Roof brackets are metal devices designed to create a stable platform to stand or rest materials on while working on roofs with a low to moderate pitch. Proper installation and removal of the brackets is important to keep workers safe and to prevent unnecessary damage to the shingles or roofing materials.
What Are Roof Brackets?
Roof brackets, also called roof jacks, attach to a roof and then cradle a wooden plank creating a platform to stand on or stack materials and tools. They are J-shaped on the long end and curved on the other, made of heavy duty metal and designed for easy installation and quick removal on roofs. When installed properly, these handy little devices provide roofers with a stable anchor and are an essential safety measure for work on a pitched roof.
The initial platform is created by using a ladder to reach the lower end of the roof and installing at minimum two jacks depending on the span of the platform. Roof jacks may be fixed or adjustable, to the angle of the roof pitch. Roof brackets have holes that anchor them to the roof for stability and support. Brackets should be evenly spaced across the intended work area. Once the jacks are secure, a wooden plank is placed across to support the weight of workers and materials.
Not every roofing job needs jacks and scaffolding, but it is a handy and relatively quick and easy system to set up and dismantle and is definitely an important safety feature for steep roofs. The angle of the roof generally determines how many jacks are needed and regardless of the width of the work area, they’re usually spaced two to four feet apart. Roof brackets are usually recommended on one-story roofs with a lower pitch.
How to Use Roof Brackets
Using a ladder to reach the lowest portion of the roof, count up a few rows of shingles to determine where the first set of jacks will be placed. Lift the sheathing and locate the rafter line which will hold the nails in place and reduce possible damage to the shingles. Using 16d or 10d nails, attach the jack to the rafter line ensuring the nail head lies flat and is as close to the top of the teardrop shape as possible. How you nail the roof jack is crucial to your safety.
The first nail holds the jack in the rafter and the additional nails are for support. Roofing nails should never be used for jacks. After the first jack is installed, space the next one and install it and keep going until the width of the first span is finished. After the first row is complete, place a sturdy board on the J-end of the jack. The board should have an overhang on both ends and will fit into the curved part of the bracket which has a hole to secure the board to the jack.
Once the first row is complete, you can begin moving upwards with the next row of jacks. When your project is complete, remove the boards, then roof brackets by tapping upwards on it with a hammer to disengage the jack from the nails. Once the jack is free, you’ll want to drive the nails into the roof so they don’t poke through the roofing. Use a flat pry bar to hold the shingle up while you drive the nails in.
In addition to roof brackets and shinglers, RGC offers a range of solutions including ladder hooks and hoists to help you get the job done safely and efficiently. Learn more about our roofing products here.