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The Guardian Fall Team Blog

If you haven’t gotten the memo yet, it’s summer! And, if you are a homeowner, I’d be willing to bet there will be some nagging reason you need to traipse up to the roof. Maybe it’s a broken shingle, or cleaning the gutters, or maybe you are the ambitious homeowner planning on making an addition for a soon-to-be arriving family member. No matter the reason, don’t hit the roof without considering your fall protection solution. Luckily for you, we’ve put together a kit called the Bucket of Safe-Tie that includes everything you need to ensure what goes up, comes down safely.

All of the Buckets of Safe-Tie are based around our popular Vertical Lifeline Assembly (25’ or 50’), a Velocity full-body harness, and one of several different types of anchors. The VLL includes a built-in shock absorber (to help keep weight off your back), a squeeze-action rope positioning device with lanyard, and heavy duty Poly-Steel rope. The Velocity harness features 5-point adjustability for a perfect fit, and red core webbing that lets you know if the harness has experienced excessive wear, making inspections a snap. The obvious question is: Which Bucket of Safe-Tie do I need? What separates the Buckets of Safe-Tie from each other is which roof anchor is included, so it’s probably worth a few moments to go over each type so you can make the best decision as to which anchor will fit your particular situation.

 

Part # 00805 (25’) / 00815 (50’) Bucket of Safe-Tie w/ Temper Anchor

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Probably the most popular Bucket of Safe-Tie, this version includes our versatile Temper Anchor. The Temper Anchor can be installed either directly on sheathing or over top of shingles. The Temper Anchor can straddle the ridge, allowing access to both sides of the roof, or if needed, be installed into the field of the roof (between trusses), for single-sided or steep applications – the choice is yours.
The Temper Anchor is also compatible with metal or concrete substrates (see instructions for details), and its durable steel and galvanized construction means it is perfectly suitable for permanent installations. So if you want to leave the Temper Anchor in place for use during future work, go ahead – it can take it. However, if you want to take the Temper Anchor with you to another job (or section of the roof), just remove the screws (recommended to prevent damage during de-installation), fill any holes as needed, and install in the new location – easy.

 

Part # 00800 (25’) / 00810 (50’) Bucket of Safe-Tie w/ Snappy Disposable Anchor

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The Bucket of Safe-Tie w/ Snappy Disposable Anchor is a kind of purpose-built kit that we see in use on a lot of new residential roofing jobs. Once sheathing is up, simply install a few Snappys in strategic locations, connect your VLL, and get to laying shingle. When you’ve completed the work right up to the Snappy, there’s no need to remove the anchor, just (carefully) disconnect your VLL, pound over the exposed part of the anchor, and shingle right over top.


The Snappy Anchor and new roof construction go hand-in-hand because the Snappy is designed for wood substrates only, and must be removed and discarded (or pounded over and covered as mentioned above) after use. This is also why the Bucket of Safe-Tie w/ Snappy Disposable Anchor includes five Snappy anchors from the get-go. But don’t worry if you use them all on your first job, we know where you can get more – lots more, if you need them.

 

Part # 00803 (25’) / 00813 (50’) Bucket of Safe-Tie w/ SP Anchor

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The Bucket of Safe-Tie with SP Anchor is similar to our Snappy version in that the anchor is intended for use only with wood substrates, but has the added benefit of being reusable when installed with the included screws. The SP Anchor also has slightly longer legs, making it a little easier to span the gap of a vented roof during construction and still ensure proper installation.

 

Thoughts on Steep Roofs

Before signing off and leaving you pondering your future Bucket of Safe-Tie purchase, I’d like to spend a few moments on the topic of steep roofs. All of the anchors mentioned above are rated for 0/12 to 12/12 roof pitches. However, that does not mean that they cannot be used on pitches steeper than 12/12, such as those on the many A-Frame houses common in many woodsy (or snowy) locations. The 12/12 limit refers to conditions when the anchor straddles the peak of the roof. That means it’s optimal for the anchor legs to be at about a 45 degree angle (from vertical) for optimum performance. So, what to do on those 60 degree (21/12) roofs?


The solution is to use the anchor in its 0/12 configuration, and add a second anchor to the other side of the roof, or, if you are using a reusable anchor, move it once work is complete. Once a roof gets steeper than 12/12, the angle of the peak (depending on how it’s constructed) can sometimes present slight difficulties for attaching an anchor properly. The point here is to, instead of bending the anchor into some unnatural position that only allows two nails or screws to be installed, flatten it out and install the anchor on one side of the roof with proper number of fasteners as indicated in the instructions. Remember, our anchors were designed, manufactured, and tested to be used in the method proscribed in the instructions. Deviate from that proper installation method and you run the risk of…well, let’s just say don’t do it.

As a matter of fact, you can use this bit of information any time you run into challenging installations with one of our roof anchors. Just make sure you have the proper orientation to avoid side-loading, and install as normal. Sometimes it’s necessary to think outside of the box when you’re actually building the box – so to speak. Take a look at the graphic below:

 

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The anchor on the right is installed in what we might call a conventional method: the anchor straddles the peak of the roof, the legs are positioned over a truss (not shown), and all of the fasteners are used. This is probably the most common way a Bucket of Safe-Tie anchor is used.

The middle anchor is a little bit different. In this installation, even though this is a pitched roof, the anchor is installed as if the roof were flat: the legs are both on the same side of the roof, they are positioned over a truss (not shown), and all of the fasteners are used. This is also a perfectly safe and approved method of installing the anchor. Installing an anchor using this method can help you overcome challenging situations such as a wide or bulky ridge, or an exceptionally large roof where it might be advantageous to use a mid-span anchor.

In both cases, the only thing you’ll need to make sure of is that the anchor is oriented appropriately, and that you will not impart any side-loading forces to the anchor.  For more information on this, see the instructions for the Snappy Anchor here.

By now you’ve noticed the “anchor” on the left. Actually, it’s not really an anchor, but a vent pipe. Unfortunately, this example comes from real life, and in fact, from a good friend of mine who shall remain nameless, right, Kyle? Although his heart was in the right place and he purchased a Bucket of Safe-Tie at the request of his wife, his choice of a suitable anchor location was somewhat, how shall we say, lacking. His excuse turned out to be having a little bit of difficulty getting the Temper Anchor over the ridge of the roof. Instead of thinking outside of the box and installing the anchor like the middle example above, he just wrapped the VLL around a vent pipe, making a nearly fatal mistake. Needless to say, I had a few rather terse (but instructive) words with him.

Hopefully by now you have a better idea of which version of our Bucket of Safe-Tie is the best for your specific application.  If you still have questions about a challenging installation location, feel free to give us a call. Our knowledgeable customer service department is happy to help.