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Do I need scaffolding to work on my roof?

This was a recent question from Mike over at roofcosts.co.uk. If you’re thinking about fixing your roof, the first thing that might come to mind is whether you will need scaffolding or not. Before you make your decision, consider our five vital questions.

1. Are there any health and safety laws you have to follow?

Yes. If four or more people are going to be working at height, you are required by law to do a proper risk assessment. This almost always results in the answer, yes, you do need scaffolding. If it’s three people or less, for example, if it’s just you, you may be able to do the job safely without scaffolding, but it is always recommended that you consider safety first.

2. How big is the project?

Are you replacing a few tiles, or working on the entire roof? Is it a shed roof or house? If you’re working on the whole roof, you will need scaffolding. Scaffolding protects people below from falling tools or materials, as well as protecting those working on it from falls. If you’re using a lot of tools, you should definitely be considering scaffolding. Some scaffolding comes with an edge fitted around it, which is essential if you’re moving roof tiles. If you need to pass things from the scaffolding to the ground, consider scaffolding with a transportation chute, to reduce the risk of injuries from falling objects.

3. How long is the work going to take?

Scaffolding is recommended for projects that are likely to take a few days or more. When considering whether to use scaffolding or not, you should assess the weather. Is there likely to be bad weather while you’re working? Wind and rain impact construction work and heighten the risk of accidents. In these circumstances, you’d be much safer with proper scaffolding.

4. Am I going to need a platform?

One project you’re definitely going to need a platform for is your chimney. While inquiring scaffolding companies near by, you may find there are other options out there if you need a platform. However, this can be misleading. Scaffolding is by far the safest. Nothing else on the market will give you the same level of safety, so it really is worth paying for proper scaffolding.

5. When won’t I need scaffolding?

For simple, small jobs, where you can use a secure ladder instead, you probably won’t need scaffolding. These sorts of jobs should take less than a day. Examples of these kinds of projects include things like replacing tiles, mending valleys, and working on your guttering.

If you’re working with a single story flat roof, you may not need scaffolding, due to the lower height. You may still need a chute if you’re moving tools or materials from the roof to the ground a lot.

As a general rule of thumb, if there is any danger of you falling, or dropping tools, you probably need scaffolding. Your safety, and the safety of others around you, is vital, so make sure you invest in the right equipment for your project. 


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