Installing a roof involves a lot of hard work and the use of a number of essential tools. In order to complete the job properly you will need a good selection of tools that will save time, money and energy. Below are a list of tools and accessories every roofer needs to get started.
One of the most essential tools you’ll need to hand when working on the roof is a roofing knife. This will make it easier to cut through materials when you need to cut and trim to size. There are two good options available: a Retractable Blade Knife which keeps the blade safely hidden when not in use, or a Fixed Blade Knife, which ensures the blade is ready for instant use.
If you are taking on the job of an entire roof, it makes sense to invest in a power nailer. This will make the process of installing the nails less labour intensive and much faster.
There’s only one way you are going to get from the ground up to the roof safely – and that’s by using a secure ladder. Before heading up to start work, always test the ladder to make sure it is in good condition, and that the floor it is being placed onto is even, secure and won’t slip while you are using it. Having someone stand at the bottom to hold it is also a good idea for extra security.
Shingle Removal Shovels
Before laying down the materials for your new roof, you need to ensure the surface area is clear of any old nails, tiling or any other type of debris. A roofing shovel is what you will need to do a good job here. It can be used to tear up existing tiles and shingles and is the tool professionals are also most likely to use.
For smaller scale jobs, like replacing a few tiles, then a standard hammer will do the job. Something like this Claw Hammer would be ideal. Buying a good hammer is a long-term investment as it can be used on any number of DIY projects and will last for years.
Another way to remove materials from the roof is to use a ‘ripper’. Something like Slaters Rip Stainless Steel is able to remove slate quickly and easily.
Safety is of paramount importance when undertaking any DIY job. That is especially true when it comes to roofing jobs. You should always wear a hard hat when working outside on the roof. There is always the risk of an injury occurring, so everything should be done to reduce the likelihood of one occurring. They may feel a little awkward, or uncomfortable, especially if working out in the heat, but it is better that than bumping your head and having to deal with something far more serious.
You can’t use a harness to actually install any part of the roof. However, like a hard hat it should be an essential accessory you use to remain safe while up on the roof. Using a harness will give you more security, and should you slip at any time, and as long as it is secured properly, it will prevent you from having a bad accident. It is also the law to wear a harness up on the roof, so always bear that in mind too.
Moisture Detection Tools
Moisture is the number one enemy of any roof structure. Once it starts to develop it quickly spreads and can lead to mould, damp and expensive damage repairs. Using a moisture detection tool will allow you to determine how dry or moist the surface is. It’s a tool used by roofing professionals as an essential part of their job, and it will also prove to be an invaluable tool for your roof installation project.
Roof brackets will help secure your feet on roofs with high pitches. Their design ensures your feet remain flat, making it less likely you can slip. They keep you safer while working on the surface and they can be easily removed and installed into a new position as you move along.
Retractable Steel Tape
Similar to a hammer, a retractable steel tape is an essential tool for any home. It makes measuring dimensions much easier and ensures you get your numbers right. It can be used for any number of DIY jobs and will most likely end up being used far more regularly than you imagine. Something like the Spear & Jackson Soft Feel Tape Measure is a reliable and cost effective option.
This is an alternative to using a roofing knife, if you prefer a tool with a more comfortable grip. They are designed with rubber handles and make light use of materials like metal sheets and tiles.
A caulk gun will help you to evenly distribute caulk from its tube. This tends to be used for roof repairs and creates a clean and efficient job thanks to its non-drip design. It also makes the process much faster, meaning you are up on the roof for a shorter period of time.
Getting heavy materials up onto the roof creates danger for anyone working on the surface. A ladder hoist makes it quicker, safer and easier to do. Instead of manually carrying the items from the ground up onto an uneven surface, a ladder hoist takes up the materials up to where you need so you can start work.
When you have to drive nails into concrete or metal, an electric drill is an essential tool you’ll need to hand. Make sure you are using the right drill head for the material and it cut through safely and quickly, saving you a lot of time and energy.
To cut through metal roofing, metal snips are exactly what you need. They are easy to use and enable you to cut and trim to the right size and lengths. Metal snips work on a variety of different metal types and are an extremely versatile tool. These Side Cutters will prove to be a worthwhile investment for your roof installation.
Sometimes there will be small pieces of material that prove difficult to grab onto so you can manipulate them. Tile nibblers allow you to do just that, a tool that can pinch, cut, pull and grip screws, nails, debris and almost anything else on the roof.
With so many different tools needed for a roofing job, you should always have them to hand to save time. A tool belt is a practical accessory that comes complete with pouches and pockets to keep all your essential tools together. Like this nylon tool pouch with belt, it’s easy to put on and ensures you are more organised up on the roof.