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Harness/Ropes for Roof Repair (advice from a treeclimber)

Discussion in 'Commercial Tree Care and Climbing' started by secureland, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. secureland

    secureland ArboristSite Operative

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    Proposed Roof Access:
    We started discussing this because I had contacted the tree service guy to hire him and his bucket truck to get me on the roof to do repairs. When he came over he said his truck couldn't get onto yard around the house and that I should consider buying a harness and ropes. We got together and he picked out a harness and 2 150' ropes from Baileys. His plan is that I can rope to the chimney with one rope and a tree with the other. Then use Prusick knots from the harness to the ropes. What do you guys think? I am in good physical condition but haven't done any harness/rope work before. I also love the idea of having the equipment and knowledge to do roof repairs like this without having to rent a lift.

    Thanks for any replies:)
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009
  2. senechal

    senechal ArboristSite Operative

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    I'd look at doing a fall arrest training session first, but potentially look into installing engineered anchors along the peak at multiple points (through studs). It still doesn't get you started, but that's what zoom booms are for, right?
     
  3. UnityArborist

    UnityArborist ArboristSite Member

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    Learn Single rope

    I would and have used a single rope method on roof tops. Instead of prussik knots use a petzl gri gri. with the single rope technique, or SRT, you could anchor the to a fixed point on the ground no chimney was available. that would work if you Also using an ascender it is easy to rig a 2:1 mechanical advantage for climbing back up. Less work for you. Check out Petzl.com They have all sorts of work safety equipment and detailed diagrams of how to best use them. good luck
     
  4. outofmytree

    outofmytree Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Any system is only as good as your anchor point. Dont trust the chimney without a thorough inspection first.

    The type of system you use will depend on whether it is going to support you while you work or be there to save you in case you fall.
     
  5. secureland

    secureland ArboristSite Operative

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    Do you guys know of any problems with the prusick knots in general?
     
  6. randyg

    randyg ArboristSite Operative

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    There are different types of prusick knots.
    To anchor to a chimney is questionable.
    To anchor to a tree and work top of house might be interesting if tree begins to sway in the wind?
    If it were my roof, and I thought it was going to be in the habit of doing these repairs, I would install a "bomb proof" anchor point on the ridge at mid-point, and would top-rope self belay from that point being able to access both sides from that tie in point (TIP).

    I would have a piece of high test fishing line through that TIP and tied to the gutter. It would not even be noticed from the ground. You ladder up to edge of roof, tie end of climbing line to one end of fishing line and pull your climbing line through TIP and back to you. Secure saddle to climbing line and up you go. Tie ladder to gutter so it will be there to descend on when finished. Reverse process with fishing line when done.

    Prusick knot better than Gri Gri. Make sure you get someone to show you right way to tie it though. Gri Gri and 1/2 inch line works ok, but slightly smaller line will sometimes run a bit if tension is off for an instant, and will not catch till run speed gets to a certain point and then catches again. Makes for nice little adrenaline rushes if you are into that sort of thing though.

    Good luck
     
  7. UnityArborist

    UnityArborist ArboristSite Member

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    Problems with prusicks'

    Friction hitches are great for tree care, but before we say that they are better then a gri gri for a roofing scenario, lets figure out how they tools and techniques are being applied. In double rope tree climbing friction hitches are the best, for single rope ascent and decent gri gris are a great tool.

    The problem with friction hitches, a prusick is a type of friction hitch, is if you do not tie it correctly, it will not work. A gri gri has a simple diagram etched into the device showing how to set it up.

    Now are we talking about using double rope w/friction hitches or single rope? I think single rope would be the way to go. it would be easy to set up and require less rope.

    Before you start trying to adapt tree climbing techniques to roofing, check out the technical pages specifically for roofing and framing at the Petzl web site here
     
  8. yooper

    yooper Tree Freak

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    do your self a favor and buy your self a couple roof jacks and a couple 2x6's or 2x4's if doing repairs for a long amount of time they will save on the stress of the belt and rope holding you on the roof and then they just became a safety device and not a holding device. I have also done alot of roofing.
    I shovel snow all the time in the winter on roofs with a 12/12 pitch or better , and up to 3 stories up. I use the snow as a brace and the rope as a safety,(just as one would use a roof jack) I use DRT when doing this , but would never tie off to a bloody chingmy you would be freakin crazy to do that! you can always tie off to something off the ground like a tree or a deck post or something solid. perhaps a loop and good carbener connected to a car bumper ball or hitch, or a fat neighbor hood kid who plays netindo all day, buy him a game for a days wage:), just dont use a chimney!
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  9. treemandan

    treemandan Tree Freak

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    [​IMG]


    The anchor/s can be a truck, tree,etc. Tie into the butterfly and you can get to either side.

    They have roof anchors which you nail under a shingle and then tie into. Look for one of those in Northern Cataloge and the like
     
  10. secureland

    secureland ArboristSite Operative

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    Here are some pictures of the house. A terracotta tile roof nearly 100 years old. It leaks in 5-6 spots and I want to patch the heck out of it. The chimney attachment does make me nervous. In fact I could perhaps fix the chimney when I'm up there!
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
  11. outofmytree

    outofmytree Addicted to ArboristSite

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    100 year old roof and how old is the chimney? I would be nervous too.

    Dans idea is exactly how I would do it if this is to be once only on this particular roof. If you will do this many times on the same roof a permanent fitting just like randyg suggested is the go.

    As a newbie climber you need to learn hands on from a professional climbing teacher. There must be somewhere you can do a simple 5 day course close to you. As you said climbing is to be a long term part of your business then invest in yourself. We want to read about the roofs you have climbed and not the falls you take.

    For new climbers I would say go drt all the way. Something simple like an english prussik girth hitched back to a steel 4 way krab on one side and an ultra safe and simple termination knot like a figure 8 on a bight on the other. Choose a robust saddle that suit your needs which can be used in "split tail" mode as it will be handy to work facing away from your anchor

    When you use the butterfly as an anchor point be sure to fix a pulley in it. Using rope doubled through the loop in the butterfly alone will cause heat and friction and you WILL fall.

    Best of luck. :cheers:
     
  12. treemandan

    treemandan Tree Freak

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    You need a teracotta roof specialist. Falling off that roof is the least of your worries. Don't mess around, get a pro.
     
  13. treemandan

    treemandan Tree Freak

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    Sometimes they fall into the wrong hands.
     
  14. Dadatwins

    Dadatwins Addicted to ArboristSite

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    :agree2: You CANNOT walk on those things no matter how you tie in. They will crush and crack.
     
  15. treemandan

    treemandan Tree Freak

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    Someone actually helped you pick out ropes and harness to get on that roof? Well, he is NOT your friend that's for sure.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
  16. treemandan

    treemandan Tree Freak

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    I don't know how one could acess that roof but I am sure it takes a good amount of preperation. I also do not recomend my drawn technique for acess to that style of roof as it will rip the shingles off in a heartbeat I am sure or possibly severe the rope. That's a NO GO CALL A PRO
     
  17. secureland

    secureland ArboristSite Operative

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    You can walk on these roofs. You need to step at the bottom of this style tile. I have walked on lower pitched roofs with this style tile. They are a common roof in my area because there was a tile company here for years. I have allready spoken with a couple of local terracotta experts on how to do the repairs and I have knowledge of how to move on the roof. Now I need to determine if I can do the rope and harness thing. That's why I'm here. It looks like I need training.
     
  18. treemandan

    treemandan Tree Freak

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    you are in the wrong place, you need to go to the teracotta roof forum or the phone book under ROOFERS
     
  19. treemandan

    treemandan Tree Freak

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    Just a couple of questions

    1. do you own that place?
    2. is it a rental property?
     
  20. outofmytree

    outofmytree Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I would use a bigshot to shoot a line over that roof. I honestly doubt that terracotta tiles will cut something like XTC fire if you feed it over nice and easy as I have hauled that rope through Washingtonia palms without damage. As to the age of the tiles, I have worked on and over roofs that are close to that age without incident. Obviously climate, roof style, previous repairs and most importantly the OP expertise will have great influence.

    This is sounding harder and harder all the time isn't it! :dizzy:

    Just for fun, if you loaded the bigshot with say, a 14 ounce bag, how many tiless could you break if you missed? It usually takes me 3 shots to get the bag where I want it in tall trees but maybe I just suck. :cheers:
     

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