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Old 04-08-2010, 02:41 PM   #1
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How to safely get on roof?


I've got a 2 story that's pretty high up there. I've had roofers up there a couple of times replacing shingles and they keep coming off. I've decided it's time to take matters in my own hands, get up there myself and take a look at this bad boy. I read a couple really good articles on how to setup the extension ladder safely.

My question is, what's the safest way to step from the ladder to the roof. The few articles I found on this subject indicated to extend ladder a couple of feet above roof line. This sounds kind scary, I would think one would then have to side step on to the roof?

The place where I'm going to get on the roof does have a aliumum downspout. I hope to add a extra gutter strap/spike when I'm up there.

My idea was to position the top of the ladder so that it peaks a small amount (1/2 a foot or something) above the roof and then climb "over" the top of the ladder and on to the roof. Is this a good idea?

Any other good tips/ideas to get up there safely?

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Old 04-08-2010, 03:21 PM   #2
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How to safely get on roof?


I'm no safety engineer, but I was always taught to put the ladder several feet above the top, then step off the side onto the roof. You don't want to be going over the top of the ladder to get on the roof. If you have the top of the ladder too low, there is nothing to hold onto with your hand while you are stepping on/off the ladder.

Firefighter example:


Diagram found on the 'net.


Last edited by hyunelan2; 04-08-2010 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:08 PM   #3
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How to safely get on roof?


Hey you might want to take a look at a product like this... Ladder Safety Extension
It eliminates the need to step around the ladder
It may be a bit pricey, but a perfect solution for the ladder to roof transfer.

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Old 04-08-2010, 06:49 PM   #4
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How to safely get on roof?


I always go over the top, less then 12" sticks up over the roof edge
To step sideways may push the ladder away
And trying to step off the roof onto the ladder that way...not me
I have access from one floor, so not that high off the ground

With the addition I built a door in from the attic so now I just open the door & step onto the roof

How steep is your roof ?
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:16 PM   #5
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How to safely get on roof?


Ladder should be angled out 1 foot for every four feet vertical. Also, the ladder should exceed the gutter line by approx three feet. Never step on a rung higher than the gutter line and step off on the side you feel most comfortable. At least thats how I was taught.
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:20 PM   #6
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How to safely get on roof?


when you crawl over the ladder at gutter height you are set to slide left or right or kick the ladder out. same problem getting back on only worse because you're backing into it. above roof is best, and depending on pitch you need to be roped off, actually always roped off
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:12 PM   #7
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How to safely get on roof?


I spent 25 years in the fire service and the picture above is correct. We always had the ladder a minimum of three rungs above the point it touched the roof. If you are unsure of yourself, you really ought to consider not going up and save yourself the hospital bill. Roofs aren't for everybody. One slip is all it takes.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:16 PM   #8
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How to safely get on roof?


Always above the roof by (3) three rungs.

Getting off the ladder on to the roof is the easy part.

Getting back ON the ladder from the roof, is more difficult. If it is short, you cant easily grab the ladder to stabilize it as you go to step on it.

If you have it say 1 rung above the edge of the roof, and try to back down on to it, you are at a greater risk of kicking the ladder away from the roof.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:23 PM   #9
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How to safely get on roof?


I guess I'm just used to over the top, never had a problem
I almost always pound stakes into the ground to prevent the ladder from kicking out
And I usually tie the ladder off to the house

Plus stepping sideways onto the roof with 80 lbs of shingles on my back just is not happening

Had a friends father fall off the roof & die a few years back
Wife thinks I'm not afraid of heights
But I am...just careful & very aware of the consequences


Bucket truck might be the safest way
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:08 PM   #10
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How to safely get on roof?


Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawkmph View Post
I spent 25 years in the fire service and the picture above is correct. We always had the ladder a minimum of three rungs above the point it touched the roof. If you are unsure of yourself, you really ought to consider not going up and save yourself the hospital bill. Roofs aren't for everybody. One slip is all it takes.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:27 PM   #11
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How to safely get on roof?


bilginroofdock.com this is a great solution to safely get on your roof.No I'm not spamming,I know contractors that add this as an option to homeowners.

http://www.bilginroofdock.com/ theres a working link
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:40 PM   #12
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How to safely get on roof?


Quote:
Originally Posted by nateo View Post
I love those that give "hire someone" as advise on a diy forum. I almost asked people not to post this response but I incorrectly guessed I wouldn't have to in a diy forum.
I guess trying to save someone from their own demise doesn't rate in your book. I give a lot of advice on forums. I have also become acute to the fact that sometimes we are not doing the person a favor if they don't really feel confident in what they are asking for. In some cases there is plenty of room for error, in the case of a two story roof and someone with very little or no ladder experience, I would say not and error on the side of caution. If you find that wrong, that's your choice. I have picked up plenty of busted up people in my time, and in most cases, thier agony could have been avoided.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:02 PM   #13
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How to safely get on roof?


Quote:
Originally Posted by johnk View Post
http://www.bilginroofdock.com/ theres a working link
That's an interesting product
I've been lucky as the roofs I go up & down are 1 story
To me that seems easier...but even that distance can be deadly
10 years ago I was climbing trees with spikes & a belt around the tree, removing the belt to go over branches...not any longer

Be safe.....
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:24 PM   #14
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How to safely get on roof?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dkotecki View Post
Hey you might want to take a look at a product like this... Ladder Safety Extension
It eliminates the need to step around the ladder
It may be a bit pricey, but a perfect solution for the ladder to roof transfer.

I have these... Theyre awesome.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:32 PM   #15
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How to safely get on roof?


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Originally Posted by AaronB View Post
This is against every OSHA regulation on ladder safety. You MUST secure the ladder before setting foot on the roof.
Secure the ladder how ?

I'm not a roofer...this is my own home
So I'm not concerned with OSHA

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