Installing Roof Anchors

Rope grab connected to a Tower Hook.

Ryan F. from PWNG Restoring a Cedar Roof Using D-rings and Rope Grabs

better safe than sorry png

When working on roofs safety is always a serious concern. Osha has listed 6858 fall related deaths between 1992 and 2010. I’m going to throw out a number right quick and I am asking you to repeat it with me. 360. 360.

That is the number of fatalities this year will have from fall related injuries. Yes thats right. The year isnt even over and we can tally the number of people who wont be coming home to a loved one, a child or spouse.

 never get up on a roof without the proper safety equipment and never try installing something you aren’t familiar with. 

The leading causes of private sector worker deaths (excluding highway collisions) in the construction industry were falls, followed by struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for more than half (64.2%) the construction worker deaths in 2015, BLS reports.

Roof anchors are part of any roof cleaner’s arsenal. Without knowing how to install them properly you can cause leaks in a home and very real injuries to the person hooking off. In this post we will be addressing how to safely, quickly and correctly install a permanent double-d roof anchor.  The procedure consists of 4 steps:

  1. Finding a roof rafter
  2. Removing the shingles.
  3. Installing the roof anchor
  4. Replacing the roof shingles.


For a roof anchor to do its job it must be installed into a roof rafter. Finding a roof rafter without tearing off a large area of shingles can be tricky. We use (2) methods to find a rafter:

  1. Knocking: This can be something only someone with experience can do, if you have a good ear you can hear the difference in the banging of your hammer off of the roof shingles. Find a spot that doesn’t sound hollow and mark the area.
  2. Follow the roof rafter from the soffit area. This method works better with someone on the ground directing the person installing roof anchor to a general area they should begin removing the shingles.


Depending on what type of roofing you are removing different tools are used. For cedar roofs a Dasco shingle ripper is a great tool to have.  Carefully remove the shingles and set them aside for after the installation of the roof anchor.


After the shingles have been removed and you are down to the level of roofing paper, install the roof anchor with the provided screws or nails. We prefer to use a double D-ring roof anchor to allow its use on both sides of the roof.  Make sure to nail or screw directly into the roof ridge.


Once you’ve installed the roof anchor, replace the roofing shingles you previously removed. Henrys 208 roof caulking is our choice for filling holes, caused by removing the shingles. Make sure everything is replaced correctly and there are no intrusions into the roofing area that can cause a leak.

When working on roofs safety is always a serious concern, never get up on a roof without the proper safety equipment and never try installing something you aren’t familiar with. Carefully read the instructions on your roofing anchors and follow our guideline for the best practices to use when installing roof anchors.