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

Realistically speaking, there will be times where it is necessary to step on top of your roof. Checking on any damage, for example, needs closer inspection than just examining it from the ground.

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

Can You Walk on a Metal Roof

Newer materials such as metal might be more study, but can you walk on a metal roof while keeping your home and yourself safe? Find out more below.

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 questions of can you walk on your roof have 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. It is safe to walk on a metal roof, but it’s advisable to avoid walking on them 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 it’s hit by something heavy, causing the surface to bend. If it’s possible, only opt for lightweight tools and use professional belts.

Learn to walk on 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 a fall protection system. 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 you 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 think you might step on the shingles repeatedly – so the areas will be firmer and can handle foot traffic better.

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 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