Roofing Products – The "Walk-ability" Factor

If you're trying to decide which roofing products to choose, you've come to the right place.

In 22 years spent as a roofer and roofing contractor, I have developed some pretty strong opinions about roofing products.

For example, I believe roofing products should be reliably safe to walk on. You should not have to put your life at risk just getting around on the roof. Is that asking too much?

I also believe that roofing products should not be damaged by just walking on them. Many tile roofs for example, can not stand up to foot traffic.

Of course you try to avoid walking on a tile roof whenever you can, but sometimes people need to get on roofs. That includes roofers, homeowners, home inspectors, pressure washers, painters, window washers, chimney sweeps, and those involved with installing and maintaining solar heating systems, air conditioning and satellite dishes.

Depending on the design of your home, a simple task like cleaning out the gutters may require getting on the roof.

You can minimize breakage by stepping in the right place, but the "right place" varies with the type of tile and even how it is attached. It's not reasonable to expect that everyone who needs to get on your roof over the years will know where to step. The inevitable result will be broken tile.

When roof tiles break, it allows water to reach the underlayment. That can create leaks on roofs where the tiles are attached with nails or screws. And some types of underlayment crack as they age, which can allow leaks regardless of how the tile are attached.

Broken tile can also be a safety hazard (and liability risk) on roofs where the pieces could fall and hit someone.

In addition to the leak and safety considerations, broken tile look awful … and the repairs usually look worse! Replacement tile are typically a different shade and stick out like a sore thumb. The unsightly appearance of broken tile and repairs puts a blemish on the curve appealing of your home, decreasing the property value.

People get all of these problems just from choosing roofing products that can not be walked on without damaging them. Choose wisely and you will not be one of them!

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