Walking on your roof. It’s something that seems like it should be so simple, and yet presents so many risks. Your roof seems like it should be strong—after all, it needs to be able to withstand massive gusts of wind, pelting from hail, dosing in rain that can add hundreds of pounds of weight, and so much more. Your roof isn’t weak, so it should reasonably be able to support your weight.
But is it really safe to walk on your roof? Our blog takes a look at this question that many people come to us with and explains some of the risks involved that you may not have otherwise considered.
Roofing Material Damage
The first big question is what material is your roof constructed from? Some materials, like asphalt shingles, are flexible and don’t necessarily crack under stress. Generally, these types of materials are far safer to walk on since you won’t be risking damaging your roof in order to do so. However, if you’ve driven around the Phoenix area and paid any attention to most of the roofs, you’ve probably noticed something: there aren’t all that many asphalt shingle roofs around the area. This is because as far as durability in sunlight goes, asphalt shingles are generally one of the poorest performing materials. They may be budget-friendly, but they don’t tend to hold up well under the stress of the sun and heat in an Arizona summer.
You more than likely have a terra cotta or clay tile roof, which tends to fare far better in heat, as well as has that distinctive southwestern look to it. These types of materials are also strong, capable of withstanding winds and pouring rains, but the thing is they’re not all that great for impact damage. These tiles are rigid, meaning they don’t bend, they simply splinter and crack, and when they crack, they lose their ability to protect your home. Walking on a clay tile roof is an easy way to cause an immense amount of damage that can be costly to repair.
Decking & Hardware Damage
While your home is built with structural integrity that can handle weight of people living in it, your roof isn’t built to quite the same standards. While it’s true that you’re extremely unlikely to fall through your roof, the truth is with an aging roof, you may not know where a damaged spot is or a weak point that could be on the verge of giving way. Unless you have substantial experience and training, these spots are difficult to see, and many people accidentally tread on them, damaging their roof and injuring themselves.
Likewise, this could cause shifting or wobbling in your roof’s materials, causing misalignment that may result in small leaks, cracks, or other points where water can penetrate into your roof and start causing tremendous damage. In general, it’s best to simply stay off your roof if you want to avoid causing this damage.
Finally, personal safety is a huge deal when it comes to home ownership. The roof of a two-story home can be as much as 20 to 25 feet off the ground and possibly even higher. Falling from this height could cause tremendous injuries that could impact you for the rest of your life. Not to mention, the slope of your roof could make the risk of you accidentally tumbling off even worse. If it’s raining or the tiles are wet for some reason, the risk only compounds and walking on your roof becomes extraordinarily dangerous.
What does all of this mean? It means that for your personal safety and the safety of your roof, it’s best if you simply stay off your roof and only let a professional walk on it if absolutely necessary.
If your roof needs repaired, call the Phoenix roofers from Lyons Roofing at (520) 447-2522 today!