Home renovations and repairs require tools like roof jacks.
Whether you’re DIY or hiring a contractor to help you, you will need the necessary tools to complete the job. Sometimes these tools are as simple as a hammer, other times you’ll need something as big as a wood chipper.
Let’s take a look at a necessary roofing tool to use when you’re repairing or renovating.
What Can You Use a Roof Jack For?
So, what is a roof jack and what can you use it for?
A roof jack is a construction aid that is typically made from steel. It is attached to the roof to support wooden beams that make walking across a slanted roof easier.
Thomas West says that you can get a roof jack from hardware stores or lumber centers. They are often adjustable and can accommodate different roof slants.
While a roof jack is a primary tool used in roof renovations, there are some additions to this tool that make it even more practical.
Wooden planks of lumber are often required with a roof jack. This is to span the roof jack and make it safer to use on the roof. It is recommended that you use planks of wood that are at least eight feet in length.
Before investing in a roof jack, you should measure the slope of your roof to determine whether you need to use one or not.
Certain roof slopes are safe enough to walk on without using a roof jack. The steeper your roof, the more likely you’ll need to use a roof jack. It is also recommended that you place a row of roof jacks at the base of your roof, especially if it’s particularly steep.
This can prevent you from falling off if you slip.
How to Use a Roof Jack Properly
If your roof is steep enough, investing in a roof jack is essential for any repair work you might have. It's important to implement measures of safety like this before executing any home repair.
Better Homes and Gardens says that roof jacks are easy to set up and then remove again.
The first thing you'll want to do is attach the jack correctly. This can be done by locating a rafter. A rafter is a wooden beam situated underneath the roofing materials. A crossbeam will be sturdy enough to attach a roof jack to.
You’ll have to go beneath any sheathing to locate your rafter. Once you’ve found it, you can attach a jack by hammering two sheathing nails through the underlayment until they’re securely fastened.
When attaching the jack to the rafter, always remember to use sheathing nails. Don’t make the mistake of using roofing nails in this part of the task – the jack could come loose and could potentially cause an injury.
Having the right tools to complete this process is integral to ensuring your safety.
Further Instructions on Installing Your Roof Jack
Better Home and Gardens continues to describe the process of attaching a roof jack to your roof.
For this part of the process, you’ll need to have chosen your wooden boards. Remember that you need to have picked out planks that are at least eight feet in length. Anything shorter could tilt if you place your feet at the end, causing you to slip and fall.
Your board should fit snugly into the jack. It should overhang the jack by at least six inches on each side. This means that even the side that won't be used to support your weight should have a reasonable length of the plank.
Use an electric drill to secure the board to the jack.
To remove a roof jack, you begin with a hammer. Use your hammer to tap up into the jack – this will loosen the nails. Because the nails will remain in the rafter and roofing, you'll want to drive them in thoroughly.
Use a flat pry bar to lever the roof sheathing up so you can access where the nail is. Pounding the nail down into the surface will prevent it from poking through the roofing.
If your sheathing is flexible, you can lift it to hammer your nails.
Owning and Using Roof Jacks for Home Projects
When it comes to construction and repairs, safety comes first.
While you might find walking on your roof comfortable, you never know what could happen. All it takes is one second to lose your footing to sustain an injury.
Use a roof jack as a preventative safety measure for home projects. Whether you’re adding shingles to your roofing or doing some minor repairs, a roof jack can protect you from potentially slipping and falling.