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Old 08-16-2013, 10:04 AM   #1
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Extension ladder advice


Before I ask the questions, let me first say I am a bit paranoid around ladders. I don't have a big problem getting up and down, but when I am near the roof and need to get on and get off, I have a hard time.

There has been a chronic leak issue on the roof on this property (which I rent out) and I need to address it. It's a gable roof, with tiles. So two sides I have the A shape with the roof going up to a peak then back down. I don't like to put my ladder on these sides as the end of the tiles there are sloped and rounded.

The other two sides are horizontal edges, better, but has a galvanized gutter across, so my ladder had to rest over the gutter, and when I climb on, the gutter sort of give a little. I am not sure...

I have heard of ladder stabilizers, do those work? If I attach stabilizers so they rest over the wood fascia instead of the gutter would that be more secure?

Also I might need a new ladder. My existing one is damaged. I only need to get up to about 10-12 feet most, so I am thinking a 16' extension ladder would work best. Should I use fiberglass or aluminum? Which on is safer and feel more sturdy?

Thanks.

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Old 08-16-2013, 10:23 AM   #2
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Extension ladder advice


i am leary of getting off, and mostly back on, a ladder up on the roof.

i like fiberglass myself.

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Old 08-16-2013, 11:11 AM   #3
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Extension ladder advice


Fiberglass is safer and sturdier. Downside heavier. Considering the way you feel about ladders why not consult a pro. After you deduct the price of a 16' fiberglass ladder the price might be worth it.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:38 PM   #4
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Extension ladder advice


I agree with you fiber glass is safe and good in your situation, and the price there is a huge difference in both.
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Old 08-16-2013, 02:42 PM   #5
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Extension ladder advice


I am using fiberglass ladder it is good, secure and safer, so I suggest that.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:50 PM   #6
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Extension ladder advice


Quote:
Originally Posted by miamicuse View Post
I have heard of ladder stabilizers, do those work? If I attach stabilizers so they rest over the wood fascia instead of the gutter would that be more secure? .
Yes they do work. You can rest the stabilizer on the roof without touching the gutters. Very safe, I was using mine today. There's a couple of different styles, this is the type I'd recommend. http://www.lowes.com/pd_95493-287-AC78_0__

As far as the ladder there are five different ladder Duty Ratings and of course with five different price points. To say fiberglass is sturdier is misleading it's the rating that matters.

Type IAA (Extra Heavy Duty) 375 pounds
Type IA (Extra Heavy Duty) 300 pounds
Type I (Heavy Duty) 250 pounds
Type II (Medium Duty) 225 pounds
Type III (Light Duty) 200 pounds

Fiberglass is heavy compared to aluminum. Since I'm packing ladders almost daily I prefer aluminum.

And yes fiberglass is safer in terms of coming into contact with electricity but for me I have a greater chance of wrecking my back righting a heavy ladder then I do having it come in contact with a power line or getting struck by lightning.
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:01 PM   #7
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Extension ladder advice


just a couple of things to add.
Ladder stabilizers can make it feel more solid and also help to nut crush gutters (eaves-through).

Make sure you have it at the right angle. 1' out for every 4' up.
There should be at least 3' above the roof.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:17 PM   #8
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Extension ladder advice


I used to jump from rafter to rafter or ceiling joist to joist without every thinking about it. When I started wearing continuous ladders a developed a pronounced and irrational fear of ladders, open stair cases and things. Like you, once on a sturdy ladder I am fine. Making the step from the rooftop to the first rung gets my heart pounding. And as a painter, ladders were part of what I did.

Anyhow, I like fiberglass ladders but they are pricier and heavier to lug around. There is really nothing wrong with an appropriate aluminum ladder. That first rung down is going to be in the same place no matter the ladder material?

If you only have occasional need for 10-12 feet of extension ladder? But have other household needs? The reconfigurable ladder systems, are not a bad buy for the homeowner in my opinion. Those I have encountered are very well made. I guess they are a little pricey but if you can replace stepladders, stairsteppers and extension ladders with one sysem? $350 retail is not so bad.

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