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The Dos and Don’ts of Roof Access

Don't . . .

Use timber:
Timber is not the cost-effective option it seems to be. Harmful tannins will leach from it, corroding your roof. Repairing this damage alone could cost you more than installing a longer-lasting system. Timber can also become slippery when wet, especially if moss and mould start to grow. The damaged roof in the image was the result of timber walkways, and they had not been there for long.

Mistreat your roof:
Your roof is designed as a weather shield, not to support equipment or foot traffic. Don’t expect it to be able to support a walkway or platform system. Access systems that are incorrectly applied, or having no system and just walking over a roof, can cause untold damage to your building. Be smart and get a pre-approved system. Hear what a client had to say about tradespersons walking on their roof HERE.

Use heavy structures:
While you might think they are safer, traditional heavy structures are costly, and add significant loading to roofing structure; they also require more penetration of the roof. This exposes your roof to the risk of further damage, and can void its warranty.

In comparison, Monkeytoe’s lightweight systems are sturdy and safe without the hassles and costs of building heavy installations. Large projects have been able to significantly reduce roof loading by using our system over traditional structures.

Do . . .

Have easy access:
We get to see many different systems as we travel the country. A recent site visit required me to crawl over a pipe, around a boiler and under a bar to reach the roof ladder. While I was agile enough to get there, it would be difficult for a tradesperson carrying any kit. Plan to have enough space to get equipment up and down. If space is of a premium, a fold-down ladder can be a great option.

Plan your access:
Remember the six Ps? Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. Planning well in advance where your access system goes can save you time and money and make your system more functional. Consider the safest and most practical routes, what needs to be accessed and what doesn’t. We often find people will take the shortest route, so plan your access accordingly. You can avoid cumbersome safety lines by applying handrails to walkways if your access is within 2m of the edge.

Raise your platform:
Walkways applied directly to the roof can create damage by trapping debris and holding moisture. This will cause rapid deterioration of your roof. Raising your walkways and platforms 200mm or more off the roof allows for water and debris to wash away, keeping your roof in good condition. The non-Monkeytoe walkway in the image was loaded with debris, while the Monkeytoe units nearby had none.

Make it secure:
If you aren’t accessing your roof internally, external ladders are a great option, but make sure they are secure and members of the public can’t access your roof. The new health and safety rules are much more stringent and require you to ensure all access is safe. With external ladders this can be done, for example, through a lockable cage.

Call Monkeytoe:
Monkeytoe roofing connections transfer all loading directly to the building structure, not the roof profile. Check out our unique fixing details HERE.

We've been in the business for many years and can provide assistance at every stage of a project, from planning through to design, construction and install. Give us a call today to find out how we can be of assistance.