Ever since my earliest days of installing solar in Chicago – before I relocated to sunnier Tucson – the challenge of noninvasively centering a lag screw on a rafter from the rooftop has captivated my attention and provoked my inventive energies.
In the industry it has long been common practice, wielding a drill and bit, to strafe several inches of waterproof membrane and deck and perforate the upper portion of the rafter from one side to the other and beyond. From the sensations felt during these probing forays, one approximates a target location for a lag screw whose trajectory, it is hoped, will remain near the center of the rafter.
There are several causes of concern about this practice, including the potential for roof leaks and structural damage. Cosmetic damage is also almost guaranteed when the rafters are exposed, as in a porch, eave, garage or a vaulted ceiling.
Early experimentation with magnets set me on a path that I have continued to develop and refine. I am pleased to present to you the result of these efforts: the RafterEye RE1, which directly indicates the centers of exposed or accessible rafters or trusses with no need for probing holes.
Read on to find out whether RafterEye may help professionalize and simplify your rooftop attachment processes.