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    How to safely tackle a roof

    Published on 29 February 2016, Monday, 2:50 AM

    As autumn descends, many of us will be finding more and more plant debris scattered around the home. Leaves begin to fall from deciduous trees, and increasing rainfall could bring all manner of grime to your gutters. It calls for an inspection, cleaning and perhaps even DIY painting of your gutters and roof - making sure everything is in top shape.

    But it's important to be careful! So without further delay, here's how to make sure your roof access is done safely. 

    Keep it steady

    If you're using a ladder to reach your gutters and roof, there are several safety tips to remember. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) warns against taking shortcuts when setting up. This means don't lean your ladder against an unstable surface (pertinent if you are using an extension ladder), don't set it up in wind or rain, and don't have any more than one person on the ladder at a time. 

    Firm, dry and flat ground is the way to go when you set your ladder up, for the best practice in safety. Then you can easily access lose tiles or gutter debris. 

    Don't overreach

    Once your ladder is set up, its important to also make sure your actions don't jeopardise your safety. It can be tempting to try and get as much done as possible without moving the ladder, but reaching too far either side of the ladder is identified by the ACCC as a safety hazard. So too is getting too high on a ladder - stay on the second rung down unless you're using an extension ladder, where the third rung down is recommended. 

    Hold onto the ladder with one hand while working, and you'll have a safe and sound cleanup of your roof. 

    Use the safe options

    For a non-ladder option, you could consider hiring out some scaffolding. This can be a stable structure which is helpful for longer term jobs, for example if you are painting or re-tiling a roof. However, many safety precautions do apply. for example, WorkSafe Victoria says if you could fall from more than 4 metres, a professional must inspect and approve the construction of the scaffolding for your safety. 

    Check the maximum load allowed, and make sure the platform is at least 450mm wide. There is a wide range of considerations, so make sure to check with your state or local government authority if you aren't sure. Your local Kennards Hire is another great place to find out more about the right equipment for taking on your roof as well. 

    Nathan Mills portrait image
    Nathan Mills
    Nathan is a seasoned Kennards Hire team member passionate about empowering DIYers in their projects. He loves everything DIY and brings together years of equipment and project experience to help customers get the right tools for their next job.