How to Choose a Ladder

0.6.8_file000254189189-150x150The roofing professionals from All American Roofing know that homeowners need to perform regular maintenance on their roof and roofing features to keep them looking great while they protect their home. We also know that in order to maintain your roof, you will need to get on to your roof to perform inspections to determine the need for repairs. The most common way for a homeowner to access their roof is to climb a ladder to reach their roof. However, may homeowners may be unfamiliar with how to choose a ladder that is right for their particular needs. This is why All American Roofing has provided a few helpful tips for how to choose a ladder.

Considerations and Ladder Basics

Ladders are primarily constructed of three materials – wood, fiberglass and aluminum. it may seem like a no-brainer but the work environment will determine which ladder is the best option. For instance, if you are working around exposed wires, you will not want to use an aluminum ladder because it can conduct electricity – leading to shocks and electrocution. In contrast, if there is no electrical concerns where you are working, then an aluminum ladder is the lightest weight option and may be the easiest for you to use.

Another important factor to evaluate when selecting a ladder is the ability of that ladder to fully support the weight of a homeowner and any equipment he or she has with them on a ladder. To determine the load placed on the ladder add the following:

  • Your weight
  • The weight of any safety equipment carried or placed on the ladder
  • The weight of any tools carried or placed on the ladder

Once you know how much weight your ladder needs to support, you can select a ladder that is properly rated to bear that much weight.

  • Type IAA (Extra Heavy Duty): Up to 375lbs
  • Type IA (Extra Heavy Duty): Up to 300lbs
  • Type I (Heavy Duty): Up to 250lbs
  • Type II (Medium Duty): Up to 225lbs
  • Type III (Light Duty): Up to 200lbs

Finally, your ladder needs to be the appropriate height. Using a ladder that is too short or too long can be unsafe. Never stand on the top step of a ladder, standing on the top step can create instability and make falls more likely. Likewise, a ladder that is too long (extends more than three feet beyond the highest support point) will lose stability, making a fall more likely.