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To get on roof or not to...


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I get the ladder out on almost every job. Where you get on and off the roof is critical. Mike is right, always find and use purchase, don't walk in the valley and remember, you don't have to walk every square inch of the roof. You do have to see the roof and from the top down is best. We, and you, can't walk on roofs in the winter and make that perfectly clear to our clients. I had an inspector that used to inspect only from the ground and eaves line. He is no longer an inspector.

My vote is: get on every roof possible and never forget safety!!

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I get on almost every roof as well. I did do one that was maybe a 8:12 30 feet up where I lost my stomach and couldn't make myself climb back onto the ladder to get down. After I sat there for 15 minutes or so my brain took over again and I was able to step onto the ladder. For me, getting off the roof is way harder than getting on.

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Originally posted by hausdok

Valleys are important because the pitch in the valleys is less and you have two opposing surfaces to get purchase on. You can use the valleys to get to the ridge and from the ridge you can see just about everything a whole lot clearer than from the ground.

That pretty much sums up my steep roof technique. Up a valley and around on the ridges as much as I can. Back down the same way, but like Chad I tend to be more twitchy getting off than getting on. So far I can count the ones I didn't get on at all on one hand. A good, grippy set of boots helps too.

Brian G.

Waterproof Fishing Boots with Siped Soles: $59.99.

Dry Feet in Spite of Relentlessly Dewey Mornings and Not Busting My Arse: Priceless [:-mischie

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Well, I just got back from one and I nearly went ass over tea kettle. I decided that rather than fall twenty feet to a concrete patio I'd ruin my brand friggin new, first time out, super duper home inspection khakis. My butt looks like I came off a Harley at 40 mph.

I blame this thread because I was thinking about it as I was walking the roof.

My brother in law has shoes called Cougar Paws and he swears by them for roofs. I'm getting a pair.

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Couple of years ago they had those boots at Inspection Expo in Las Vegas. My wife would not let me buy a pair, but they sure seemed slick. The WOMAN selling them was way too young and leggy. Jeff, at Tool Experts swears by them.

PS: My wife pays life insurance premium and is sole beneficiary.

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I've heard good things about Cougar paws, too. But frankly, I just wear what's comfortable and don't care much about the soles. Anything steeper than about a 5 or a 6:12 pitch and I bring out a single piece 20' long fiberglass ladder with a hook on one end. It can be a lot of extra effort, but once the hook goes over the peak, I walk effortlessly to the top. Sure it impresses the hell out of clients, but the reason I do it is: I'm just too fond of this pretty face to risk it accelerating toward the earth at 9.8 meters per second squared from 30 feet up.

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Originally posted by Jim Morrison

I've heard good things about Cougar paws, too. But frankly, I just wear what's comfortable and don't care much about the soles. Anything steeper than about a 5 or a 6:12 pitch and I bring out a single piece 20' long fiberglass ladder with a hook on one end. It can be a lot of extra effort, but once the hook goes over the peak, I walk effortlessly to the top. Sure it impresses the hell out of clients, but the reason I do it is: I'm just too fond of this pretty face to risk it accelerating toward the earth at 9.8 meters per second squared from 30 feet up.

I've met your face...I'm thinkin' the hook ladder thingy might have been purchased a bit too late.

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I tried Cougar Paws, but didn't like 'em at all. They have a hard edge around the perimeter of the sole...if that sucker gets to the roofing you got no grip. I sent 'em back, and was told I was the first person to do so (inspector tool catalog place).

Besides, the dew we have every morning here will float any good canoe. If it doesn't say "waterPROOF" I don't buy it anymore.

Brian G.

He of the Dry Feet [:-thumbu]

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There were a couple of times during my first year where I ended up with jelly legs sitting on the ridge considering how it was going to look when I called the fire department to get me down. Both times I finally worked up the courage (or maybe the fear of embarrasment overcame the vertigo) and got down by myself. Since then I've gotten a little smarter about what slopes I can handle. It ain't the going up, it's the coming down. It ain't the fall that will kill you, it's the sudden contact with the ground. Or as the Polish parachuter said on his way down after his chute failed..."So far, so good!

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Hello,

First post. I hope I don't sound like I'm ranting.

I walk on every roof I can get my ladder to reach the eave. Shingles, tiles, slates, built up. I don't understand why don't they teach in Inspection School or whoever trains inspectors how to safely walk on a tile roof. I am 6'1" and 210lbs, and I've been walking on tile roofs for the past 3 years and I'm yet to break a tile.

You can safely step on the intersection of tiles. Vertically or horizontally. If the first step off the ladder is a "crunchy" noise, get back on the ladder and inspect from the eaves or from the ground with binoculars.

I'm off my soapbox now,

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Ditto to Mike. Think of the roof resting on the ground. Geez, I climbed white pines when I was a little kid that are taller than most buildings I inspect. However, 'add in' the 'fall factor' (where would I land if I fell?) and proceed accordingly. Another tip is to wear leather workgloves. You may need to grab something during the process and you don't want to cut your fingertips on drip edge or sharp pieces of gutter. I don't walk on slates or wood or brittle asphalt for the obvious reasons. Bottom line is that if I don't feel comfortable, I won't go. Oh yeah.. .tie-off your ladder to something if you can.

Another cool item I've been using is that black plastic wedge thing ($80 or so) that you can use to shim legs. I used it recently on a roof for my 13' LG that I took out an upper story window. Great tool. (The brand eludes me). I've used it around the house here a lot as well.

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Originally posted by chrisprickett

Originally posted by Jim Morrison

I've heard good things about Cougar paws, too. But frankly, I just wear what's comfortable and don't care much about the soles. Anything steeper than about a 5 or a 6:12 pitch and I bring out a single piece 20' long fiberglass ladder with a hook on one end. It can be a lot of extra effort, but once the hook goes over the peak, I walk effortlessly to the top. Sure it impresses the hell out of clients, but the reason I do it is: I'm just too fond of this pretty face to risk it accelerating toward the earth at 9.8 meters per second squared from 30 feet up.

I've met your face...I'm thinkin' the hook ladder thingy might have been purchased a bit too late.

[:-weepn]

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I hate hieghts and I believe all roofs should be built on the ground for easier inspections. Once I'm on it's all good except that the write-up for evident "pucker damage" can be difficult to explain. I usually bring my PDA with me so it looks like I'm working while my arse slowly lets go of the shingle, plus I can play Black Jack to cool off.

Oh yeah, Tuck your shirt in real good. It sucks when loose clothes snag the corner of the ladder[:-scared]

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