A roofing project is a huge undertaking--especially if it involves replacing all of the shingles on your roof. When undertaking a task, it is therefore important to do everything you can to make your working conditions as comfortable--and safe--as possible. Knowing how to utilize roof jacks is thus a highly necessary skill. If you would like to learn more about what roof jacks are and how they work, read on. This article will provide a useful overview to this highly effective roofing supplements.

The Basics

A roofing jack is a roofing safety system that, at its simplest, consists of three distinct parts: two metal brackets and a sturdy board. The two brackets are attached to the roof at a certain distance apart. This is done using roofing nails. To prevent attic leaks, you will want to lift up one shingle flap, slide the jack into place, and then apply the nails. That way the resulting hole will ultimately be hidden below the shingle above.

The two roof jack brackets provide safe, sturdy, and stable resting points for the board, which is now laid on top of them. For maximum load bearing safety, either a 2x8 or a 2x10 board is recommended. The end result is a level, fixed surface that you can stand on, as well as store your roofing materials.

Choosing The Right Roof Jack

There are two types of roofing jack systems: adjustable and fixed. Adjustable systems are especially advantageous for professional roofers, since they can be altered to work on a variety of different roof pitches. That said, adjustable jacks tend to cost a good deal more. This makes them a less attractive option for homeowners, who will likely only need a set capable of working at one specific roof pitch.

Yet, this means that before buying a set of fixed roof jacks, you will have to figure out the precise pitch of your roof. Fortunately, this is fairly simple operation. Pitch denotes the amount of rise over a fixed span of one foot. You can measure your pitch most easily from the attic. You will need only a standard straight ruler and a liquid level.

Press one end of the level against the rafters, and adjust it so that it is perfectly level. Now have a helper measure a distance of one foot along the level. Keeping one finger at this position, you can now release the level and use the ruler to calculate the distance up to the rafters--in other words, the rise. If the rise is six inches, then you now know your pitch: 6/12. Be sure to purchase a corresponding set of roof jacks.

For more information, contact a company like Absolute Roofing.