Walking on a roof

We recently answered the question “Is it safe for me to walk on my roof?”

While your own personal safety should be your first priority, you also don’t want to damage your roof.

Is it safe for my roof if I walk on it?

Shingle roofs are most common in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. We recommend that you only walk on roofs with a 6/12 pitch or less. If you’re really feeling brave and want to attempt a 7/12 or 8/12 pitch. Bearing that in mind, there is one variable that can determine whether or not you will damage your roof by walking on it:


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Shingles are designed to withstand very high temperatures. During the summer months when temperatures in Greater Cincinnati stay in the 80’s and 90’s, the surface temperature of your roof can climb into the 120’s and as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit! When the shingles get that hot, they can become soft. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to hurt your shingles, they were made for this. However, once the ambient temperatures rise into the 90’s, we need to be careful walking on them.

Walking on a roof that is really hot can cause permanent damage: footprints, stretch or even tear the shingles because of the added strain on heat-softened shingles. As a general rule, do not step foot on a roof that is 90 degrees or hotter. At those temperatures, even a pro will need to carefully evaluate the condition of the roof to determine whether or not the roof can be safely walked upon. Once the ambient temperature is 95 degrees or above, even professional roofers will avoid being on the shingles, especially on a sunny day.

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Besides, who wants to be up on the roof when it’s that hot anyway?!

If your roof is not made of shingles, there are other factors to consider. In our last article we stated that you should not walk on slate, tile, or metal roofs. Rubber or flat rooftops are generally safe to walk on but the potential for damage will vary depending on the exact material of the roof. If possible, ask the roofer when your flat roof is being installed or serviced. If that’s not an option, contact a professional roofing company for their recommendation.

Hopefully, you have a better idea now of whether or not it is a good idea to walk on your roof. Don’t forget, no matter who you are and how steep your roof is, you are always taking a risk by climbing up there. It is almost always better to have a professional take care of whatever it is your roof needs.



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