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Avoiding Dents While on a Metal Rooftop

Apr 20, 2018

With proper instruction from the roof installation company, there is no reason homeowners can’t walk on their metal roofs. Proper procedures vary by metal types and roof designs. Before walking on your roof, be sure to talk with the installer and reference the manufacturer’s guide. If you are new to your home and don’t have proper instructions, our tips below may be able to help. Always test your footing before placing your weight completely on your roof, until you’re comfortable with the process.

Wear Proper Shoes

You, or whomever you have hired to walk on your roof, will need shoes with strong rubber traction. Most metal roofs are slick and can cause falls, making the possibility of denting your roof the least of your worries. If you don’t have proper shoes available, consider purchasing shoes specifically for metal roofing. They come with magnetic footing, protected by padding to prevent scratches.

Formed Panels or Tiles

Metal roofs often include placement by tile or panels. If your roof has these features, walk on the lowest spots available. This is typically on the rafters, where the metal roof sets closest to the internal roof deck. Stepping on these spots will prevent the metal from bending too far in toward the attic, which is what causes dents. As you step down, you will feel the proper resistance.

Tiles or Panels With Foam-Backers

If the roofers installed your metal roof with foam backers, your installer will let you know. Backers provide padding between roofing decks and metal. The areas supported will be durable and someone can easily walk on the roof without denting it.

Follow the Screws

If it’s difficult to tell where to walk on a metal roof, you may be able to follow the screws. The screws will be placed into rafters or roofing decks, providing safe places to step. Additionally, the screws can help provide a little traction for stepping.

Steep Roofing

If your roof is steep, side-step up to the peak. This increases traction and makes the incline safer to climb. Using a roof harness is also a smart idea.

For Large Projects With Extra Foot Traffic

If you are reinstalling a chimney or have a large amount of work to perform, consider laying padded boards across the roofing for sidewalks. This will disperse the weight and won’t cause dents from heavy foot traffic. Some homeowners have also added padding to one side of a ladder to lay across a roof. Whatever you use, be sure to make sure the materials won’t scratch the roof’s finish.

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