Preparing For The Roofers: A Guide For Families With Kids And Pets

Posted on: 21 October 2015

If you are like most American families, you are probably stretched to your limit taking care of kids and pets while trying to keep family life in order. You probably even use it as an excuse on occasion – like for failing to prepare before the roofing contractors arrive. But, your hectic lifestyle is exactly the reason you need to prepare your family and property before roof work begins. Follow these tips to make things go more smoothly.

Children: Planning for changes in routine during the construction period will make things easier for your kids and lessen frustrations for you, too.

  • Napping: If you have a baby or toddler in the house, now is the time to think about how you will handle interruptions to nap time. Consider letting your little one nap in the quietest area of the home for several days before the roofing project is to begin. This gets him used to the idea and improves the chances he will nap as usual during construction. Upstairs bedrooms are likely to be noisy from the sounds of overhead construction. Choose a nap area downstairs away from the noise and commotion of workers on the roof to prevent disruptions to your little one's sleep. 

  • Play Time: If your youngsters are accustomed to playing outside, make plans for alternate activities while the roof is being repaired. Construction sites are not designed with children in mind. A roofing project often requires dropping old material to the ground. Your kiddos may get injured from falling debris or may interfere with the contractor's work flow. Plan indoor activities, like games or favorite movies, to keep kids entertained. Alternately, arrange for little ones to visit Grandma or play at a neighbor's house for the afternoon.

  • Outdoor Toys: If your little ones are accustomed to leaving outdoor toys in the yard, help them round up the toys and place them safely in the garage. This includes bikes and shooters, too. Falling debris from the roof may damage toys, or the toys may get in the way of ladders and other construction equipment.

Pets: If you have household pets, like cats and dogs, expect some interruption in their daily routine, too. If your pet reacts poorly to changes, prepare her ahead of time.

  • Potty Break: If your pet is accustomed to running out in the yard for a potty break without a leash, consider leash training her before the contractors arrive. It will prevent your pet from accidental injuries from falling debris and keep her out of construction worker's way, too.

  • Quiet Time: If your pet is excitable or shy, preparing her by providing a quiet area to sleep and rest during the day while the roofers are working  is a good move. If your dog barks at every little sound, or you have a shy or fearful cat that runs and hides at the first sign of company, consider playing soft music in the sleeping area to help drown out the sounds of overhead construction. Downstairs rooms,or a finished basements are good areas to get away from the sounds of roof construction. In extreme cases, your vet can prescribe medication for anxiety to keep your pet calm and relaxed while the roof is being repaired.

Lawn and Yard: Construction workers are typically considerate of your property and belongings, but don't expect them to identify flowers from weeds or know if there are areas you'd prefer they don't walk on. In addition, roofers typically throw old roofing material to the ground as they work. Give them some guidance in areas that are off limits, so they don't choose your new flower bed as the site to deposit old wood and shingles from the roof.

  • Flowerbeds & Gardens: Cover flowers and flowerbeds near the foundation of the home with a tarp and label it. This includes newly planted areas. Move flowers in containers to a location where they will not be in the way or at risk.This prevents roofers from accidentally setting up ladders in the middle of your flowers, or dropping used materials in the flower bed.

  • Pools: Cover your pool before the roofing contractors arrive. This will prevent stray shingles, nails and other debris from landing in your pool.

  • Vehicles: Park your vehicles in the garage, or on the opposite side of the road, to allow roofers plenty of room for their vehicles and equipment. This also prevents accidental damage to your vehicles from falling debris.

  • Lawn: Mow your lawn before the roofers arrive. While they may be finished in a few days, you don't want to be fretting about mowing the lawn until after they are gone.

By thinking ahead and taking a few simple steps to prepare for the roofers, you can minimize the disruption to your everyday routine.