A Day in the Life of a Roofer08 December 2016

It’s dangerous work but someone has to do it


As you go about your day, you may notice the odd man or two crawling on a roof high above you.


Believe it or not, they are probably not there to take in the views, nor are they a human version of Spiderman. These intrepid creatures are, in fact, roofers.

Working at height doesn’t come without its risks. According to hse.gov.uk, nearly a third of all workplace fatalities are caused by a fall from a height, making roofing a particularly dangerous profession.

Yet despite the risks, most roofers love the challenge that faces them daily, while providing a quality service to their customers.

Apart from facing danger every day, what exactly is involved in the day in the life of a roofer?

We spoke to Jimmy, one of our resident roofing specialists, to discover what a roofer gets up to when high in the sky.

A Typical Day

“It’s difficult to define a typical day” says Jimmy.

“It depends on the project in-hand... We could be working on a repair, a complete new roof, or some routine maintenance".

Check and Check Again

"With a complete roofing project, we’re on the property for a few weeks, so we get quite familiar with our surroundings. Nevertheless, we still start every day with a risk assessment. We check all the equipment and the scaffolding etc.".

"The safety rules are ingrained in any good roofer, but it’s a bit like being on an aeroplane when the flight attendant runs through the safety checks – I repeat ours to myself like a mantra every morning!

"We also do a check around the house, and cover up or move anything that could get damaged. Slates do take a tumble, so it’s important to make sure everything below is protected".

We have special safety gear we wear, including roofing boots, and a harness. So, after the safety checks are complete, we make sure we have all our materials ready and organised, then we get our gear on and get on with the job".

A Thorough Pre-Inspection of Your Roof

"If we’re replacing tiles and slates, first task is to remove the old ones, and check the batons underneath to make sure they are still in good condition. Sometime a small job can turn into a much bigger job, if the tiles are hiding a bigger issue beneath. But luckily that is rare – we’ve pretty thorough when we come and do our pre-job inspection.”

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

We asked Jimmy what he enjoyed most about being a roofer, to which he replied:

“I love the camaraderie of the job. The whole team get on well, and as we’ve been working together a while, we understand each other’s needs. I also get a great feeling of satisfaction at the end of the project, when we leave the customer with a strong and sturdy roof.

We also get to see some pretty amazing views, and I love working outside. Nothing beats it on a beautiful summers day.”

And the bad bits?

“Bad weather!” he laughs. “It can get really miserable up there when the weather turns, and it’s a pain if we have to stop. It slows the whole project down. But we have to put our safety first, and working in ice, snow, driving rain or heavy wind is just asking for trouble. Hot sun can be difficult too, but we just keep going and slap on the factor!

We’re also crouching much of the day, which can be a bit uncomfortable. But I’m used to it, so it’s not so bad. We also have to be constantly aware of our surroundings – it’s dangerous on the roof, so we have to keep the area as tidy as possible, with no hazards that could trip anyone up. It’s important to be observant – it’s tempting to daydream but you’re asking for trouble!”

Changes?

Finally, we asked Jimmy if there as anything he would change about the job of a roofer?

“Nothing really – apart from the occasional bad weather day, it’s a great job. The pros definitely outweigh the cons!”

So, next time you see a roofer up high, spare a though for what he does all day. It’s dangerous work, but someone has to do it – make sure you leave it to the professionals.


Posted in Roofing, News, Roof Maintenance and tagged roofers, london roofing, safety.
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