What You Need To Know Before Becoming A Roofer
Things You Need To Know Before Becoming A Roofer
Becoming a roofer is not a decision you want to take lightly. It can be dangerous work and incredibly uncomfortable in hot or cold weather extremes. However, it is a necessary job as every new house needs a roof and sometimes old ones need a roof restoration. Like all jobs, it also has its positives and if you enjoy working outdoors and you’re not afraid of heights, this can be a very rewarding job.
Before you take your first steps into this very interesting career path, there are some things you need to know. We’ll take you through some key points of what you need to know before becoming a roofer.
1. It’s Not A Job For Everyone
Roofing is one of those jobs that require very specific skills and nerves of steel. If you have a natural fear of heights it is highly unlikely that you will overcome this fear while working on a roof. Even if you don’t have a fear of heights, it may take some time for you to be able to learn how to gauge depth perception. This makes it incredibly easy to lose your footing and this usually ends badly.
You also need to keep in mind that a single roof tile may not be very heavy, but you may often need to move several tiles around at the same time and the weight increases very quickly. You need to find your center of balance with and without a load in your arms so tread carefully with every single step.
2. Learn Safety First
Before you even start to climb the ladder onto a roof, you absolutely must learn all the safety guidelines and procedures. A good company will ensure the safety of their workers is their highest priority and this means setting up a platform beneath the roofline and offering roofers the use of a safety harness. There are a number of other safety devices that should also be used either singularly or combined with other devices such as guard rails, safety nets, etc.
The other thing you need to learn is how to walk on a roof. You’re not going to come across many flat roofs so learning to work on an uneven surface should be your first lesson. Then you also need to learn how to navigate your way around your co-workers, piles of tiles and other materials and keeping your balance through the entire process.
Having the right footwear is also crucial. Those old comfy sneakers may feel good on your feet, but you really must insist on proper roofing shoes that give you lots of grip but are also flexible enough to give your feet the ability to move naturally.
3. How Do Roofers Walk On Steep Roofs?
Some roofs are steeper than others and in areas with heavy winter snows, the roofs are usually steeper than those in warmer climates. A steeper roof is necessary to increase the ability for large amounts of snow to fall off the roof rather than sit there where it can cause the roof to collapse from the weight of copious snowfall.
Firstly, you will need to have a proper roofing ladder that is taller than the base of the roof you will be working on. This allows you to climb fully onto the roof before leaving the ladder. Make sure the base of the ladder is also secured at the bottom so it won’t fall away. Secondly, don’t try to carry heavy tools or materials up the ladder. Tie these items with a sturdy rope or use a pulley system to get these items to you.
Most importantly, one step at a time, and lean your body towards the roof, get into a safe and comfortable position and move in slow, deliberate movements. For really steep roofs you will almost be lying and crawling around rather than trying to walk on the roof.
4. What Type Of Shoes Do Roofers Wear?
Roofing is definitely one job where your footwear can mean the difference between a productive workday and possible injury. Roofing shoes must be well made, durable, and fit snugly because a roof is not the place to wear loose shoes. The soles of roofing shoes must be made of rubber with treading that will grip to the roof surface while at the same time offering comfort and support for your feet. These shoes must also be breathable to prevent your feet from getting too sweaty and it helps if they have a protective feature like steel toe caps.
If you’re considering a job in roofing, it may be a good idea to spend the day with a team of roofers first. This is the best way to know what to expect which will make your decision a lot easier.