Mounting a Weather Vane Atop Your House
A weather vane, while being entirely functional for determining wind direction, is also used as an ornamental fixture. From traditional arrow styles to customized weather vanes, there is almost no limit as to available styles. Weather vanes are typically made from rustproof metals such as brass, stainless steel or copper. Copper weather vanes are especially attractive and have become the standard for ornamental use.
There are several ways to mount a weather vane. Each requires a modest amount of work that can be done in an afternoon. Your weather vane should be mounted at the highest point of your roof. If your house has a cupola, that is an ideal location for the weather vane. If not, the ridge of the roof will work well.
Step 1: Assemble your Weather Vane
A traditional weather vane will have a brass rod approximately 28 inches long, a large and a small copper globe, a brass collar with set screws, a directional with set screws, a spinning ornament and a stainless steel inner rod and ball bearing. The ornament is affixed to the stainless steel rod, which sits inside of the brass rod, and is able to spin. The directional should not spin but point towards the north. Use your screwdriver to tighten the set screws and assemble the entire weather vane.
Step 2: Drill into Head Block or Ridgepole
Go into your attic and find the ridgepole--the horizontal beam that runs the length of the roof’s ridge. This is the beam into which you will need to drill to mount the brass rod. On the roof, with your power drill, drill a vertical hole directly into the ridge point of the roof. Make sure the drill bit is no larger than the brass rod. If you are uncertain about the fit, make a test drill into a spare piece of wood to see how the rod will fit. You should insert about 8 to 9 inches of the 28-inch rod into the ridgepole.
Step 3: Insert Weather Vane
Once the right size hole has been drilled, insert the weather vane into it. The weather vane should not wobble, and it should stand perfectly straight. Make sure the brass rod is inserted as far as it can go into the ridgepole. Double check that the set screws on the weather vane are all tight, that the directional points north and that the ornamental spins freely.
Step 4: Seal the Roof Anew
Load your caulking gun with the waterproof caulk and apply a solid bead around the brass rod where it comes out of the roof. This area will be exposed to the elements, so you don’t want any leakage. Make sure the hole you drilled is entirely sealed off from rain and snow. The caulk will also help secure the weather vane.
Mounting a weather vane should not take you much time. This mounting method described is only one method of installing a weather vane. Others involve metal capping of the area around the ornament so you should look into the various options and find the right one for you.