Of course, all good things come with a downside or two, and this is no exception. An independent contractor will normally need to provide all the necessary tools for the job, and there are a lot of them out there. To help you narrow down that list, here is a quick list showing five tools that every roofing contractor should consider owning.
1. Roofing Software
Computers are controlling everything these days, whether we like them or not. As such, you should consider the use of some roofing software to make things easier.
Sure, you can do the job without it, but these programs can help you on many levels. They offer things like photograph analysis, cost estimations, custom timetables, and more.
Perhaps the handiest thing about this software is the fact that it can extrapolate the measurements of a roof simply by analyzing photographs taken from above.
From there, all it takes is a cheap camera drone to get the job done. These programs also do a good job of managing appointments and meetings so that you can concentrate more fully on the job at hand.
2. Magnetic Sweepers
It is virtually impossible to avoid making a mess at the job site. Whether it’s a big pile of refuse or a few scattered nails, a roofing job is bound to leave some remnants. Unfortunately, these remnants can pose a serious safety risk to those who live in or around the home.
They also pose a serious legal risk to your business. The biggest dangers would come from sharp objects like nails, screws, and scraps of metal flashing.
To get rid of this stuff and avoid costly lawsuits, most of the best contractors use a magnetic sweeper. This inexpensive device is little more than a broom with a magnetic pickup device. The sharp metal objects are drawn into the hollow base where you can safely dispose of them.
3. Roofing Hatchets
This is a low-tech tool, but it offers a long history of effective usage. Long before the advent of power tools, this tool served as the essential sidearm for all roofers. It is a very versatile tool, which is probably why hatchets have been commonly used since the stone age.
You can use a roofer’s hatchet to strike shingles or tiles as they lay against a flat surface. If done correctly, this will result in a straight line going down the length of the shingle.
You can then break it apart by hand or use a knife to finish the job with a little more precision. That’s just one of the many ways in which a roofing hatchet can come in handy.
4. Tear-Off Shovels
This tool, also sometimes known as a Shing-Go shovel, might not have the most appropriate name in the world. It may look like a shovel, but it’s more like a heavy-duty scraper.
These devices have an angled head, which allows them to pry like a crowbar. At one end of the bend, you will find sharp or semi-sharp teeth that are meant to dig in and remove the old roofing materials.
Before you can add a new roof, you must obviously tear off what’s left of the old one. These tools can get under the shingles and lift large sections of them at a time. Thus, it is probably the most efficient way to do this part of the job.
5. Hydraulic Scissor Lifts
Roofing is an inherently dangerous job, mostly because climbing on a roof is inherently dangerous. Although you are being paid for that danger, you don’t want to take any more risk than necessary. That’s where a hydraulic lift of some sort can be very handy indeed.
By using one of these, you avoid the sloped surface of the roof. It won’t completely eliminate the need for climbing, but it will greatly reduce that need.
Of course, this is just a small sample of the many tools that are available for the modern roofing contractor. While it can be tempting to stick with the older methods that you know well, we advise you to try new tools as often as you can. By doing this, you make sure that you and your crew don’t fall behind the times.
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Image credit: roofing tools by envato.com
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