Can your attic support your weight? That depends on what you mean. If you’re talking about the floor of an attic, then it may, or may not, support the weight of a person. We’ll tell you how you can figure it out.
If you’re talking about walking on the roof and therefore relying on the roof truss and attic to support you, it highly likely that the roof will support you. But it would be best if you still didn’t walk on it. Here’s what you need to know about stepping out onto these parts of your home.
Can My Attic Floor Support My Weight?
Attic floors range in quality and stability. All will involve some rafters or joists to support the floor. Most have a layer of plywood or OSB nailed or stapled onto the rafters to act a floor. Whether the floor can support you depends on the distance between the rafters, their material, the material of the floor, and how it was secured to the rafters. In general, experts won’t trust attic floors and will only walk on the rafters. The thicker the rafters, the more secure they are.
There’s no way to tell from here if the attic floor or even the rafters will support you. Even if it has held you before, damage to the attic floor, including water damage, can undermine its stability. As most people want to access their attic to look for roof leaks and other problems, it’s best to leave walking in the attic to the professionals.
Can My Roof Support My Weight?
When your roof was installed, roofers did walk on the decking of your roof to install everything else. If you absolutely had to stand on your roof—like if a fire drove you out there—you would likely find that the roof held your weight. That said, you shouldn’t attempt to walk on your roof to hang ornaments, to make your own roof repairs, or for any other reason than to escape a much more dangerous situation.
Why Shouldn’t I Walk on My Roof?
There are a few reasons that you shouldn’t risk walking on your roof, including:
- Safety equipment: Few homeowners have the right safety equipment to protect them from a fall if they have one. Even professionals wear harnesses because it is always risky to step on a roof.
- Roof damage: If you have a leak or other kind of roof damage, the structural integrity of the roof may be undermined. Even if it looks safe to walk, part of the roof could still collapse under your weight.
- Insurance: Your homeowner’s insurance policy typically does not cover any damage to your roof that you create by stepping onto it. The same goes for any DIY roof repair you attempt. If you make a mistake or cause some kind of damage, then you will have to pay for it, not the insurance company.
Whether you’re thinking about walking on your roof or inside of your attic, it’s smart to reach out to the professionals.