As you can imagine, maintaining rooftops is a big job. It requires a great deal of training, not to mention experience, to perform the tasks required of you effectively. Safety is also an obvious priority, with professional roofers requiring plenty of time and equipment to ensure the job is performed in a safe manner. When you hire a professional contractor from one of the top roofing companies Vancouver, WA, has to offer, such as Interstate Roofing, they’ll arrive with a veritable arsenal of tools for the task. Here, we’ll break down what those tools are and why they’re necessary for roof maintenance and repair:
The Right Ladder
Since a roofer can’t do their job without being able to access the roof easily, the right ladder is an absolute must. Because they often have to access very high areas, it’s common for roofers to bring extension ladders that can reach lengths of 40 feet when fully extended.
Most professional roofers utilize non-self-supporting ladders, of the type that lean up against the roof. However, when it’s used for roofing, the roofer will secure the ladder, generally with straps, to ensure the workers’ safety as they come and go from the roof.
Working high up is always a risk, even on nearly flat and seemingly safe roofs. That’s why most roofing workers will utilize some sort of fall protection while they’re on the job. Often, this is a simple harness and lanyard, although other fall protection is more sophisticated. Lanyards are connected to rings that are then mounted in a secure area, helping to prevent roofers from falling as they perform jobs that require the use of both hands.
There are several other methods roofers utilize to increase their safety while they work on rooftops. Toeboards give them temporary footholds. These are simply long boards nailed down and removed after the job has been completed. They may set up scaffolds as well, connected to brackets, which are also temporarily nailed into place on the roof. Roofers may also set up rope grabs to hold on to as they navigate their various tasks.
A roofer is always on the move. They’re darting up and down ladders and from one side of the roof to the other. That’s why roofing companies in Vancouver, WA, supply their professionals with tool belts capable of holding all of the smaller tools they might need to perform the job. This might mean a bag of readily accessible roofing nails, or it may mean a hammer, tape measure, hook blade, or any other small tool the roofer needs fast access to.
The tool belt itself is a specialty item because it has to carry a large number of other tools, often rendering it quite heavy. This means that tool belts should be made of a heavy-duty material as well as properly padded so they aren’t uncomfortable to wear and designed not to interfere with fall protection gear. They need to be designed in such a way that they won’t snag either, as this can pose a large safety hazard for people climbing around on the roof.
Most roofs are covered with shingles, which are excellent for protecting the home from wind, water, and ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Precisely because they have such a big job, shingles tend to take a beating and occasionally need to be removed and replaced. Sometimes, these shingles need to be removed in large numbers. This is where a tear-off shovel comes in handy.
An item with a long handle and teeth at the end for gripping the shingles, the tear-off shovel can pull out shingles quickly without forcing the roofer to get down on their hands and knees to perform the task. This saves a great deal of time while also having a beneficial ergonomic impact on the task at hand.
After shingles have been removed from the roof, they must be replaced fairly quickly in order to prevent any water or other damaging environmental factors from seeping in. While it’s certainly possible to nail shingles down by hand, a professional roofer will likely bring a pneumatic nail gun with them in order to make the task go that much faster.
Because the nail gun is pneumatic—that is, powered by air pressure—it must be connected to an air compressor and set to the PSI that the nail gun’s specifications require. The nail gun itself usually weighs only a few pounds and can drive nails in quickly. This makes it perfect for applying shingles in a fast and efficient manner.
One of the biggest parts of the job of a professional roofer is laying down felt. Felt is rolled out and placed underneath the shingles so that it can offer an extra layer of protection. While the shingles themselves are secured into place with roofing nails, the roofing felt is actually held on with staples or plastic caps, depending on if synthetic or traditional felt is used. The felt needs to cover a lot of surface area, being as it is essentially spread over the entire roof, but with the right tools, it won’t necessarily take a roofer a long time to lay it across the roof. A hammer tacker is a heavy-duty instrument that can staple roofing felt down extremely quickly while being held in the tool belt for ease of access and convenience.