Mastering Roof Inspections: Personal Protective Equipment

by Kenton Shepard and Nick Gromicko, CMI®



The purpose of the series “Mastering Roof Inspections” is to teach home inspectors, as well as insurance and roofing professionals, how to recognize proper and improper conditions while inspecting steep-slope, residential roofs. This series covers roof framing, roofing materials, the attic, and the conditions that affect the roofing materials and components, including wind and hail. 

As a home inspector, you face a number of different types of potentially dangerous conditions while you’re working. By using certain types of personal protective equipment, you can reduce the chances of injury.

Fall Protection 

One of the greatest dangers faced by anyone walking a roof is falling off the roof.

Using fall protection can save your life.

Fall protection starts with an anchoring point into which a lanyard can be clipped.

An anchoring point is typically a ring attached to a metal strap that can be nailed to the roof.

Walking the Roof

You will always do a better job of inspecting a roof if you walk it. There’s no substitute for being able to get a close look at the entire roof.  Sometimes, roofing materials need to be touched to be properly evaluated.

If you do decide to walk the roof, in order to do so safely, the roof should be dry.  You should be wearing soft-soled, high-traction footwear. Crepe-soled boots are a good choice, and so are sneakers with soft, rubber soles. You can also use roof-walking boots.

These boots are made by Cougar Paws and really grip the surface. They have replaceable, high-traction soles which are held to the bottom of the boot by Velcro.

When the sole wears out, it can be easily replaced with a new one. The soft sole can also help limit
damage when you walk roofs covered with fragile materials, such as old, brittle wood shingles or tile.

Learn how to master a roof inspection from beginning to end by reading the entire InterNACHI series: Mastering Roof Inspections.

 Take InterNACHI’s free, online 
Roofing Inspection Course
Mastering Roof Inspections
Roofing Underlayment Types
Inspecting Underlayment on Roofs
Fall-Arrest Systems
Roofing (consumer-targeted)
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