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Does the roof of your home need work? If so, rest assured, you’re not alone. The weather here in Michigan can be pretty rough on a roof. With an abundance of snow and remarkably enthusiastic seasonal storms, your roof goes through a lot.

Because roofs often go many years without repairs, it’s very likely that this is your first (or one of the first) time ever calling for roofing services.

If you’re new to roofing in Michigan, the amount of preparation required to get started can be a huge surprise. Roofing not only requires clearing space around the roof for debris and ladders. You may also need to secure valuables from vibrations, provide access to your attic for under-roof work, and make sure everyone in the household is watching out for falling shingles.

While your roofer are always happy to help new customers get their homes safely set up for roof repairs or installation, you can significantly speed up the work by knowing how to prepare your home before the roofers arrive.

So today, we’re here to walk you through all the possible steps you might need to prepare for roofers. Don’t worry about doing it all, but anything you do is sure to be helpful!

Clearing Space for the Roofers Outdoors

The most important preparations happen outdoors. Roofing is a somewhat messy business that often involves prying up and re-laying sections of shingles.

If your whole roof is being replaced, you can expect more than a little debris to fall around the edges. Services for roofing in Canton Michigan do their best to keep the mess in one pile tossed of the edge of the roof, but it’s best to protect everything that might get be hit by a falling shingle. Here’s how:

– Mow the Lawn

Believe or not, the first and easiest thing you can do for your roofers is to mow the lawn. It’s easier to find lots pieces of shingle or dropped roofing nails in short grass than in a mini-jungle. And you definitely want to get up the debris before you mow next. So simply trimming the grass before the roofers arrive is doing both you and them a big favor.

– Move Cars Out of the Driveway

The driveway is the ideal place for roofers to make their debris pile because it’s wide, flat, and easy clean up.

Any household cars that are usually parked in the driveway will need to be moved either into the garage or out onto the curb.

This will not only make room for the roof debris, it will also ensure that your cars cannot be damaged by accidental falling debris.

– Clear Outdoor Toys and Patio Furniture

Your roofers need a clear path all the way around the roof if at all possible. And not just for debris-fall. Roofers may need multiple access points where it is safe to brace a ladder, so you want to give them as much safe space as possible.

While you can’t control where your outdoor AC unit or doghouse are built, you can clear away outdoor toys and patio furniture. Keep an eye out for garden items like planters and birdbaths that might also be in ‘the zone’ and movable.

The good news is that you don’t have to worry about getting this stuff indoors. Just ten feet or more away from the edge of the roof.

You can easily stack it in the yard or out by the fence for quick re-assembly of your patio when the roofers are done.

– Cover or Mark Garden Plants

Now for your garden. If you have a practical yard with nothing but grass and a big tree, you can skip this part. But if you’re a gardener with flower beds, bushes, or delicate plants then you’ll want to take care. Use your frost blankets or a tarp to cover flower beds and bushes. This should protect most reasonably hardy plant from damage. And for anything that is particularly delicate, mark it with bright-orange tape or ribbon. This will let your roofers know at a glance where to absolutely avoid letting debris fall.
Make sure to point out your special plants to the team when they arrive as well. That way, your roofers can make sure that your prize plants will be kept safe.

– Mark Your Sprinklers

Roofers may also need to do a lot of walking around in the yard, fetching supplies and handing things up ladders. This means that if you have a permanent sprinkler system, it’s polite to mark each head so your roofers don’t trip.

Use the same orange tape or ribbon you did for your plants and tie a big bright bow around the sprinkler heads. If tape or ribbon won’t show for some reason, you can also use orange spray paint on the grass. The orange will be gone the next time you mow.

– Test Your Outdoor Outlet

For your final step of outdoor prep, make sure there is at least one working outlet available for the roofers. Most homes have one or two sets of outdoor outlets and, rest assured, roofers are great at using extension cords.

However, outdoor outlets are not always maintained, or their breaker may have been tripped ages ago and never reset because you never noticed.

Take a small plug-in appliance like a lamp or phone charger and test each of your outdoor outlets. One working outlet is all your roofers need. If you can’t find a working outdoor outlet and flipping breakers doesn’t fix it, choose one indoor outlet to connect an extension cable to. This can lead out the front door, back door, garage, or even a window.

Preparing the Inside of Your House

Most people are surprised when they learn that it’s important to prepare the inside of your house as well. For minor repairs, there is little to worry about.

If your home needs major roof repairs or a complete roof reinstallation, then your roofers are going to need to interact with the structure of the house. Drilling in to beams won’t hurt your house, but it will vibrate the walls.

Your roofers may also need some access indoors or to the underside of the roof through the attic and you’ll want to prepare for this as well.

Here’s what to do:

– Remove Valuables from the Attic

It’s best to assume that your roofer will need to go into the attic. A complete roofing inspection will always involve taking a look at the beams and roofing structure from the underside, and many repairs require working at the problem from both sides.

Roofing also tends to shake a lot of dust loose inside the attic even if a roofer never sets foot inside.

What this means for you is that your attic-stored valuables might be at risk. If it’s reasonable, try to remove all the valuables from your attic. If that’s not reasonable, clear as much room as you can and cover anything you have to leave behind.

– Take Down Wall Decor and Secure Breakables

As we mentioned, roof work an add a lot of vibration to the house as roofers drill on and attach things to the structural beams.

This is totally safe for your home’s structural integrity, but it can shake picture frames off the walls and cause stacked china to clatter.

If there’s going to be extensive work on your roof, we strongly advise that you take down all wall decorations and secure your breakables.

Picture frames and hanging artwork is obvious, but also don’t forget the mirrors hanging in bedrooms and bathrooms. If you have fine china or other small breakables on shelves, consider placing a cloth or paper towel between each piece or dish to prevent clattering and possible damage.

– Put Down Tarps in Attic and Garage

Your last interior prep step is completely optional, but you may thank yourself for doing it. We advise you take the time to put down old sheets or tarps in both the attic and the garage. These two areas are the most likely to be exposed to the underside of the roof and, therefore, are at higher risk of having a lot of dust shaken down during the roof work.

Whether your garage and attic are clean or dirty doesn’t matter. Putting down tarps or sheets will simply make it easier to clean up all that dust quickly rather than having to sweep and wipe down everything instead.

Making Plans for People

If you have gone through all (or most) of the previous steps, your Canton MI home is now completely ready for the roofers to arrive. But  from experience, we can tell you that there are a few more steps you may want to take just for the people involved. Or, more to the point, the people who won’t be involved.

As a responsible homeowner, you understand that roofing comes with a certain risk of falling debris and are smart enough not to stand around the edge of the roof waiting for some to hit you. The same cannot be said for the younger and non-human members of your household.

So it’s important to take a few precautionary steps to keep everyone safe during your Canton roof repair or installation.

– Explain the Safety Situation

The first step is to explain the situation to anyone in your household old enough to understand. Talk to your partner, any adult roommates, and children over the age of 8 who can grasp the idea of staying away from falling debris.

Explain that there’s a reason the patio furniture has been moved and if they want to spend time outdoors, they should go wherever the patio furniture is now. More than ten feet away from the roof.

This way, you can trust all responsible parties to keep themselves safe and to be aware of the potential risks of standing near the edge of the roof today.

– Keep Pets Indoors

Of course, pets don’t understand careful explanations about safety risks, so you’ll need to take their safety into your own hands.

If you have an indoor-outdoor pet, be sure they are indoors the entire time during the roofing process. If the pet needs to go outside during that time, walk with them to make sure they don’t dart under any falling debris.

Some homeowners opt to take their pet to a friend’s house or send them to a pet daycare for the day. If you do keep your pets at home and indoors, be prepared to sooth them if they are bothered by the strange noises caused by roofing.

– Schedule a Play-Date for Children

Young children will have a harder time understanding or remembering safety warnings so should be kept inside. However, we feel that the safest way to protect your children during a large roofing project is to take them out of the house.

Every homeowner and parent handles this differently. This could be the perfect time for a day at grandmas, to go see a movie with your spouse, or to schedule an all-day playdate with your child’s friends.

This is the ideal way to keep your kids safe and make certain that younger children aren’t frightened by all the banging and shaking that roofing can entail.

– Warn Your Neighbors

And because roofing can be so noisy, it’s also considerate to think of your neighbors when making preparations. Most roofers will offer you friendly advice to pop over to your closest neighbors a few days before the appointment and let them know that you’ll be making a lot of noise soon.

Warning your neighbors ahead of time can be very helpful in avoiding annoyance. And you give them a chance to make plans to either be out of the house or to make the best of it and watch a really loud movie at the same time.

For the Roofers

If you’re feeling energetic and want to make your project smoother, there are two more steps you can take to prepare.

– Unlock Garden Gates

Your roofers can work with a single access point from the driveway or front yard. However, it’s more convenient if they can walk all the way around the house. This will enable them to carry supplies and find optimal ladder spots. One courtesy is to unlock your gates so that the roofers can move freely between the front and back yards. Consideration of your landscaping and decorations can be made if you are clear about how you’d like roofers to move through your private backyard space.


– Make a Pitcher of Lemonade

Roofing is not a tipping business, usually. Many homeowners raised in the best traditions feel the need to be hospitable hosts for anyone who visits their homes. Even service people. Feeling compelled to offer your roofers something? The best thing you can offer is a big pitcher of lemonade or a cooler of waters. Roofing is hard work, even in the cool spring air, and it’s important to stay hydrated. If it’s still icy outside, your roofers might also appreciate some cocoa or coffee instead to keep them warm. But by no means feel obligated to offer your roofers anything more than your heartfelt thanks.

How should you prepare your home for Canton MI roofing services? We hope that this article has offered you more than enough information. Remember, you don’t have to take every step. Naturally, you can’t prepare your attic or protect your pooch if you don’t have one. Simply choose the steps that apply to your situation and that you have time to take care of. The smallest amount of preparation can significantly speed up your roofing service. The process will be easier for your roofers as they repair or reinstall your roof.

For more information or to schedule a consultation on the current state of your roof, contact us today!