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Question DetailsAsked on 7/30/2017

I need a small barrier built on my flat roof to prevent neighbor access

I live in Philadelphia in a 2 story row and my neighbor has a 3 story with access to his roof however I've heard him numerous times walking across my roof. I'm looking to have a small barrier of some type to stop his access?

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I am assuming you ahve talked to the neighbors or the management (if multi-unit building) about them knocking it off, because most types of roof walking on it (without a proper deck over it at least) shortens its life significantly - he might not realize that and if you explain it he might knock it off. Also - depends on why they are on your roof - just messing around, trying to upset you, retrieving badminton shuttlecock or such, overlfow partying, or what ?

Obviously the best solution is to stop the trespassing - but that might get into adverse neighbor relations - ditto to calling the police when you hear him (or your friends) on your roof - so your call on that.

Since you are talking probably roofing penetrations to bolt it down to handle wind and snow loads, I would use a Roofing company (your Search the List category) to minimize the risk of a leak - though realize if you put in a fence and he continues to trspass (climbing on the fence) you will need some really hefty mounting baseplates so they do not come loose from the fence climbing. They will charge you probably $50-100 to come out and look at it and come up with a solution (may apply that fee to jhob price if you use them for the hob), but they are most likely to come with some type of fence - you will have to consider just how much of a deterrent is needed - might be a standard store bought wrought iron railing for instance will work.

A major problem is mounting it on your second story roof and stopping him from getting up and down - if you were able to mount it on HIS third-story parapet when it would not take much of a fence to be a significant deterrent.

Oops - since his is a 3 story and your a story below that, he is jumping down onto your roof (so a fence on your property which is less than about 15 feet high is not likely to stop it) and then climbing back up to his - so a normal fence (wrought iron or chain link) he could probably jump over easily coming down and might just make it easier for him to climb back up by climbing on the fence - so it will likely take something like barbed wire (razor wire is generally illegal for this sort of use and can get you into legal trouble, ditto for punji stakes) - though of course he can cut barbed wire easily, and it has to be cross-wired (ties between the strands) to prevent them from spreading the strands apart to go through). Maybe electric fence - though that is a constant power draw and requires warning signs and may not be legal on a roof in your area (for police/firefighter safety).

I would really try hard to stop the occurrence - by talking to him, talking to building management, photographing them on the roof as evidence to present to the police for trespass charges, whatever. Because otherwise you could easily be spending $500-1000 or even more for a long roof interface (say a strip or shotgun row house) and find he uses it to climb back up, or readily defeats it with wirecutters or such.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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