured to some sturdy object on the other side of the house, like a tree or the railing of your deck.
You need to take everything you need up with you to minimize risky trips up and down and on and off. You can put all your tools in a bucket, but a tool belt is better. Both will leave your hands free for moving materials or yourself around, but the belt will keep everything in easy reach.
Check out several DIY safety guide for emergency roof and gutter repair sites until you are sure that you have a complete list of the things that you need to do for your own protection.
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