How to Use a Roof Anchor


Roof anchors come in different shapes and sizes and are designed to fit roofs with different pitches. Anchors are normally designed to be attached to the underlying roof rafters. Most residential roof anchors are temporary and should be removed before shingles are installed. You can buy a roof anchor at your local roofing supply store for about $20. This small investment will provide you with enhanced roof safety.

Things You'll Need

  • Extension ladder
  • Hammer
  • 16d nails
  • 3/8 nylon rope
  • Nail bar
  • Draw a rough sketch of the site plan for the roof anchors. Locate the anchors 12 inches below the peak and a minimum of 6 feet from exposed edges.

  • Set the extension ladder up to extend at least 3 feet above the edge of the roof. This will give you something to hold onto as you get off the ladder and onto the roof. Hammer one 16d nail into a roof rafter along the edge to provide a secure anchoring point. Ensure that the ladder does not slide by fastening one end of the 3/8 nylon rope to the nail. Fasten the opposite end of the rope to the top of the ladder. Climb onto the roof.

  • Lift a shingle tab. Use your sketch to properly place the anchors. Slide an anchor under the shingle. Hammer roof nails into each predetermined nail slot. Ensure that the nails enter a rafter.

  • Secure a row of anchors in 8-foot intervals across the roof. Position the anchors directly over the rafters.

  • Remove the anchors by prying them off with the nail bar before shingling the areas in which they were located.

Tips & Warnings

  • Inspect equipment for damaged or missing parts prior to use.
  • Do not install anchors on fascia boards, eaves, or overhangs.
  • Install multiple roof anchors along the gable ends of low-pitched roofs.

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