Can You Walk on a Metal Roof? Here’s How to Do It Safely

Realistically speaking, there will be times when it is necessary to step on top of your metal roof. Checking on any damage, for example, needs closer inspection than just examining it from the ground. Ensuring your safety precautions are your number one priority, it’s essential to tread carefully.

The problem is that many conventional roofing products, such as wood, asphalt, or aluminum roofs, are unsafe – that’s why many homeowners are hesitant about stepping on them. There is a high risk of causing further damage like breaking the shingles.

Can You Walk on a Metal Roof

Can You Walk on a Metal Roof Without Damaging It

Residential metal roofs are commonly made from materials like aluminum, steel, or copper. Steel roofing, in particular, often features a metallic top layer and a protective baked-on paint finish to prevent rust.

Read also: Best Roofing Material for High Winds?

The aluminum ones need to be painted but don’t need metallic coating in general. Meanwhile, copper is a natural metal, so it doesn’t require to be painted.

Now, if the question of whether you can walk on your roof has made you wonder recently, the short answer is: you can. However, the process still comes with some caution in order not to cause damage to the roof. Walking on a metal roof is safe, but it’s advisable to avoid walking on it unless absolutely necessary, especially on a hot day.

Follow these three simple rules here to make it safe:

Make sure you wear clean shoes with soft soles

Shoes with soft soles are the best to walk on slippery metal surfaces. It is great to choose soles made from a rubber material because rubber grips the roof really well and creates great traction, so you don’t slip out.

Avoid dropping any heavy tool on the roof.

Metal panels are sensitive if they are hit by something heavy, causing the surface to bend. If unsure about your ability to avoid accidents, call a professional to handle tasks on the roof safely.

Learn to walk in the correct spots properly

The correct techniques to walk on the metal roof will depend a lot on the type of metal, such as standing seam, metal tile, or corrugated steel roofs. You may ask for direct instruction from roofing experts, contractors, or manufacturers.

When walking on a metal roof, it’s crucial to use an OSHA-approved fall protection system. Ensure that you wear rubber-soled shoes for better grip and to prevent damage to the roof. Ensure that you wear clean, soft-soled shoes for better grip and to prevent damage to the roof.

If you’re not comfortable walking on the roof, it’s best to stay on the ladder or hand your tools to someone who is experienced. Remember, metal roofs can become slippery, especially when wet, and the risk of falling is significant.

Can You Walk on Metal Shingles

In general, metal is actually the safest, most walkable roof material compared to others. It can resist pressure from the human weight. This quality doesn’t lose with age, meaning that even in 50 years in the future, you can traverse the metal roof without any significant issue.

For metal shingles, many experts recommend walking on the top half part of its panel. That is where the airspace between each metal is minimal.

Can You Walk on Metal Shingles

Consider installing foam backers if you step on the shingles repeatedly – so the areas will be firmer and can handle foot traffic better.

Read also: Installing Metal Roof Chimney Flashing

That being said, checking the condition of the metal roofing is still important when you’re going to walk over it. Check the procedure after you get the proper answer, such as if you can walk on a metal roof.

Do not ever attempt to walk on wet metal shingles as they are really dangerous to walk over. Even professionals will wait until nature cooperates.

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RoofLast is an experienced author and roofing expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of roofing, including installation, maintenance, and repair