How to safely Remove Leaves and Limbs from your Roof


Don’t leave your roof to rot. Wet piles of leaves can lead to clogged gutters, weak spots, and even collapse.

Autumn is here. The temperatures are falling, the football games are starting, and the leaves are turning… into destructive piles of mold and algae on your roof. There’s nothing like the changing leaves of fall, but those same trees that bring life to your landscaping can mean big trouble for your home when the leaves come down.

Getting up on the roof can be risky, so the best way to tackle a roof issue is always to call in the professionals. If you are trying to save money with a DIY roof cleaning, here are some ways to make the task safer and easier.

How to safely walk on the roof

When doing any work on your roof, safety should always be the first priority. Take the following precautions to help prevent a disastrous fall.

  1. Check the weather – You should never work when the roof is icy or wet. Check the forecast to ensure you don’t get caught in the rain or snow.

  2. Practice ladder safety – Be sure you have a ladder that’s tall and sturdy enough for the job. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides safety guidelines for the use of portable ladders.

  3. Always wear a safety harness – Using the proper safety equipment is one of the best ways to prevent fall-related injury and death. When on a roof, always wear a harness connected to a securely anchored safety rope.

  4. Wear non-slip footwear – Maintain solid footing on sloped roofs with shoes that provide a strong grip. A soft rubber sole offers the best traction.

  5. Look out for broken tiles – Not only do broken tiles present a tripping hazard, they could also indicate areas of weakness in your roof. Stepping on a soft spot could cause both personal injury and further roof damage.

  6. Don’t work alone – Working with a partner or a team ensures there is always someone around to steady the ladder or get help if you fall.

How to remove the leaves

There are a few strategies and tools you can use to take care of debris on your roof.

  • Soft broom – If the debris is dry, you don’t always need specialized equipment to remove it. You can sweep it away with a soft bristled broom. Be sure to use a gentle touch to avoid damaging the tiles.

  • Leaf rake – Another option for dry leaves is a telescoping roof rake designed especially for leaf removal. The advantage of this option is that you can get much of the debris with your feet still firmly on the ground.

  • Leaf blower – A blower can make effortless work of leaf piles. For a low pitched roof, this is often the quickest, safest option. 

  • Garden hose – Since you’re trying to prevent moisture damage, a hose may not be the first tool that comes to mind. It can actually be very effective at washing the leaves away without damaging the roof.

Protect your roof and your safety

With proper precautions, fall leaves don’t have to spell disaster for yourself or your roof. If you have any doubts about the safety of scaling your house, don’t hesitate to hire professional to get the job done right.

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