Posted by Dylan Vander Velde on May 29, 2020

How to Stay Cool on the Roof this Summer


Memorial Day, the unofficial beginning of summer, was earlier this week, and it brought the hot weather along with it. And as it only gets hotter and hotter, up on the roof can be one of the most insufferable places to be.


Already up there in the blazing sun, one wrong twist of the foot means a new design in that soft, melting shingle. And forget about using metal tools. So what can you do to make it easier on yourself this summer? Here are a few survivalist tips for working on those hot summer roofs from industry experts.


Tip #1: Shingle backwards.

If you're on a steep roof and the sun's beating down, it's best to work backwards. This prevents you having to avoid stepping on the new shingles and messing them up. If you have a good layout, it should work like a charm.


Tip #2: Wait til the heat dies down.

Your best case scenario for working on a roof in the summer is to get up early, take a break during the hottest part of the day, then come back to finish when it's cooled down some. This may elongate your project, but when the alternative is possibly destroying newly-laid shingles, it's best to take your time.


Tip #3: Carpet scraps.

The number one enemy of soft, malleable shingles are your boots. Carpet scraps can help you avoid shifting, scraping, or messing up shingles. And if you cut a bigger piece to sit on, they can help keep your backside cooler too.


Tip #4: Water the roof.

It may look a little strange, but hooking up a sprinkler and placing it at the peak of the roof can seriously help you cool off. Working through a heatwave can be a little bit easier when you're getting hit with water every so often.


Tip #5: Wear bright clothes.

Wearing colors that help reflect the sun's light can help keep you cooler. Yellow is the best color for keeping cool, and white is a close second.


Tip #6: Don't leave your metal tools out.

Unless you want a nice burn to end the workday. Watch where you leave your tools and how you pick them up, because nothing heats up faster than metal on a black roof in the summer heat.


Tip #7: Water, water, water.

You've heard it before but you're going to hear it here again: there's nothing more important than drinking water when you're working in the sun all day. Your body is 65% water, so it's kind of a big deal to replenish it. To avoid suffering headaches, kidney failure, and health ailments, take a sip of water (about 4 ounces) ever 15 minutes. And make sure you're not drinking ice cold water, just cool so your internal temperature doesn't drop too fast.


Tip #8: Know the signs of heatstroke.

Heatstroke can happen when your body reaches 104°F or more. Make sure you're aware of the signs of heatstroke so you can get in the shade and get some water before any accidents happen:

  • throbbing headache
  • dizziness
  • changes in behavior (confusion, slurred speech)
  • flushed skin
  • lack of sweat
  • nausea and vomiting
  • rapid breathing and heart rate



Stay safe on the roof this summer, and make sure to contact your local VELUX rep with any skylight needs!