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Champaign Roofing: Article About Working On Steep Roofs

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According to OSHA regulations, any roof with a rise/run ratio that is greater than 4:12 is too steep to be worked on unless appropriate safety measures have been taken. Some precautions are common sense approaches while others involve sophisticated equipment to prevent falls. Safety devices can be either purchased for professional use or rented for occasional maintenance projects. If the task is difficult, the best option may be to hire a Champaign roofing company and let experienced technicians deal with it. Otherwise, safety guidelines should be strictly adhered to for the prevention of injury or death.

Begin with a wise choice in clothing and footwear. Attire should be loose enough to allow free movement without being so baggy that it catches on protruding materials. For traction, wear clean shoes with a soft rubber sole and avoid wet surfaces. Under windy, rainy or snowy weather conditions, do not work on the roof at all. Wait for a calm, clear day and then use a sturdy ladder that reaches about three feet higher than the eaves. The extra height provides easy access to the roof since the top rung can be held onto for stability.

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With wire or rope, the bottom of the ladder should be tied to a stake on the ground while the top is secured to an anchor of some type.

If the slope is greater than 7:12, then additional safety equipment is essential. Scaffolding must be built with roof brackets and wood planks to give the worker a place to step and lay tools. One row placed along the eave is the minimum requirement for a moderately steep roof. In case an individual loses his footing at a higher point, the scaffolding at the edge of the roof can save him from a dangerous fall. When the pitch is very high or the roof is large, several rows of brackets and planks are necessary. Sometimes roof ladders can be helpful for working between the scaffolding lines.

The best defense against harm while working on a roof is a personal fall arrest system, commonly referred to as a safety harness. The set comes with several components such as a rope, harness, roof anchor and lanyard. Simply attach the anchor to the rafters at the roof's highest point with lag bolts and use the lanyard to change the rope's tension as needed. Although the system takes time to install and the anchor must be moved throughout the duration of the job, it offers security that is indispensable to the homeowner or roofing specialist who must climb onto a high, steep rooftop for repairs.

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