A roof is a relatively dangerous place during the colder, harsher winter months, and extra care needs to be taken by both homeowners and roofers alike in order to stay safe.
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Roof Safety In WinterWe have split our guide into two in order for both homeowners and roofers to ensure that they are doing what they can to both look after a roof and remain safe, too.
Fix existing leaks
If you already have a roof that leaks, then putting it under the pressure of the winter months can make it worse in a matter of days. Rainfall is at a higher level during the winter, which means the leak will succumb to more water pressure. However, should water get in and then ice form as temperatures plummet, the ice will then make the source of the leak bigger and could render it harder to fix.
Clean your gutters
Gutters that are full and clogged will keep hold of water, meaning that when the cold weather hits, that water and moisture will freeze up.
Ice isn’t good for your roof and if you don’t have somewhere for excess rainfall to flow into, or snow to melt and run through the gutter, then you will end up with too much water on your roof.
However, checking the flashing on your roof will ensure that you don’t have leaks. If you have skylights or Dorma windows, checking the flashing is especially important for you. Even if you don’t have a leak, be sure to replace flashing that looks damaged or isn’t in good condition in order to prevent a leak from appearing further down the line.
Look inside and outside
Once you’ve looked around your house, then go inside and check the ceilings for inward sagging, and if your roof can only be seen from the loft, then it’s time to get the ladder out!
Sagging must be rectified before winter as snow and ice brings with it extra weight on your roof, which can damage the roof even further.
Cut back overgrowth
RoofersIf you work on a roof, then nine times out of ten of you will know how to stay safe whilst working during the winter but having a glance over won’t do you any harm.
Wrap up warm
You are at an increased risk of hypothermia during the winter months, and it occurs when moisture and low temperatures work together to take away the body heat from your body as you are working.
Wearing three layers of clothing is the ideal way to avoid this from happening, and you should strive to wear an inner layer, an insulation layer and an exterior layer in order to preserve as much body heat as possible.
Watch your step
It’s common sense, but always be extra vigilant when you are working on a roof during the winter as conditions are very different to warmer months. You have things such as ice, snow and wet conditions to contend with, so risk assess every single day in order to ensure you are doing what you can to stay safe.
Be aware of hazards that you may not be able to see
Remove snow and ice where possible
Beware of the wind
When the wind arrives, it is best to avoid rooftop work as much as possible when it is at a level that is beyond manageable.