Roofing Professionals - What’s in Your Tool Belt?
Using the right tools for the job at hand is essential in the construction industry, especially in the roofing sector. Professional roofing contractors use a range of quality roofing tools so today we’re going to take a sneak peek in the roofing contractor’s ideal tool belt.
There are some very basic roofing tools which will be needed on any roofing job. These include a hammer, a tape measure and a pouch to hold roofing nails. Beyond those few tools, the tools needed for a roofing job will differ depending on the type of roof being installed or repaired and the material that the roof is built from.
In many cases, roofers will use a nail gun nowadays to increase speed and efficiency. There are several types of nail guns available, manufactured to be used with either electricity, a battery or an air compressor. A nail gun is one of the handiest tools in a roofing contractor’s tool belt, although there are so many others to consider.
Roofing technology has changed in recent years as the development in new materials has progressed. This has led to roofers needing some specialised tools for certain types of roofs – especially flat roofs. When it comes to a flat roof, it really does depend on the membranes being installed as some of these coverings require the use of a heat gun or even a whole roof torch kit.
Torch kits are usually used in flat roofing (both commercial and domestic) when applying certain types of roof membranes, such as modified bitumen roofs. Without a torch, this type of roof is almost impossible to complete and seal. However using a roofing torch kit should be left to the trained professionals.
When using a torch kit for roofing work, there are a number of hazards that must be taken into account prior to work commencing. Before any work is started, the whole area should be cleared of dust and debris. A fire extinguisher should be on hand in case the flame causes an accident and some commercial roofers even keep a wet towel on hand in case of emergencies or when laying the torch down after extinguishing it. Anybody using a torch kit should make sure that they have the proper gloves, boots and goggles (and that they are using these) before work begins.
When it comes to other equipment used by professional roofers, most of it is too big to fit into their tool belts. Ladders are a vital piece of equipment for roofing work as they provide access onto and off the roof. It’s crucial to make sure that any ladder used is the correct ladder for the job, is in good condition and does not present a safety hazard. We’ve published in the past on how to use ladders safely, how to carry out a pre-use safety check on ladders and the types of ladders that should be used for different types of jobs.
A final consideration for long term work on a flat roof or regular maintenance requirements is roof edge protection. A rooftop demarcation barrier system adds an extra level of safety to working on flat roofs.