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Working conditions on a roof can be arduous, so make the job as easy as possible by gathering the right tools and equipment before you begin.

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Working conditions on a roof can be arduous, so make the job as easy as possible by gathering the right tools and equipment before you begin.
Some of these tools, such as a pneumatic nailer and roofer’s hatchet, are specific to roofing projects. If you don’t have them and don’t want to buy them, you can rent them from a rental center.
Specialty roofing tools include roof jacks (A) for use on steep roofs, roofing shovel (B) for tear off work, pneumatic nailer (C), utility knife with hooked blade (D) for trimming shingles, roofing hammer with alignment guides and hatchet blade (E) for shingle installation, and a release magnet for site cleanup (F).
Use roof jacks on steep roofs. Nail the supports at the fourth or fifth course of shingles, and add the widest board the supports will hold.

For more secure footing, fashion a roofing ladder by nailing wood strips across a pair of 2 x 4s. Secure the ladder to the roof jacks, and use it to maintain your footing.

Roof flashing can be hand cut or purchased in preformed shapes and sizes. Long pieces of valley flashing, base flashing, top saddles, and other nonstandard pieces can be cut from rolled flashing material using aviation snips. Step flashing blanks can be bought in standard sizes and bent to fit. Drip edge and vent pipe flashing are available preformed. Skylight flashing usually comes as a kit with the window. Complicated flashings, such as chimney crickets, can be custom fabricated by a metalworker.


Different fasteners are specially developed for different jobs. Use galvanized roofing nails to hand nail shingles; use aluminum nails for aluminum flashing; use rubber gasket nails for galvanized metal flashing; and use nail coils for pneumatic nailers.

Common roofing materials include 30# felt paper for use as underlayment; ice-guard membrane for use as underlayment in cold climates; and tubes of roofing cement for sealing small holes, cracks, and joints.

 
 

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