Fixing your own roof is something best left to the professional. However, there are a couple of DIY tasks that you can perform as well. What you do have to understand, however, is that you have to think very carefully about the tools that you use. Your life, quite literally, depends on it! One of the key things you have to consider is which ladder to choose. And with so many heavy duty aluminum ladders to choose from, you may feel somewhat overwhelmed in terms of your choices. However, there are actually only four things that you really need to think about.
Factor #1 – The Style of the Ladder
This isn’t about which style suits your personal tastes, and what matches your house. Rather, this is about the type of ladder. There are two key options when it comes to roofing, which are:
- The extension ladder.
- The step ladder.
Most people own step ladders, but these really are not suitable for roofing projects. In fact, they are an accident waiting to happen! You must purchase an extension ladder for a roofing project, even if you want to work on a bungalow.
Factor #2 – The Height of the Ladder
You have to make sure that your ladder comfortably reaches your eave. A rule of thumb is that, if the ladder is properly set at the right angle, it should extend above the eave by three foot at least. This will ensure that you have something to grip when you go up and down the ladder. A 28 foot ladder is generally the right length for a standard property. This will enable you to get two stories up in height. At the same time, because of the double rungs, you will be extra safe if you work on a one story property because you will have excellent footing.
Factor #3 – The Weight of the Ladder
There are five ratings of ladders, which all refer to how much weigh they can carry. You need to add to your own weight the weight of any tools and materials that you will take up with you in order to find out which weight you need. The options are:
- Type I – heavy duty – 250 pounds.
- Type II – medium duty – 225 pounds.
- Type III – light duty – 200 pounds.
- Type IA – extra heavy duty – 300 pounds.
- Type IAA – special duty – 375 pounds.
Factor #4 – The Material of the Ladder
Once upon a time, a ladder was always made from wood. Those ladders still exist, but fiberglass and aluminum are now a lot more common. Aluminum is very lightweight, as well as strong, and therefore the preferred choice. That said, fiberglass can also work very well for roofing, because it is heavy, giving you a feeling of security, particularly when it is extended. If there are overhead electricity lines, you must use a fiberglass ladder.
Every year, around 170,000 people in this country have accidents relating to ladders. Don’t be one of those statistics!