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Exterior Painting: Working on roofs safely. Salisbury, MD

July 1, 2016

Until hover boards will take us up to those hard to reach areas, we will have to either use a boom lift or erect a safe way to access them.


Boom lifts are great and I would recommend using them any chance you can because they provide a safe way to access high points and they will save setup and labor costs.  But they do have a downside, price can be one, and they are very heavy so they leave impression in the ground (even when tracking the ground with plywood).


An alternative, when working on roofs, is ladders, harness kits, roof boots, and pivot tools.  If you go this route, make sure you take no shortcuts and secure everything correctly.  Speed is not an objective when it comes to working on roofs.....SAFETY is.


Let me walk you through my setup when for working on roofs.



Inspect your equipment



   Cross your t's and dot your i's.  Make sure all your tools and gear are up to snuff and ready to take on the job at hand.  Better yet, do it before hand so you will know if you need to replace or repair anything. 






Setup the Roof Boot



#1 -  Find your rafter location and carefully pry up a shingle above it with a 5 in 1.  The shingle is more flexible if its been in the sun.


#2 -  Use 16 penny nails or 2 1/2" steel screws to attach the roof boot to the rafter under the roof sheathing.  Use all 4 holes.


#3 -  I like to give it a good tug just to double check the strength.


#4 -  Lay your ladder down on the roof and hook it into the roof boot.




Install your roof anchor



Now that you have safe access to the roof peek, climb up and find your rafter (tapping with your fist or a hammer usually does the trick) and drill in the anchor with all of the screws provided with the anchor.


Connect your lifeline to your harness and the anchor and make sure the lifeline distance doesn't exceed past the edge of the roof.






Setup the Roof Boot & Pivot Tool




Repeat the steps for anchoring the roof boot and insert the pivot tool into it.


You now have created a surface suitable to put an extension ladder onto a pitched roof.


This entire setup took me 1 hour and 30 minutes.


When you are finished, don't forget to seal the holes you made in the roof, even the ones under the shingles.





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