Not all heights are dangerous. A rooftop walkway designed well and maintained will reduce the risk of falling from height. Here are some key tips for building and maintaining reliable and efficient roof walkway systems.
1. Carefully Choose Your Materials
Many roofs are actually just fragile membranes and substrates placed on top of the building. Rooftops are limited in weight. Therefore, your walkway material should have a relatively lightweight and high strength-to-weight ratio. It should also be weather-resistant, and UV resistant.
2. Verify The Load-Bearing Capabilities
Rooftop walkways have to be lightweight and can also carry the weight of heavy units, such as air conditioners, as well as foot traffic. All roof walkways must conform to the load-bearing requirements in regulation.
The regulations state that walkways should undergo a 1.5Kn load test over an area of 100mm sq. Deflection must be maintained within 15mm or 1/100th of its span. The load will then be increased up to 2.6Kn. This should be held for one minute.
3. Ensure Safe Drainage
Slips and trips that occur on roofs can easily turn into falls. The danger of pooling water becoming a problem is that it is easily exposed to the weather and not being checked often. Not only is it dangerous, but it can also cause roof damage.
You can use gratings for drainage or make gully channels to drain into the rest of your roof drainage system.
4. Avoid Using Lumber
Wood is not the best material for your home. This is due to the fact that wood can become slippery when wet. Non-slip walkways should be designed. This could include using tactile or spiked surfaces or installing anti-slip treads on otherwise slippery surfaces.
5. Make Sure The Fixings Do Not Damage The Roof
The main purpose of a roof walkway is to protect vulnerable roofs. You should be cautious when choosing the walkway installation system. Fitting it on a roof that is damaged or leaking can be counterproductive. However, it could also cause the roof waterproofing membrane to fail.
6. Find A Logical Path
Roof walkways create a safe pathway for users. These walkways provide easy access to all the roof’s features, as well as providing easy access to steep slopes and between pitched roofs. It also encourages users to stay on the path which is important to protect the roof’s integrity.
7. Handrails Should Be Included Where Necessary
It is important to protect roof pitches and roofing structures that are fragile. To increase safety on narrow walkways or surfaces with gradients over 10 degrees, handrails can be installed.
8. Flexible Maintenance Can Be Done
Since roof walkways are designed for roof maintenance, it makes good sense to ensure that the walkway does not need to be maintained.
But it’s important that you consider seasonal effects when planning maintenance. Spring is a great time to check for winter damage. Verify for obvious signs of slipping hazards, and inspect the condition of walkways to make sure nothing has been damaged.
You should make sure that any major maintenance is done before the cold weather arrives. Winter months make it more difficult for walkways to be repaired. If you have an emergency, you don’t need much to do during winter
9. You Can Take Care Of Your Maintenance
Even though roofs are meant to be strong and reliable they can also become damaged. Be safe when working on your roof. Work alone, and do not allow more than one person to use a section of the walkway at once.