If there is one thing that every roof repair company knows, it is that safely working on roofs requires the right equipment. When it comes to ladders, not every ladder will do for performing maintenance or repairs on your roof.
Whether you are cleaning the gutters or doing a minor repair, take the important advice offered here by experienced roof repair services. Prevent injuries by always using the right ladder in the right way.
Ladders Are Dangerous
Each year, nearly 100,000 people receive emergency treatment for falls and other injuries sustained while working on a ladder. Even though they seem easy enough to work with, ladders are very dangerous when not properly selected or used safely.
You may have a ladder at home and think nothing of propping it against the side of your house and climbing up to do some minor roof repair or maintenance. Yet before you do this, make sure you choose the right ladder for the job and know how to use it safely.
Choose the Right Ladder
When working on roofs, you need a ladder that has the following four important qualities:
- Outdoor use design, like a tall stepladder, extension ladder, or combination ladder.
- Enough length to safely prop against the top of your house and reach the roof.
- A weight rating on its safety label that is more than enough to support your weight.
- Be in perfect working condition and have no bolts or parts missing and no damage such as bent or kinked parts.
Your ladder should also have flat or positional feet that are functional and in good condition to keep it stable. If you are doing more than just gutter cleaning and need to actually go up on the roof, have a safety harness and rope as well. If you do not have a safety harness and rope to use with your ladder, a better recommendation is to call an experienced roof repair service to have them go up onto your roof instead.
Use Your Ladder Safely
Preventing falls and other accidents while doing roof repair is easy as long as you know how to properly set up and use your ladder. It should always be set up on level, solid ground on a day when the weather is good. Stay away from power lines and avoid working in windy or wet weather.
If necessary, put something on the ground to prevent the feet from sinking into soft soil. Extend the ladder two or three feet higher than the edge of the roof. Set it up at enough of an angle so the weight of the ladder is leaning on the top of the house. Ladders for working on roofs can also be leveled using ladder chocks if necessary.
Prepare for the Climb
Once your ladder is set up, prepare for the climb. Throw the safety rope over the roof to the other side of the house. Secure it to a tree or some other solid structure. Put on your safety harness and adjust it properly.
Wearing slip-resistant shoes, climb the ladder halfway and pull the rope tight over the house. Make a loop with the end of the rope and snap the lanyard to your harness. When you climb the rest of the way up, make another loop higher up and move the lanyard to this loop.
Although the best recommendation is to leave most roof repair to the professionals, there are times when you may need to climb a ladder to access your roof. Whether you are cleaning gutters or doing an emergency repair until an experienced roof repair contractor can get there, safety begins with your ladder. Preventing dangerous falls from roofs is easy with the right equipment and procedures!