Staying safe while on the roof

I am new to roof washing. My primary job is working as a Paramedic/FF. I’ve seen quiet a few people fall from height and I can’t imagine being stuck with a helicopter medical bill. I am just starting out and trying to buy equipment as I go. I guess my primary piece of equipment I’d like to purchase is some type of fall restraint system. The biggest thing I am trying to learn right now is the proper way to anchor to the roof.

What would you recommend I use. I have been eyeing the Ridgepro Roof Anchor system but I am still looking into information on that type system. Is it a system that requires you to drive nails into a roof? How exactly does that system/setup work? Are there any other/better setups that you would recommend over the Ridgepro?

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I have a background in commercial construction and bridge work, so that (OSHA) is where my response is coming from. Others may know better that I do, but this is where I am at with it.

A harness is great, but you must have a rescue plan in place, ie. another person. If you find yourself dangling, you must go to the hospital (with harness still on) as there is likely a blood clot brewing in the femoral artery caused by the impact as well as the following hang time. Most newer harnesses have a provision for this in the form of foot straps stowed in the belt. They can be deployed once you fall, to step into and relieve blood flow to your legs. So if you use a system and your alone, just be absolutely certain it is adjusted to stop you BEFORE the edge, not at or after. Keep in mind, most harness leads are built to extend 6’-12’ upon impact to lesson the static shock. Choose the lead wisely.

My personal limit is a 8/12 pitch on a two story. I don’t care for heights and its not worth it. I will be adding the Roof Ridge thingy with the wheel on the back. It looks good to me, but I won’t be bolting it to the ridge. I commonly rent a manlift that gets delivered day of. They are the safest option and usually around $300. Its built in the bill. Here on the Oregon Coast, we have gobs of moss that I try to remove before treatment. It looks better and keeps the gutters from clogging when the remaining moss comes off. If the roof is too steep, and the cost of a lift too high for the customer, I simply treat the roof without removing the bulk of growth before. It takes a bit longer to fluff of and clogs gutters. Hope this helps.

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I’ve considered that too, just pricing the the cost of a lift in the estimate and having it itemized so they know what they’re paying for.

Is it a pain to rent those lifts and have them on the job site on time?

This is an important thread, i hope more people contribute ideas and experience.

I’ll contribute. I’ve washed a few roofs (all asphalt shingle), but I only walked two of them. I wore a harness both times, but honestly it was infuriating; hose kept wrapping up in the harness lead, was constantly worried I’d trip, etc.

I don’t wash roofs that I can’t hit from my ladder any more, just not worth it to me.


It is fairly simple to line up. I pay around $365/day and schedule the delivery a couple weeks out. Just plan on weather during those seasons. Also, don’t use them on saturated lawns.

Another issue to me is region. Where I’m at, we get legitimate moss, not just algae. I like to knock off about 60% then treat the rest. No rinse. It comes of within a month or two. If I were simply dealing with algae, I would treat from a ladder and go in most cases. It will clean up after the next rain. I know everybody has an opinion on this, but thats mine. It allows you to avoid the dangerous stuff.

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We don’t get on them often to clean them…but moss not-witstanding you can still treat them from the ladder. My understanding is that you generally never want to knock off the moss, but I guess if you’re just topping it then you shouldn’t be damaging the shingles any more. We just treat it and let time do it’s thing.


I have thought about the spray and go method. My biggest hangup is that the gutters get slammed with moss after 1 rain. This is why I take the extra time knocking off the low hanging fruit first, blowing out the gutters and then treating. This way, when it rains little bits come off and rarely clog gutters. Getting on the roof is faster for this. Spray and go from the ladder is safer and faster.

While you would say you’re providing a better service, one could argue you’re doing more damage :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

We specifically tell people we do not remove any moss (well, we will for a fee if they absolutely insist). The SH does mosto f the work, and time does the rest. That’s also where our 7-year, transferrable, roof wash warranty comes in. When I remind people of that, and that if they are selling they can just include it in their sales package…so one ever complains about waiting for it to fall off on its own.

Lol, one could argue that you don’t do thorough work😁. But really, I cant say I haven’t thought about going that route. Its just that customers seem to really like my method. Its all word of mouth. Also, I include a gutter cleaning with a roof wash so that adds to the value. And, I won’t get a call the during the next rain saying all the moss jammed the gutters.

If moss spores fly about all the time, technically moss starts coming back the next day. Around here, it is visible around 2 years after a treatment. How can you provide a 7 year warranty against nature?

7 years is a long time to be attached to something.

5 years in and we’ve had to honor it exactly once so far…and there was a tree touching the roof, so technically I could have declined. It is graduated, they pay an increasing % after year 3 years, up to 7.

And oh the sales it closes…

I’ve had many a call saying “you didn’t get the moss”…to which I remind them “up to 4-6 months for it to naturally slough off on it’s own” & “you have our warranty should that actually not happen”. But never had a call that the gutters clogged from the moss coming off too fast, lol. And we’ve done some real “shire-like” dwellings of moss too. :grin:

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I have had that call a few times before I realized it made sense to just knock off the low hanging fruit and add a gutter cleaning. I feel I can charge more that way. That makes me curious, what are you charging to spray and go for an average roof? ( if you don’t mind me asking)

Avg., probably $800-900 or so

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Nice! That is higher than my average. So these are only taking about an hour or so?

I’d schedule them probably 2 hours for that, maybe a little less, but probably takes them closer to 1:15 or so if I had to guess.

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Sounds like a nice deal. Honestly I don’t think I could pull those prices without adding the value I do. Wish I could, your killing it!