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What Is A Roof Jack and What Is Its Role?

Posted on : June 26, 2024

What Is A Roof Jack and What Is Its Role?

Your roof is made from many different components that provide them with structural strength and durability. Roof jacks are essential to many homes and buildings, even though you may have never heard of them. 

At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, we aim to provide highly reliable roof replacement and installation services, and related information. Here we will explore roofing jacks, from what they are to types based on both materials and functionality. 

What Is A Roof Jack?

To understand what a roof jack is, you first need to understand that there are two types of roof jacks. One is part of your roof, and the other is used by workers who install, replace, or repair your roof. Both are used for different purposes. 

The two types of roof jacks are:

  1. Pipe Roof Jack
  2. Safety Roof Jack

A pipe roof jack is a fixture that helps safeguard the roof from elements like rain and snow. It is designed as a flat base for a pipe that fits tightly to the roof surface around the penetration opening. These roof jacks are specifically designed to accommodate pipes and wires that need to pass through the roof. Pipe roof jacks are integral parts of a roof

The other type of roof jack is a temporary supporting structure workers use during roof maintenance or replacement. These are typically adjustable frames or platforms that allow workers to distribute their weight safely and store their tools without damaging the roof surface.

What Is The Role Of Pipe Roof Jack?

Pipe roof jacks provide a watertight seal while allowing the vent and exhaust pipes to pass through the roof properly. Without them, rain and moisture could enter where the pipe penetrates the roof surface. 

Properly installed and maintained roof jacks ensure that the necessary functional elements like plumbing vents and combustion exhaust can penetrate the roof without compromising the weathertight integrity of the roof system.

Pipe Roof Jack

How Long Does A Pipe Roof Jack Last?

Generally, pipe roof jacks last between 15 and 30 years, depending on the material and overall quality of the jack itself. However, the weather conditions and climate of your local surroundings can also have a significant impact on the lifespan of the roof jack. If the roofing material itself is degrading or showing signs of wear, the roof jack can degrade as well since it is part of the roof system. To ensure optimal longevity, it is crucial to maintain regular cleaning and inspection routines for your roof jacks. By addressing the issues right away, you can maintain their lifespan and prevent premature failure or costly replacements.

What Are The Different Materials Used For A Pipe Roof Jack?

Pipe roof jacks are available in different materials. Choose the material that complements your roof's overall appearance and functionality. 

  1. Plastic
  2. Aluminum
  3. Galvanized Steel
  4. Copper

What Are The Different Types Of Pipe Roof Jacks?

Pipe roof jacks are further classified into three different subcategories:

1. Curb Roof Jacks

These roof jacks are designed for flat roofs or low-pitched roofs. They create a raised surface around the pipe or vent to provide better drainage for water or snow. These roof jacks are easy to install and maintain. 

2. Saddle Roof Jacks

Saddle roof jacks are designed for pitched roofs. They have a saddle-shaped flashing that goes over the roof ridge and provides a watertight seal. This type of roof jack is suitable for roofs with varying pitches, ensuring a secure and weatherproof seal around pipes and vents.

3. Boot Roof Jacks

Boot roof jacks have a more flexible base that can accommodate a wider range of pipe sizes and roof pitches. This flexibility makes them versatile for various roofing configurations and pipe sizes.

How Much Does It Cost To Install Pipe Roof Jacks?

The average cost for a professional roof jack installation for a homeowner typically ranges from $10 to $45. However, the exact cost can differ depending on the specific material chosen. On an hourly basis, homeowners can expect to spend between $100 and $350 for roof jack installation services. If the structure of your roof is steeply pitched or features a high slope, the overall cost may increase further to account for the added complexity of the job.

Roof Jacks

What Are The Signs That A Pipe Roof Jack Needs To Be Replaced?

These are some noticeable signs that your roof jacks need replacement:

  • Water Leakage: If you notice any leakage around vents or pipes, there is a chance that the roof jack needs replacement.
  • Cracks and Damage: If you notice any damage or cracks in your roof jack, it’s a sign you need to replace them to avoid any further damage to other roof materials. 
  • Exhaust Issues: If you feel that your exhaust systems, such as those for plumbing pipes, are not functioning properly or venting efficiently, it could be due to a damaged or improperly installed roof jack. 

What Is The Role Of Safety Roof Jack?

Safety roof jacks ensure the well-being of the workers. They provide stable support and reduce the chances of injuries and accidents. Workers need to carry their tools during roof repairs or replacements, which can be tricky on steep roofs. These jacks provide an extra surface for the workers to keep their tools and materials, and stand or sit during the project. 

What Are The Different Types Of Safety Roof Jacks?

There are three main types of safety roof jacks:

1. Simple Roof Jacks

These roofing jacks have a simple design and are the most basic type of roof jack. They are made of metal brackets that can be hooked onto the roof rafters (the slanted wooden beams that make up the roof frame). A wooden plank or board is then placed to rest on the brackets. This creates a simple platform for workers to stand on and keep their tools during roofing work. 

2. Walkable Roof Jacks

Walkable roof jacks are designed to provide a safer and more stable working surface than simple jacks. These safety jacks have a wider platform made of tough and durable materials like metal or wood. Walkable jacks often have additional safety features like guardrails or handrails around the edges. These act as a barrier to prevent dangerous falls from the elevated platform.

3. Ridge Jacks

Ridge jacks are specialized roof jacks meant for working specifically on the peak or ridge of a roof. They have a unique V-shaped bracket that is designed to fit snugly onto the ridgeline. This V-shape allows the bracket to properly support and secure the jack on that angled roof ridge. Ridge jacks provide a safe, stable platform for roofing tasks that must be performed at the ridge area of a roof.

Call McClellands Contracting and Roofing For Your Roof Replacement In Pittsburgh, PA

Choosing an experienced partner to replace your roof is important to ensure a successful and faultless roofing project. At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, we have a team of skilled roofers who will work closely with you to understand your requirements and provide high-quality results. 

Our team of professionals has years of experience in the roofing industry and is well-versed in handling all types of roofing materials, including metal, shingles, tile, and more. We use industry best practices and top-rated materials to ensure that your new roof is both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, we have successfully replaced many roofs in Pittsburgh, PA, and the surrounding areas. You can count on us to provide quality roof replacement services. From the major consultation to the final cleanup, we will keep you involved and informed throughout the entire process. For a free consultation, call us today at (412) 353-5660.

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