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Proper Techniques for Moving Across a Roof

February 29, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 175

There are a variety of things that can cause damage to a roofing system. One of these things is foot traffic which has the potential to compromise a system and affect its overall function. Once or twice a year, the roof should be accessed to perform surface cleaning or make necessary repairs. It is important to keep in mind that during such activities, walking on the surface can cause severe damage, especially when crossing any weak or fragile areas.

After many years of research and investigation, it can be stated that using proper techniques for moving across a roof can extend its serviceable life and enhance its effectiveness.

Foot Traffic

All types of roofing systems are subject to foot traffic due to repairs and periodic maintenance as well as accessing air-conditioning units and other devices. No matter how much caution is exercised by anyone walking on the surface, it is very difficult to not cause a problem just by being on the roof. Even skilled professionals who exercise great caution during any cleaning or repair processes can create problems especially with any work involving tools and other type of work equipment.

Proper Techniques

Generally, roofing is engineered to resist physical abuse; however, damage due to abuse from foot traffic is usually unavoidable. For this reason, there are proper ways for walking on a roof without causing harm to the materials and underlying structures.

Body Weight - This should be well-distributed on an area wider than where the feet are being placed. A sudden shift of body weight should be avoided, especially when carrying tools, and avoid hopping from one surface to another. Edges - Instead of stepping on the edge of the structure, step directly onto the surface or as close to that as possible where there is underlying support. Footwear - Wear footwear that has soft and light soles: tennis shoes, rubber-soled or gum-soled work boots. Metal - When stepping on a metal roof, for the flat tray style step on the pan only; for metal coverings that are ribbed, at least two of the ribs should be walked upon. Shingles - Do not walk on asphalt shingles or built-up tar during summer months. Walk Pads - Lay these pads on areas that are vulnerable to stress, such as around HVAC systems. Walkway System - Utilize this type of system to minimize the effect of service traffic. Other Components - Avoid stepping on gutters, overhangs, and skylight areas as they are not designed for any weight bearing. Temporary Protection - Provide temporary protection on roof coverings during any repair where abnormal foot traffic is expected.

It is difficult to walk on a roof without causing any damage to the material. Although it is necessary to walk on the surface when there is a need for repairs, cleaning, or accessing essential components such as the heating and cooling system, cracks, breakage, or other types of damage could occur. In order to avoid damage, movement should be done with extreme caution and knowledge of the proper techniques to use when accessing a roof!

Christopher Hunter is an expert in roofing information. To find out more about Houston Roofing Repair, go to our main website at: http://www.schulteroofing.com/.

Source: EzineArticles
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