Avoid standing on your roof

Avoid standing on your roof

When you build an extension on your home, the flat roof usually interjects with the house just under an upstairs window or two. As such, it can be tempting to use it as a balcony or roof terrace. But, unless your extension has been specially built with a roof designed for this purpose, climbing out onto your extension can be dangerous. The majority of flat roofs are not built to withstand the pressure of being walked on, and doing so may cause weakness over time – not only making it a health hazard, but also putting your investment at risk.

Cleaning your roof without walking on it

Sometimes, you need to be able to access your roof. You may need to retrieve a football from it, for example, or perhaps it needs a clean as it is gathering moss and algae. A safer option than climbing onto your roof is to use a ladder or, if you require repeated access over a number of days, some scaffolding. If you do not have a head for heights, you could always hire a professional to do it for you. They will ensure that anyone accessing your roof is kitted out with the necessary safety gear, and they can also assess your roof beforehand to work out whether or not it is strong and sturdy enough to take the weight of being walked on.

What areas of the roof are most fragile?

Any roofing material can be fragile if it has not been designed with the purpose of being walked on. Saying that, the area around skylights and roof lanterns can be particularly unsafe if not properly assessed, as this is where roofing materials have been joined together.

As a golden rule, it is always best not to walk onto your roof, unless you are 100 per cent confident that it can take your weight (as in, the roof was built with this in mind). If you are unsure, err on the side of caution and find another way to complete what you need to do, or hire a professional roofer to safely access your extension roof and carry out the task. If you have young children and your extension roof sits below their bedroom window, you may want to explain to them that they should not go out onto it, as it could be unsafe.

Recently, we carried out major roof repairs in Colliers Wood where the homeowner had repeatedly walked on the flat roof and caused structural damage.

Here at South Thames Roofing, we can help you develop a flat roof for your extension that is built around your exact needs. To find out more, contact us today.