How Not to Slide on a Slopping Metal Roof

Metal roofs have been a fixture on homes since the 18th century. Although older roofs might cause problems, today's metal roofs are virtually leak-proof and rustproof. However, you may still need to make an occasional repair, particularly if your roof is older. Climbing onto your roof to do so can be a little nerve-wracking. You can minimize your risk of slipping by following a couple of rules.

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Wear light rubber shoes to avoid slipping on your metal roof.

Step 1

Check your roof for weak spots before walking on it. You can do this by examining the roof from the inside. Look for rotted beams, broken or missing boards or sheeting. You'll want to avoid stepping on or near places where the roof is weak; this could cause you to lose your balance.

Step 2

Put on the rubber-soled shoes. They should have strong traction.

Step 3

Position the ladder so the top is at least 3 feet above the edge of the roof. This will give you something to hold. Also make sure your ladder is as close to the repair site as possible. As you climb onto the roof, hold onto the ladder so you don't slip.

Step 4

Step slowly and deliberately on your roof, making sure you stay steady.

Step 5

Walk on or near the rafters, which will help you keep a solid footing. You can normally figure out where the rafters are by looking at the roof's edge. Rafters are generally 16 to 24 inches apart, so try to step from rafter to rafter. Avoid stepping on parts of the roof that are not supported, which can lead to popped seams.

Step 6

Walk sideways when moving up or down the roof so you descend the slope gradually. Try to move parallel to the roof's edge rather than straight up and down.