If you're planning to carry out some restoration work on your tile roof, you may be wondering how "walkable" the entire area is. Could you cause more damage by walking on the surface, or is it perfectly okay if you approach this correctly?
General Advice About Walking On Tiles
Most roofing experts will advise you to keep any surface walking down to a minimum if possible. However, if you have an emergency situation, such as where an antenna may have blown over and broken some of the types, then by all means proceed with caution. If you know that some individual tiles are broken, then they need to be replaced as soon as possible to avoid damage to the underlayment, or issues associated with water intrusion.
In most situations where an extensive restoration job is to be performed, it is recommended that an expert is called in. The roofing expert will not only be trained in how to walk correctly on these surfaces, but will also be very well trained in all health and safety aspects.
How To Walk Properly
If you're heading onto the roof to conduct some urgent repairs then you can proceed carefully according to particular rules, in order to minimise damage.
Make sure that you step only on the bottom few inches of the installed tile. This section of any tile is usually supported by the tile it rests on, so your weight will be transferred directly through to the area beneath. You should also walk in a direction that is parallel with the ridge of the tiles, keeping your weight distribution as even as possible and walking slowly and softly.
Where elevated "S" shaped tiles are installed you should distribute your body weight by placing the heel or toe of your shoe only on the highest point of the adjacent tiles. This will help to spread the weight and reduce the risk of cracking.
Try to avoid stepping in any "valleys," especially where tiles may have been cut to size in order to fit in these areas. Obviously, replacements here will be more difficult and more costly. However, if these areas are embedded in foam or mortar then they may be stronger and could stand up to pressure. You may also find that the areas where two sloping roofs meet are okay for foot traffic as well, because the tiles in these locations may be laid far away from the centre of the valley, and protected by flashing strips.
In an ideal situation it is better to place any antennae or other equipment that needs to be mounted on the roof in a location that minimises the need for any roof traffic. When working on these pieces of equipment make sure that you place plywood sheets in your work areas, to avoid any damage or tile discolouration. For more information, contact a company like Reliable Restorations.