Concrete and other roof tiles hang over a framework to which their upper ends attach with nails. Their lower ends rest on the upper ends of the tiles below them. A tiled roof is therefore a dynamic not a static thing. For this reason we need to walk on concrete roof tiles carefully.
Concrete tiles are also potentially brittle, because they use extremely fine gravel chip and have no steel reinforcing. Therefore they can chip, and even crack under undue pressure. Hairline cracks are hard to spot but can still admit moisture.
WARNING: Never climb onto a roof if you have poor balance, suffer from vertigo, are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or are taking medication.
Walk on Concrete Roof Tiles Carefully This Way
1… Make sure you have a few spare tiles before you start that are in good condition. Even the best roofers have broken a few tiles in their lives. If this happens to you and there’s bad weather coming you’ll be glad you followed our advice.
2…Secure the top of the ladder to a roof truss with a strap before you climb onto any roof. Remember, you may have to feel for it with your feet when you need to climb down. Accidentally dislodging a ladder from a roof from above is not a nice experience.
3… Never go onto a roof alone unless you have a safety harness and know what you are doing. Only go up on a sunny day when the tiles are dry. Wear non-slip shoes that fit well. Test their grip quality before you start walking.
4… Choose your route across a roof with extreme care. Only step on whole tiles at the point where they overlap each other. Concrete tiles can crack where they are otherwise unsupported, especially new ones. Use the stepping-stone method. Always walk on concrete roof tiles carefully.
5… Stay away from ridges, and cut tiles at parapet walls, around chimneys, and at hips, valleys and flashings. The smaller pieces may be tucked in but unsecured, and ready to slide out and slip away.
Perhaps You Should Not Walk on a Roof at All
Your insurance cover may exclude hazardous activities like walking on roofs. A fall from one can cause injury, even mortality. Don’t take chances. Ask an experienced roofer with a great reputation to climb onto your roof, inspect it, and quote if anything needs doing. Call Calgary (403)829-1661 anytime during business hours for further advice.