Roof Jacks: What They Are And How To Install Them

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If you have a roof with a steep or high slope, you need to be extra careful when working on it. Using roof jacks is one of the best ways to be safe when working on a steep roof. Roof jacks are anchors made of strong steel that are nailed down to your roof. The anchors then hold planks of wood that you are able to stand and walk on when you're repairing your roof. It is important that they are installed properly, otherwise they aren't going to be of much help.

Prepare for Installation

Before you start installing the roof jacks, you need to prepare everything. Make sure you are keeping your own safety in mind by wearing rubber-soled shoes, as these provide good traction. Put a sturdy ladder against the side of your home that reaches a couple feet above the roof's edge. This lets you step off the ladder and onto the roof, instead of trying to climb up it. You should be able to get onto your roof and reach the sloped part of the roof for installation.

Find the Right Placement

Proper placement of your roof jacks is very important for them to be effective. Find where you want to install the first roof jack, which is usually around the fifth row of shingles or panels. If you prefer to have one on the edge of the roof, you can install your first there. This depends on your own comfort level and how experienced you are working on a roof with a steep slope.

Install the First Jack

To install the first roof jack, make sure the holes on the roof jack are lined up with the top part of the shingle closest to where you want to attach it. Put a long nail in each hole and use your hammer to pound it all the way down. The nail should be level with the metal of the roof jack for proper stability of the jack. You want the nail head to be pushed down where it is flush with the shingle, but not pushed all the way into the roof where you can't get it back out.

Repeat the Process

Now that your first roof jack is installed, you will follow this process for the remaining ones. How many you have and where they are attached is up to you, but about four or five is usually a good number for a standard sized roof. They should be evenly spaced and spaced a few feet apart from each other.

Add the Planks

Once all the roof jacks are on the roof, you can add the planks. These are wooden boards that will go between the jacks which become the surface you are going to walk on. They just sit on top of the steel jacks. If they feel too wobbly, you may need to move some of your jacks closer together to improve the stability.

Contact a roofing contractor, such as Bob Behrends Roofing & Gutters LLC, if you don't feel comfortable installing the roof jacks on your own.

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