2/8/22 10:15 AM 7 min read

Three Essential Tools for Commercial or Industrial Roof Replacement


Commercial roofing is a lengthy and intricate process that involves the knowledge, skill and expertise of many skilled roofing professionals working in tandem. In addition to possessing expertise and teamwork, the deployment of many special tools and pieces of equipment is mandatory. Like the old saying goes, “There’s a tool for every job.”

Commercial and industrial building owners should expect their commercial roofing contractors to be equipped with all the latest and greatest tools necessary to perform any job at any given time. In addition to the varying types of membranes, fasteners, insulations and adhesives, there are some essential tools for roof replacement.

Though often overlooked in the grand scale of a roof replacement, there are three essential tools that no commercial roofer can do without: the hand welder, the safety harness and – obvious as it may sound – your everyday ladder.

Hand Welders

Hand welders are important pieces of equipment crucial to the proper installation of single-ply membranes like TPO and PVC. Properly welded seams are essential for trouble-free single-ply roofs. Hand welders are used to seal seams in important areas like the field overlaps and the flashings. Hand welders are powered via electricity, either by rooftop units like HVAC, or from portable generators lifted onto the roof surface. Hand welders are operated by a single person usually in tandem with a handheld probe, to ensure the seams being welded are completely melded. Strong welds are key to ensuring the final installation functions as a single sheet of membrane covering the entire roof system. Hand welders are used primarily on single-ply roof systems.

Safety Harnesses

Safety harnesses are the last line of defense when working on an exposed edge during a commercial roof project. If no safety rails are present, a roofer can be only inches away from near-certain death at any moment. Safety harnesses are a simple yet effective form of fall protection that can be worn over work clothes and attached via lanyard or anchor to the steel decking on the roof surface, or a weighted safety cart lifted onto the roof. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that commercial roofers wear a safety harness when working on an exposed edge. Safety harnesses are found on practically every commercial roofing job, no matter the height from which a contractor is working.

See related blogWhy Best Practices in Workplace Safety Matter


The last of the three essential tools may seem like a no-brainer, yet they can be overlooked. After all, ladders have been around for centuries. In fact, a ladder is featured in a Mesolithic rock painting that is at least 10,000 years old. The painting depicts ancient people using the ladder to acquire honeycomb from a beehive atop a tree. Today, ladders are used for many jobs, but a roofer without a ladder is like a fish out of water. Not a single day goes by that we do not use some type of ladder to reach a roof surface, whether it be an extendable, foldable or anchored ladder. The ladders we deploy here at Roberts Roofing Company are made of heavy wood or rigid fiberglass and can be found in abundance either on a jobsite or mounted to a ladder rack on a company vehicle for easy access.

When your commercial roof needs to be replaced, you want to make sure you employ a professional commercial roofing contractor that has the right tools for the job. While we have just scratched the surface in this blog, certain tools are essential to getting the job done correctly.

See Related Blog: Why Your Commercial Roofer Should Own a Boom Truck 

Roberts Roofing Company has been a leading provider of innovative commercial and industrial roofing solutions in Cleveland, Ohio since 1981. We provide commercial and industrial roof repair, replacement and maintenance to serve companies of all sizes in Ohio and the surrounding region, offering a combination of technical expertise, custom solutions and quality workmanship to every project.

To find out more about selecting a commercial and industrial roofing contractor in Cleveland, Ohio, simply fill out the form on this page and a member of our team will be in touch. Or, you may call us at 440.745.8578.