Can you walk on cedar shake roof? The short answer is: yes, you can! But with caution. Wood shake roofs are excessively slippery by default. And they can get even more slippery if the wood shakes are, wet, damaged or if they have any moisture, moss, debris or mildew on them.
If you are a roofer, a home inspector or a roof cleaner who has to walk on these type of roofs, then you should equip yourself properly to avoid slipping or falling off the roof.
Safety comes first and you should take all the safety measures you can before getting up on a cedar roof. For your safety, you will need:
- Roofing shoes with spikes
- Safety Harness
- Safety Rope
- Roof Ladder with Hook
Roofing Shoes with Spikes
Whenever you climb a steep and sleek wood roof, you need slip resistant shoes that provide great grip, traction, and stability. The best type of shoes for walking on cedar roofs are the spiked ones. But it is important to know that unless you are replacing the roof and you need to get rid of it, you need to treat the wood shakes with respect.
The spikes of your shoes should not penetrate the wood by no means.
The most common roofing shoes with spikes are actually not shoes at all, they are universal shoe covers designed with spikes that can be attached to your existing footwear. They are designed with a stretch-to-fit system that fits properly over your boots or shoes.
We recommend these STABLicers (link to Amazon), they are made to provide traction on ice and snow. So it is safe to say that they should perform excellently on wet cedar roofs, or during winter on ice and snow-covered roofs. The spikes on these are not too sharp to make holes in the wood but are just sharp enough to give you the greatest traction you need.
Please notice that you should not wear roofing shoes with spikes on metal roofs or asphalt roofs because they will damage the shingles or tiles very easily.
Don’t climb on wood roofs without a harness and a fall protection system. Even if you have a small leak to repair, it is best to hire a professional or to rent/buy safety equipment.
First of all, you need to wear a harness and ropes, attach ridge hooks for your ladder and even get roof brackets to give you a wider and a safer stepping area.
A roof ladder with a hook allows your ladder to stay flat on a pitched roof, and you can use it to climb the roof safely and faster.
If you take care of all of these, then you should be fine and you can safely walk on wood shakes for roofing or cleaning jobs.
If you are a homeowner who wants to fix a leak or to clean its roof, it is best to hire a professional. If you don’t have the budget for hiring someone else to repair, clean or install your roof, make sure to put your safety first and rent/buy safety equipment before getting up on any roof.