To prevent rooftop falls in winter, special preventive measures are essential. When we head into the cooler months, you may start to notice some weather-related issues with roofs. And, during the winter months – rooftop accidents are more likely to happen. So, people should spend more time on the rooftops of houses, industrial, and commercial buildings.
Furthermore, these days, the buildings are getting taller, and materials are getting lighter. This is another risk factor also. But whether your building is tall or not it is always a good idea to take some precautions just in case. The problems with ice and snow aren’t easily noticeable either. One day everything could be fine; the next day you could find issues. Your roof may be covered in debris, plywood has fallen off of your roof onto the sidewalk below, and so on. All these reasons have led us to give rooftop safety extra importance.
We’ve put together some tips in this article. These will help you understand what needs to be done if you work on a rooftop in winter.
How to Prevent Rooftop Falls in Winter
First of all, we should know the reasons rooftops get faulty or which things we should be aware of most. It will help us to know what precautions we should take to prevent rooftop falls. Some of those common reasons for risky rooftops include-
- Bad planning and construction.
- Blocked gutters.
- Rooftops’ gardens or plants can cause damages.
- Sloped roofs give rain more surface area to freeze. This can cause ice dams or water backup.
- Wind causes drifts of snow on roofs.
- Old buildings with damaged roofs.
- Heavy snow load on rooftops.
- Rooftop falls-prone areas- Access points, openings or skylights, unprotected edges.
Roof falls are a serious risk and it is not ok to ignore them. Now we will see the methods to follow to avoid this in the cold season. Following up on these regularly can surely help people.
Clean the Rooftops On Regular Basis-
If your roof is clean then it is risk-free no doubt. And, this is the first step toward preventing roof collapse. So make sure roof gutters are clean. Also, roof downspouts are needed to be wide and remain clear. Blocked gutters delay snow melting. If ice cannot drain properly, it will lead to form heavy and big pools of water.
Get To Know Your Roof–
Learn the ins and outs of your roof. It helps to identify the troubles easily. You will then repair the faults, before facing any accident. If you feel any problem then instead of visiting the rooftop call an expert plumber. This way, you may also be able to avoid huge costs and time. So, familiarising yourself with your roof pattern, maintenance techniques, and hazards are equally important.
Inspect Before You Start Work-
If you are planning to start any reconstruction work of your building then inspect first. It is essential to know every detailed roof problem to warn the workers. Thus, they will take safety precautions and you eventually can avoid problems like rooftop falls. Again, you may also get necessary suggestions for your rooftop from them.
Always Use Fall Protection Equipment-
Protection equipment supports a lot to avoid roof-related accidents. These are essential, especially for roof plumbers or workers. They can take cover in case of a sudden gust of wind or bad weather, wear the right footwear, use the right type of equipment, etc. So, give time to know the required equipment, buy them and also make others aware. Don’t take risks in the winter season.
If you need to work on rooftops then don’t go alone. It may put you at risk that may be hard to handle alone. Some other helpful precautions for you such as-
- Take necessary little equipment.
- Tie loose sleeves.
- Tuck your belt into the waist of your pants.
- Make sure your laces are tied tight.
- Ensure that you have sturdy shoes.
- Maintain a “no-go zone” on your roof.
Notify The Authorities at Once-
If you found any problem in your office building roof then inform the authority. Any types of noise, fatal, or other roof-related risks should be solved immediately. You may even notice risks in your rented house, institution, hospital, or in any building’s roof where you live or visit regularly. Instead of using these rooftops notify the authority. They must take this thing seriously to protect the people.
Safety For Construction Sites-
All construction sites have to follow proper rooftop safety procedures and if need be periodic checkups. They should assign a representative from their company to follow up on these things. He should ensure proper safety training and re-training of the workers. Also, educate them and notify the authority of every detail. Certainly, necessary types of equipment and preventive measures should be there on the sites always.
Let’s see some signs of a risky rooftop. Knowing them will educate you more to remain conscious. If you notice these signs in the roof then take preparation to repair it soon. Check eight most warning signs below-
- Missing, curling, loose, or cracking shingles.
- Damaged chimney flashing.
- Doors and windows are difficult to shut or open.
- Roof sagging.
- Exterior cracks in the masonry
- An old roof, more than 20 years aged.
- The unusual sound of cracking and popping from your roof.
- Felling of movement and misaligned sprinkler heads.
Sure, there’s not much to see on a rooftop in the winter. But there is a potential danger, as well. And if you’re working outside all winter, you need to be careful about slipping and falling. Roofs can be extremely dangerous on a very snowy and icy day. With the cold weather already here for many, now is the time to turn your attention to taking preventative measures against accidents. The information provided above should give you all the tools you need to prevent rooftop falls in winter. Yes, not everyone falls from a roof but remember to be cautious up on the roof can make your work easier and safer.