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John Dirks Jr
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Don't ever walk a roof this steep again without serious back-up hand support, that is, something firm to grab on to when your feet slip. You'll be a one sorry HI when one of those shingles you step on isn't fastened. This roof is just too steep to consider as is. Please don't do it again.

You can see the chimney is too short from the ground.

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Yeah, that's steep enough to be pretty touchy. The hardest part for me is getting on or off something like that. I try to find a valley to go up, or use the extension ladder to reach the top of a gable. Lower-sloped porch roofs are most welcome.

Once you get up around angles like that, if one thing goes wrong and you start to slide, you can't stop without something to grab (quick). [:-wiltel]

Brian G.

Walk 'Em, Don't Slide 'Em [8]

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Sort of a technicality but a 12/12 (rise/run) roof is a half pitch roof, a 6/12 would be a quarter pitch roof. Pitch=the rise/twice the run.

Originally posted by inspecthistoric

12/12, like most Capes.

I'd start from the porch roof, walk up to the ridge and tight-rope walk it over to see down the chimney.

That chimney's too short.

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Originally posted by Mike Lamb

Don't ever walk a roof this steep again without serious back-up hand support, that is, something firm to grab on to when your feet slip. You'll be a one sorry HI when one of those shingles you step on isn't fastened. This roof is just too steep to consider as is. Please don't do it again.

You can see the chimney is too short from the ground.

Guess it's a matter of experience and perspective. I've never had a shingle slip underfoot and I've gone up some roofs that were so bad they looked like they were going to slide off the framing any minute. I installed covers on roofs that steep long before there was an OSHA around requiring harnesses and such. That roof wouldn't have given me two seconds pause.

Walking roofs is an individual decision. If you don't feel comfortable when you're on the top of a 6ft. ladder you shouldn't be going up on a roof. If you start to get off a ladder and your knees feel rubbery, you shouldn't be walking on the roof. If you have a lousy sense of balance, you shouldn't be going up on a roof. If you don't have a pair of lace-on shoes with soft soles and can't bend your foot well back toward your knee, so that you can keep your soles flat on the roof at all times, then you shouldn't be walking on a roof. If you can't descend a roof like that by standing up and walking straight down the roof looking outward from the house, you shouldn't be walking on the roof.

There are others, but you get the idea.

There are lots of us in this business who are just as comfortable on a roof as we are on the ground and it's our experience - most of it learned in the trades - that makes us comfortable. People who work steel, who build bridges, who work powerline towers, who install roofs, who build silos (like I did as a teenager), have to work high and for them it's just part of the job. You won't find anyone working those jobs who experiences some of the stuff I said above.

We aren't showboating when we go up on a roof; it's just part of the job and we know when to listen to the little man inside that says, "Uh uh, no way." That's us; we don't begrudge the others who don't want to walk on roofs, but we sure get tired of all the sermons against doing so.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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And, there's cougar paws. I've walked up stuff you wouldn't believe w/those things.

I'll never understand the problem folks have w/the idea of going on a roof, steep or not. It'd be fun to teach a class in it, because there are very specific things one can do to make it relatively simple. Athletic and involved, but simple.

Heck, folks climb sheer rock faces because they know how. We're just going on a roof.

http://www.cougarpaws.com/html/roars.html

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There are a lot of things to consider on a steeper sloped roof including whether there is algae growth (if wet-- very slick), weather conditions, age of the roof, etc.

Since you say you felt uncomfortable afterwards, I would say you shouldn't have walked it.

I would have just started on the lower sloped section and ran up on that side. Heck, if you slip back you just end up on the porch area roof again. If there was not a lower sloped roof, I usually will use a valley if possible. When there is no valley, I would walk up the rake edge while holding onto a barge rafter and just work across the ridge to get a good view of everything.

The most important thing is that you just should never walk a roof you do not feel comfortable walking- everyone has different levels of athleticism, balance, etc.

Also, find the softest rubber soled shoes possible for the job-- I always wear Columbia brand hiking type shoes--- they work great for the roof.

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Originally posted by hausdok

Originally posted by Mike Lamb

Don't ever walk a roof this steep again without serious back-up hand support, that is, something firm to grab on to when your feet slip. You'll be a one sorry HI when one of those shingles you step on isn't fastened. This roof is just too steep to consider as is. Please don't do it again.

You can see the chimney is too short from the ground.

Guess it's a matter of experience and perspective. I've never had a shingle slip underfoot and I've gone up some roofs that were so bad they looked like they were going to slide off the framing any minute. I installed covers on roofs that steep long before there was an OSHA around requiring harnesses and such. That roof wouldn't have given me two seconds pause.

Walking roofs is an individual decision. If you don't feel comfortable when you're on the top of a 6ft. ladder you shouldn't be going up on a roof. If you start to get off a ladder and your knees feel rubbery, you shouldn't be walking on the roof. If you have a lousy sense of balance, you shouldn't be going up on a roof. If you don't have a pair of lace-on shoes with soft soles and can't bend your foot well back toward your knee, so that you can keep your soles flat on the roof at all times, then you shouldn't be walking on a roof. If you can't descend a roof like that by standing up and walking straight down the roof looking outward from the house, you shouldn't be walking on the roof.

There are others, but you get the idea.

There are lots of us in this business who are just as comfortable on a roof as we are on the ground and it's our experience - most of it learned in the trades - that makes us comfortable. People who work steel, who build bridges, who work powerline towers, who install roofs, who build silos (like I did as a teenager), have to work high and for them it's just part of the job. You won't find anyone working those jobs who experiences some of the stuff I said above.

We aren't showboating when we go up on a roof; it's just part of the job and we know when to listen to the little man inside that says, "Uh uh, no way." That's us; we don't begrudge the others who don't want to walk on roofs, but we sure get tired of all the sermons against doing so.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

You know I never looked at the first photo until now showing a flat roof in back so I amend my position. I would have walked that roof but not from the front. If you don't want to go up on a roof, fine, but I believe the best way to look at a roof is to walk it. If you feel you are going to fall down when you get up out of bed in the morning, you shouldn't get out of bed, and you definitely should not be walking on roofs. Yes, I get the idea.

Now if you are saying, Mike, that you would walk up the front of that house without 2 seconds pause, I'd say you are giving foolish and dangerous advice. Even to those of us who are not afraid of heights.

I had shingles slip out from under me on a roof not nearly as steep as the front of this house and I slid on my ass for a very long, nervous 12" before I came to a stop. If you slipped on the roof in question, even you would be over the gutter. I don't care how soft your soles are.

I had the very unfortuate experience of seeing a window washer fall 8 stories and land 30' in front of me. I never learned why he fell but I can assure you he and his family wishes he had been more careful. I can still hear the thud. My neighbor's Dad fell off his garage roof and landed on a fence. He's a vegetable. I'm not afraid of heights but I sure as hell respect the forces of gravity a steep roof presents.

When you were putting covers on roofs this steep long before OSHA called for harnesses and such, did you use slide guards or was that for wimps?

"That's us; we don't begrudge the others who don't want to walk on roofs, but we sure get tired of all the sermons against doing so."

I don't blame you one bit.

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The mistake I made was going up from the front. I used the dormer to steady myself on the way up to the peak. I knew when I got up there that coming back down would not feel as comfortable.

I see the point of accessing via the flat portion in the back. If my footing were to slip on the way down I would only slide down to the flat portion at worst.

The caps were just about cracked in two across the entire peak. the rest of the shingles looked ok for their age.

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Originally posted by AHI

I see the point of accessing via the flat portion in the back. If my footing were to slip on the way down I would only slide down to the flat portion at worst.

Absolutely. Easy on, easy off, and a chance to stop sliding if the worst happens. Plus you can get a little running start as you go for the ridge (if you need it).

The caps were just about cracked in two across the entire peak. the rest of the shingles looked ok for their age.

Did that look like an "age & wear" thing, or not? Around here that's a dead giveaway of a winter roofing job (nobody warms the caps like they should, they just bend 'em cold and stiff).

Brian G.

Details, Details, Details.....They Matter [:-mischie

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Hi,

I hadn't even see the picture of the back porch. I clicked on the bottom photo; didn't even see the first until you all began talking about it. That said, I still would have climbed that roof from the front; it's not that bad a roof. And Brian, I've fallen off a roof before, remember? 5 broken ribs and a punctured lung. The thing is, it had nothing to do with pitch, I still don't know why I fell 'cuz I don't remember what happened. However, the roof I went off of was practically flat. Guess I'll never know; but I won't let that experience intimidate me. And no, we didn't use toe boards, nor did we wear safety lines when 60ft. off the ground putting roof cages on those glass-coated steel silos or when walking the steel trusses of the steel buildings we built.

Like I said, it's a question of experience and listening to the little man in one's head.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Every one of us have our own limits. If you feel uncomfortable about doing it don't. You will miss items if you are worried about sliding off of the roof.

I know I will not walk some of the roofs that Mike and others will walk. But I do the best inspection I can do.

I would got on the roof at the porch and when to the ridge. I would not of when up the front.

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Mike, it was that three martini breakfast that got you. [:-dev3]

Originally posted by AHI

Here's a picture of one of the caps. What do you think?

It certainly doesn't look like age and wear. I'd say it was either put on cold in the winter or the quality sucked to start with. I always recommend replacing 'em when they look like that; others may vary.

Brian G.

Heatum & Bendem Roofers Inc. [;)]

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Personally, I wouldn't even mention a cracked cap shingle, unless it was causing a problem; and I don't ever remember seeing one that caused a problem.

I've seen hundreds of slate roofs without cap flashings or arris lines flashings leaving as much as 1/4 wide opening at the peak of the ridge and arris line for 80-100 years. The wood was stained, but there was no damage.

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Originally posted by Jim Morrison

Personally, I wouldn't even mention a cracked cap shingle, unless it was causing a problem; and I don't ever remember seeing one that caused a problem.

I've seen hundreds of slate roofs without cap flashings or arris lines flashings leaving as much as 1/4 wide opening at the peak of the ridge and arris line for 80-100 years. The wood was stained, but there was no damage.

I'll admit I had to look "arris" up, maybe I'm not the only one so here ya go"

"ARRIS: The angle, corner, or edge produced by the meeting of two surfaces; the edge of external angle. A natural or applied line on the stone from which all the leveling and plumbing is measured." (http://www.selectstone.com/glossary.htm)

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The last roof I got on that was any steeper than that was in Florida about 5 years ago. It was a two story. I put the extension ladder up got to the roof and scampered right up to the peak to check out the chimney cap and and ridge of the roof. I did not realize how steep it was until my feet were stradling the ridge. Both feet were pointed down at a very steep angle. When I looked back at the ladder where I came up a certain part of me tightened up that I think you all know what it was. With out any exaggeration it took me twenty minutes, looking like a frozen squirrel on that slope back down to my ladder. A fire ambulance was in the driveway of the home next door. Of course going back to the ladder I was on the granules that I loosened up on the way up. Every time I removed a foot or a hand I slid slightly. When I got to the ladder I was scared to death at that moment trying to figure out how to get back on to the ladder without slipping off the edge of the roof. I looked back at the ambulance next door and started laughing so hard to myself about the situation I had tears in my eyes, saying, well at least the ambulance driver might hear the thudddddddd. I finally got the b___s up to finally get to the ladder.

My entire body, every muscle, every brain cell was sore for a couple of days by being so horrified as to that thuddddddd and what could have been the ramifications from it. I do not even get on an 8 inch rise unless there are valleys to go up. I do not know the height of that particular roof I was on but the first and second floors had 10 foot ceilings and there was a crawl space under the home. Tall enough.

Please, I worked in construction, business owner or not and have been in so many stupid situations all my life, I know what the out come could have been.

Just think clearly about your next move

Ted

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As the resident groundling with a 20-year no-roof-walking policy, I'll go ahead and say that the front of that roof is a great example of many, many roofs that I inspected from the ground, with a good set of binoculars.

I'm sure I missed some problems. But I never got a complaint.

WJ

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