Walking On a Metal Roof: Just the Facts

Decra TileMetal roofs have been around for a long time — in fact, they were very popular as far back as the 1800s and early 1900s. Many people today worry that they won’t ever be able to walk on their metal roof without causing damage, but that’s simply not true. Still, you should take some precautions, just as you would when walking on any high surface.

Fortunately, there won’t be too many reasons to need to walk on a metal roof; metal roofs today are extremely low maintenance. But there are still instances when you may need to take a walk on it.

A few tips if you do need to walk on your metal roof:

Trapezoidal Rib HouseOnly consider getting on your roof during good weather. If there is a chance of storms or high winds, put off your project for the time being. Before you go onto the structure, check the condition of your roof from the inside. Make sure there is no evidence of rotting beams, missing lathe boards or any other indication that the roof might not be structurally sound.

What type of shoes should you wear? We recommend soft, rubber-soled shoes, because they will provide for the best traction. You should place the ladder closest to the spot where you need to be on the roof, but take care to avoid any possible weak spots. You should also let the ladder extend about three feet higher than the roof itself, so you’ll have something to hold onto.

As you make your way around the roof, try to stay on or near the rafters, which are normally about 16 to 24 inches apart. Also remember to lean forward to help keep your balance. The steeper the roof, the more you’ll want to lean inward. If the roof is especially steep, walk up it sideways.

One last tip: Before you take a trip onto your metal roof, talk to your manufacturer to get details on how to walk on the particular type of material you have. Safety first!