While walking on any roof surface should be kept to a minimum,
occasionally it may be necessary. Caution should be exercised since
most manufacturers specifically do not warrant breakage due to foot
traffic. If tiles are broken, they should be replaced as soon as possible
to avoid damage to the underlayment from water intrusion or
exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
Walking on any roofing surface should be done with extreme
caution. Steep slopes, slippery surfaces, vents, antennas, solar
panels, chimneys or any other object on a roof can increase the
hazards of falling from a roof. The TRI recommends that you
utilize a trained roofing professional for accessing your roof.
OSHA has created mandatory “fall protection” guidelines that
assist in preventing serious accidents.
To avoid breaking tiles, there are certain methods of traversing that
may minimize damage. Typically, it is recommended to step at the
bottom three inches of the installed tile. This is the portion of the tile
that is supported by the lapped tile beneath it and the weight is
transferred through it to the deck below. Orient your feet in a direction
parallel with the ridge and try to distribute your weight evenly and
walk as softly as possible. On high profiled ‘S’ tiles, it is recommended
to distribute your weight with the heel and toe on the high points of
It is also recommended to stay away from hips or valleys to avoid
breaking cut tiles that would be more difficult to replace. The
exception to this would be in situations where the hips and ridges
are bedded in mortar or foam, in which case, they may be
preferred walking paths. Valleys may also be access paths if the
tiles are cut away from the center of the valley wide enough to
allow foot traffic on the metal valley flashing.
Place antennas, solar panels and roof mounted equipment to
minimize roof traffic for long term servicing and maintenance.
When painting or repairing adjoining walls or other items, safely
cover the tile surface with secured plywood sheets to distribute
traffic loads and prevent dirt, building materials, and paint or
stain from damaging or discoloring the tile.
See the proper article here Walking on tile roofs