Roofing Renovation? 5 Safety Tips to Complete Your Project

Posted on Metal tile residential roof with blue skies in the background

Renovating your roof is a way to save money, but requires you to focus on safety to prevent injuries. Don’t take chances by skipping out on safety precautions to save a few dollars or couple hours.

Clean it up

Keep your work area organized and clean to prevent trips, slips or falls both on and off the ground. Put caution tape around the area where you’ll be dropping things to stop someone getting hit by a flying object. Be especially careful when working around power lines.


Falling is the number one work-related cause of death for roofers. Always follow safety precautions and never work on a wet roof. Still clear away dirt, debris, tools and other items that can cause you to lose your balance. Wear appropriate anti-slip footwear to give yourself traction while working high off the ground. Be in your best physical condition and do back decompression exercises to prepare before climbing up on the roof. Use guardrails and a safety harness if you have to be an extremely high elevation or work on a roof with a steep pitch. Helmets are an added precaution to take to keep you safer if you do end up falling.


Ladders get you, equipment, and materials up on top of the roof. It takes a lot of trips up and down to transport everything, especially if you don’t have a lift system to bring heavy shingles up and need to carry them up yourself. Abide by the height and weight restrictions the ladder is rated for and never use a ladder that is damaged in any way. Place your ladder at an appropriate distance away from the roof to prevent the climb from being too steep because you’ll increase your chances of falling. Take the ladder one rung at a time and give yourself plenty of room to transition from the ladder to the roof.

Power Nails

A power gun speeds the job up, but used incorrectly can lead to serious injury. Check the hoses for leaks or kinks before using and never put your body weight into the nail gun to reduce the chances of misfiring.

Utility Knives

A knife is a fundamental tool, but an essential part of the roofing process. Use sharp blades and always cut in the direction away from your body. Retract the edge when it is not in use.

You can certainly be a do-it-yourselfer and save yourself money by doing your own roof, but be sure to  keep safety in the front of your mind at all times and follow all manufacturer recommendations.

Written by
Terry Slate
Terry is the Vice President of Slate & Slate Roofing and has over 28 years of experience with both residential and commercial roofing. He specializes in metal roofing, composition roofing, and PVC membrane roofing.