Construction methods, materials and technology have changed greatly in the past 20 years, residential roofing is still as labor-intensive and basic as it was years ago. The good news is you won’t need to spend a bundle of money outfitting your tool chest if you’re a homeowner re-roofing your home or a contractor branching out into a new specialty.
Removal Tools: One of the first steps in installing a new roof is to remove the old. While roofers will use a variety of tools, the most popular is the roofing shovel. Roofing shovels are small, shovel-shaped tools that help remove shingles from the roof. Roofing shovels feature a long handle, usually curved near the top, and a narrow, flat spade with teeth. The teeth pull nails from the roof as you wedge the spade under the shingle for removal. Pry bars will be used also.
Roofing Hammer: Most shingled roofs are attached to the roof using short broad headed roofing nails. Almost all roofers prefer a claw hammer for roofing projects, as it provides the leverage needed to pry away old shingles, fasteners and battens. A commercial roofer will trade in the trusty claw hammer for air-powered electric hammers or a hammer stapler, a tool that rapidly places staples instead of nails to speed up the process of setting shingles. Commercial quality equipment can be rented by the homeowner who will only need it once, hopefully…
Screwdrivers: A good screwdriver is essential for working with Tin or Metal Roofs. Both are attached using roofing screws. Most residential roofers and home owners will opt to use a roofing screw gun to save time and effort but it is possible, albeit silly, to drive all screws by hand. The screw gun, very similar to a variable speed electric drill, is a much better choice if faced with a metal or tin roof.
Pliers: First, to protect you from sharp edges and blisters while working with pliers, a thick heavy pair of work gloves is highly recommended. There are many conventional types and sizes of pliers available such as needle nose and vice grips. The roofer has pliers unique to the trade such as seaming pliers for residential roofing have teeth that are designed to grip and hold shingles and other common roofing materials, rather than the common flat teeth found in typical pliers.
Cutters and Saws: Residential roofing material must be cut or trimmed to fit the size of your work area, and roofers and homeowners rely on a wide variety of tools to help them achieve this. Shingles may be cut with a utility knife. Air knives are operated from compressors and feature a heated blade that makes cutting plastic laminates easy. A Slater’s hammer, axe and ripper are needed to cut slate roof tiles. A shingle saw should be used to cut shake shingle and is handy on other roofing materials as well. For working with tile, residential roofers use a tile saw to shape their workand achieve a perfect fit.
Visit your local tool or hardware store to find all the roofing tools and accessories you’ll need to do an clean, professional job.