The first thing to understand when installing roof brackets is to use these only on one-story roofs with a low pitch. Secondly, roof brackets must be installed properly because they are designed to act like mini scaffolding for workers installing a roof. If this project is not installed properly, brackets can break loose, causing workers and roofing materials to come plummeting down towards the roof edge. They are great tools when used safely and properly.
Step 1 – Check out the Roof
Use a ladder against a side of the building to climb to the roof edge. If you are new to working with roof brackets, or jacks, limit your first experience to a one-story roof with a low pitch. Once at the roof edge, locate the rafters. You will be attaching roof jacks to the rafters securing these with either 12- or 16-penny nails, It is important that the nails are driven through the rafters preventing the roof jacks from coming loose. If not secured properly, the weight of workers and or material may dislodge the roof jacks and shingles and workers may slide off the roof causing bodily injury and damaged material. Until you have worked a good deal with roof jacks, leave any roofing project higher than one-story to a professional contractor.
Step 2 – Attach Two Jacks
Attach two jacks to the roof by pulling up a tab of one of the shingles sliding the top of the jack under it. Make sure to line up the jack perfectly with the rafter with the bottom butt of the rafter visible at the roof edge.
Step 3 - Nail the Jacks Securely
You will drive three 12- or 16-penny nails through each slot at the top of the jack directly into the rafter. Make sure to check the placement of the jack so your driven nail does not miss its mark. It is crucial that all three nails are driven securely into the rafters to ensure proper installation. The secured attachment will provide ample load-bearing if nailed correctly.
Step 4 – Place Planking
Place planks on top of the roof jacks. Make sure to secure a roof jack every six feet. Immediately install a plank after installing one for each end. Once you’ve secured the plank in place, continue adding more jacks where needed.
Things to Remember
- Install middle jacks under planking once they are put down so you can locate the middle for added stability. Middle jacks will help when extra material is loaded on the roof or when workers need to walk from spot to spot.
- All nails need to be carefully driven fully into a roof rafter to ensure a safe installation. Make sure to examine each driven nail and test each roof jack before placing any planking on top. Re-install any jacks that are loose or can shift.