Roofing Safety Tips: Buying And Using The Right Ladder For The Job

Construction & Contractors Articles

If your roof is in a state of disrepair, then it is in your best interest to complete repairs or maintenance within a timely manner.  Your roof protects your home from rain, snow, sleet, and wind, and it helps to keep both warm and cool air inside your house.  Roofing professionals or contractors from sites like http://www.palmerroofing.net can generally make repairs within a short period of time.  You can try to make the fixes yourself as well, but you need to be extremely careful due to the height of your roof.  You can be safe as long as you make repairs from a ladder instead of on top of your home.  Follow the tips below to make sure you buy, setup, and use your ladder correctly.

Purchasing the Right Ladder

If you want to work on your roof to make repairs, then it is wise to stay as close to the ground as possible.  Most single story homes are about nine feet high up to the base of the roof, but the roof peak generally sits another nine feet above this height.  Setting yourself against the roof line or roof base with a ladder will mean the difference between a nine and eighteen foot fall. 

Go to your local home store and purchase an extension ladder.  Extension ladders are typically sold in standard sizes, so look for a sixteen or twenty foot ladder if you own a one story home.  If you have a two story house, then a purchase a twenty-four or twenty-eight foot ladder.  If you intend on carry roofing shingles, nails, and buckets of tar material up the ladder, then make sure the load capacity of the ladder matches the amount of weight that the device will be exposed to.  Commercial grade ladders can retain the most amount of stress, so consider one of these items.

Securing the Ladder

Once you purchase the correct ladder, find a flat area on the side of your home that will provide direct access to the broken areas of your roof.  Extend the ladder to the correct height to reach the roof ledge.  Lean the ladder against your home and place the toes of your shoes on top of the ladder's feet.  Extend your hands straight out and try to grab the rungs of the ladder.  Adjust the angle of the ladder either closer or further from your home until your hands can grasp the rungs fully.  The ladder will be positioned at the right angle at this time.  To make sure it is as stable as possible, dig two small two or three inch holes underneath the feet of the ladder and set the feet inside the indentations.

Your ladder will be quite secure and safe at this time, so you can safely work on your roof.  However, if you want to make sure that your ladder cannot fall backward while you are working, consider purchasing a roof hook.  This type of device will hook onto your roof and your ladder at the same time.  The hook is a good choice, because roof work will require you to stand high on the edge of the ladder with little support.

Adding Slip Resistance

If you intend on using bleach, high-pressured water, or another type of treatment to clean or sanitize your roof, then it is very likely that your ladder will become wet in the process.  A wet ladder can be quite slippery, and a good pair of shoes with rubber soles and deep patterning within the rubber are a good choice.  You also can make sure that your ladder is as slip-resistant as possible before you start using it.

To add slip-resistance, use a type of outdoor paint to cover the surface of each ladder rung.  Allow the paint to dry for about 15 minutes and then sprinkle sand over the paint.  Play sand that your purchase from your local home store will work well for this.  Allow the paint to dry for one day afterwards.  Once the paint dries, the ladder rungs will be covered with a surface that is much like sandpaper.

If you have decided to complete work on your own roof, then it is wise to use a ladder to access your roof as much as possible.  You will need to buy the right ladder, set it up properly, and add slip-resistance to ensure your safety though.

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