Home>Discussions>HEALTH & SAFETY>Ladder Safety -- Roof Access
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cschofer
Re: Ladder Safety -- Roof Access
Lloyd wrote:

Ladder stabilizer

$25

I did some digging around in the basement and found that I had one of these on a shelf. However, I am not sure that I am going to be able to use it for this particular application. I presume that the legs of this stabilizer are meant to brace up against a wall? If so, I don't think that they are long enough to extend under the eave overhang.

A. Spruce
Re: Ladder Safety -- Roof Access
roofmaster wrote:

Probably the most important thing to note is that before you even think about stepping from the ladder to the roof and visa-verse, be certain to tie your ladder off to the gutter through one of the gutter straps. By doing this you eliminate the possibility of the ladder sliding sideways and losing your balance.

This only works when you KNOW the gutter ties are secure and safe to tie off to. As a professional you would know that, as a weekend warrior you probably wouldn't, so IMHO this shouldn't be suggested to novice users.

While gutter spikes are likely to be safe, they are only as safe as the structural integrity of the fascia or rafter tail they are nailed into. If the material is rotted, then no amount of rope or bungees is going to make that tied off ladder safe. For the sheet metal ties that are simply hooked into the upper lip of the gutter, there is NO structural integrity there at all for side loading with a ladder tie-off. Again, as a professional you'd know if what you're doing is safe and can proceed accordingly, as a novice you wouldn't and would be giving yourself a false sense of security in a very dangerous situation.

In all my years in the trade, I never once had to tie a ladder off to a gutter and never once had an issue with sliding or kick-out. With a ladder that is properly and firmly set, and a user that is cautious in their handling of the situation, the likelihood of having problems is small. If the user is uncomfortable with the situation then the user needs to be smart enough NOT to continue into a situation where they can get themselves hurt.

cschofer wrote:

I did some digging around in the basement and found that I had one of these on a shelf. However, I am not sure that I am going to be able to use it for this particular application. I presume that the legs of this stabilizer are meant to brace up against a wall? If so, I don't think that they are long enough to extend under the eave overhang.

It would take some fiddling, but you could probably adjust the support so that it contacts the roof at the back of the gutter. It would be pretty easy to set the ladder in the same spot each time you use it.

jkirk
Re: Ladder Safety -- Roof Access

no matter how much precaution you take with ladders, accidents can still happen, even tying the ladder to the gutter.

one of my good friends is also a journeyman carpenter, he was making hte transition from ladder to on the roof about 2 years ago. the ladder was tied and it still slid, he fell 15 ft and landed across the ladder. his tailbone was broken, the 12th vertabrae and one lung collapsed. he was off work for 14 months

what it comes down to if you dont have the balance or the mobility to get up on a roof, dont get on the roof. as a professional working in the industry i am on ladders all the time and there are certain situations which require ladders and i will not risk it. i would rather set up scaffold which is up 3'-4' above the fascia board with 2 decks set at the height of the fascia. this allows the worker the ability to simply step directly onto the roof and provides something to stop you from falling if you do slide down the roof

if you cant do it, hire someone who can.. theres being frugal and theres being stupid.. stores like home depot promote diy but theres a time and place for everything.. hd has stepped over those boundaries too far...

cschofer
Re: Ladder Safety -- Roof Access

It has been a while since I last posted anything on this thread, but I have a sort of follow-up question.

I have been working on and off for the last couple of weeks cleaning my gutters. I am nearly done, but I have run into a bit of a snag.

My ladder of choice for this job has been one of those multi-use ladders. As was the case when I started this thread, I feel more comfortable using the A-frame configuration than I do in its extension ladder configuration, but to date I have used both configurations to clean my gutters.

The gutters on the front of my house are out of reach with my ladder's A-frame configuration, but I can easily reach them when my ladder is set up as an extension ladder. However, I have about an 8 foot section of gutter with bushes underneath that prevent me from positioning the ladder safely in extension mode. What should I do? I have a few ideas (like buying a tall stepladder and positioning over the bushes or perhaps portable scaffolding, but I am not sure which direction I should take.

Thanks.

motoguy128
Re: Ladder Safety -- Roof Access

I have one of those telescope wands for my power washer. Ever thought of investing in one of those. I actually haven't used it yet, but I might try it this weekend. Probably about time to clean them again and the river bugs.

cschofer
Re: Ladder Safety -- Roof Access
motoguy128 wrote:

I have one of those telescope wands for my power washer. Ever thought of investing in one of those. I actually haven't used it yet, but I might try it this weekend. Probably about time to clean them again and the river bugs.

Does this work when you have weeds visibly growing in the gutter from ground level? :)

So far, my methods involved climbing a ladder and cleaning out the gutters by hand. I am just not sure how to best tackle this last section.

One thought I had was to buy or rent a taller stepladder. My local home store did not have these taller ladders for rent, but they had a few for sale. If I bought the ladder, but -- at about 16 feet in length -- I would have no place to store it. I suppose I could keep it in the crawl space under the house, but would it survive being exposed to the elements (mainly heat and cold)?

And yes... the cost of the ladder I have in mind is not cheap, but it would pay for itself in 1-2 years.

Fencepost
Re: Ladder Safety -- Roof Access
cschofer wrote:

One thought I had was to buy or rent a taller stepladder. My local home store did not have these taller ladders for rent, but they had a few for sale. If I bought the ladder, but -- at about 16 feet in length -- I would have no place to store it. I suppose I could keep it in the crawl space under the house, but would it survive being exposed to the elements (mainly heat and cold)?

Heat & cold shouldn't adversely affect the ladder. If the ladder is fiberglass, sunlight (ultraviolet light) will cause the resins binding the glass to degrade. Fiberglass ladders should be stored indoors or under cover. Wood ladders should be kept dry (as well as shaded). The only element that affects an aluminum ladder is stupidity.

A. Spruce
Re: Ladder Safety -- Roof Access
Fencepost wrote:

The only element that affects an aluminum ladder is stupidity.

A commodity that is in great abundance.

jackercracker
Re: Ladder Safety -- Roof Access

As a professional firefighter, climbing ladders is my bread and butter.
Maybe I can give you a few hints.
First, we always throw a ladder so there is 3 to 5 rungs above the edge of the roof for safety. 5 is preferable, because it allows you to transition more easily.
With extension ladders, it's always important to either tie the ladder off securely to the building, or have a helper hold the ladder while climbing. The helper should be underneath the ladder facing away from the building, pulling each beam firmly towards the building while the worker climbs. The helper should wear a helmet and always look forward and never up ( to avoid getting debris in the eyes).
Make sure the ladder is in good repair. Once I was hanging heavy wood shutters on the 3rd story of a large house, and the rung I was standing on broke. I landed heavily on the next rung below. Thankfully my friend was holding most of the weight of the shutter from inside the window, and it was only by the grace of God that I managed to stay aloft.
As mentioned before, be very careful of electrical drops etc., wind, ensuring safe footing of the ladder butt, and so forth.
Have a healthy respect for ladders, they maim and kill more people every year than you would think, but they are a great tool when used wisely.

dj1
Re: Ladder Safety -- Roof Access

jackercracker - well explained.

When it comes to ladder safety, firemen have more experience than anybody, including roofers.

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