Carrying out pre-winter roof maintenance safely
With summer done for another year, and winter fast approaching, now is the perfect time to ensure the roof and exterior of your property is prepared for the bad weather by carrying out any necessary maintenance.
Important maintenance to carry out before winter strikes includes:
- Cleaning gutters.
- Roof damage.
- Maintenance of plant and equipment.
- Window replacement or maintenance
Necessary repairs are much easier to carry out when the weather is fair, and can save you a lot of trouble down the line. A leak in the middle of winter is nobody’s idea of a good Christmas present.
However, like all work at height, carrying out this maintenance can be dangerous and all precautions should be taken.
To that end, we have compiled a list of simple tips to follow which can help you carry out work safely and efficiently.
1. When possible, try to avoid having to work at height, if this isn’t possible then look at alternative ways to do the work. For example, if cleaning windows, use a reach and wash system rather than a ladder. if you absolutely have to use a ladder then always take advantage of the Easi-Dec Ladder accessories range to provide further support. For certain jobs up to the roofline level, an Easi-Dec Access Platform could be a suitable alternative to a ladder.
2. Make sure you always carry out a risk assessment before starting the work to determine what equipment you will need and to identify who could potentially be in danger or be affected by your work. Is there the possibility that someone could be hit by falling objects?
3. When using a ladder, carry out pre-use checks to identify any defects or damages which could prevent safe use. Areas to inspect include the stiles, feet, rungs, steps/treads, platform and locking mechanisms. Make sure the ladder is long enough or high enough for the specific task. Make sure the ground is firm and level and clear of any debris. If the ground is uneven and there is no better point to place it, consider using ladder footings such as the Easi-Dec Ladder Spurs.
4. Always make sure that the user is competent to carry out the work. Competency is essential. Only those who are fully trained in working at height and using equipment such as ladders safely will have the correct skills, knowledge and experience to work safely.
5. And perhaps most importantly of all, always plan the work carefully. Look out for hidden risks, such as , and make a note of them. When working with fragile roofs, consider using a system such as the Easi-Dec Board-Walk, which which allows access from eaves to ridge whilst spreading the load on support battens, providing the user with a safer working position.
Working at height can be dangerous, even at the best of times, so remember, if you are not sure about anything or do not believe you are competent or capable of carrying out the task at hand, always seek professional advice.
For more information about any of the products mentioned, call Easi-Dec on 01767 691812 or use our online contact form.