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Precautions When Walking on a Metal Roof

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Clients tend to have a number of common questions when it comes to the use and maintenance of their metal roofs, some more complex than others. One that’s on the simpler end of the scale, but whose answers are actually quite important for long-term metal roof care: Can you walk on a metal roof? 

At Mid Michigan Metal Sales, we’re here to not only offer a huge range of metal roofing panels, metal roofing shingles and other metal roofing materials to clients around the state, but also to provide basic expertise and use tips for any new roof or existing roof you’re managing. For the vast majority of metal roofs, the answer to the question above is yes – you can usually walk on a metal roof. However, there are some important precautions to take when doing so. Here are some of the most vital to keep in mind.

Don’t Go Alone

Walking on any roof, metal or otherwise, presents some risk and should not be done alone. Always have at least one other person with you, both for safety reasons and to help guide you in the right direction when accessing various parts of the roof.

In some cases, this person will also be valuable for steadying or holding the ladder that leads up to the roof in the first place. If you’re working with a professional roofing contractor, they will typically have their own team members present for this purpose.

Overcast Weather if Possible

While we know this may be difficult to time perfectly, if you have any control over when you access the roof, try to do so on a day with cloudy or overcast weather. This reduces glare and can make it easier to see where you’re stepping.

In addition, avoid walking on the roof in inclement weather such as rain or snow – not only is this dangerous for obvious reasons but it also increases the chances of slipping and falling.

Wear Proper Footwear

It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating: Make sure to wear shoes with good traction when walking on a metal roof. Avoid any kind of footwear that can easily slip or slide on the surface. We generally recommend soft, rubber-soled shoes that will have a strong grip, allowing you to walk confidently and safely on the roof.

In addition, avoid wearing shoes with sharp heels or cleats that may puncture or damage the roof panels.

Watch Your Step

While metal roofs are generally safe to walk on, there are still precautions to take while navigating the surface. Be sure to watch your step at all times, being mindful of any potential hazards like debris or loose screws that may have found their way onto the roof.

In addition, avoid stepping on any seams or ridges in the roof, as these areas may be weaker and more prone to bending or denting under heavy weight. Instead, place your steps on the flat panels themselves.

Distribute Your Weight

Speaking of weight, it’s important to distribute your weight evenly when walking on a metal roof. Avoid standing or placing too much pressure in one spot for an extended period of time, as this can cause dents or other damage to the panels.

Instead, try to walk in a slow and steady manner, spreading your weight evenly across the surface. If possible, use a ladder or other support to help distribute your weight even further. This will not only protect the roof but also increase your own safety while on top of it.

Care With Tools or Equipment

If you’re planning to do any work or inspections on the roof, be sure to use caution when bringing up tools or equipment. Avoid dropping anything directly onto the panels, as this may cause dents or other damage.

In addition, try to place items gently on the surface and avoid dragging them along the roof. If possible, use a harness or other support system for larger items to avoid placing too much weight on one spot.

Inspect Regularly

Lastly, it’s important to inspect your metal roof regularly for any signs of damage or wear. This will not only help you identify and address issues quickly, but it will also give you a better sense of where it’s safe to walk and where you should avoid stepping.

If you notice any dents, scratches or other damage on the roof, be sure to address it promptly. Small issues can quickly turn into bigger problems if left unattended.

While you can typically walk on a metal roof, there are important precautions to take in order to protect both yourself and the roof itself. Make sure to follow these tips and always use caution when accessing your metal roof.

At Mid Michigan Metal Sales, we’re always here to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your metal roof. Contact us today for expert advice and top-quality metal roofing materials in the state of Michigan!

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