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How to Roof a House – Choosing Your Ladder

If you're looking for "how to roof a house" information, you've come to the right place. One of your first decisions just might regard a ladder for the job. Choose one like your life depends on it … because it does!

Over 170,000 people are injured every year in the USA from ladder accidents. To avoid joining their ranks, choose one well suited to the task at hand and use it properly.

There are four basic factors in your decision …

How to Roof a House: Ladder Factor # 1 – Style

Although there are several different styles of ladders, the two most common are the step ladder and the extension ladder. I've seen homeowners use a step ladder to get on their roof, but that's basically an accident waiting to happen. The ladder you want for roofing is an extension ladder

How to Roof a House: Ladder Factor # 2 – Height

Your ladder needs to be long enough to not only reach the eave, but extend at least three feet above it when set at the proper angle. That gives you something to hang on to as you climb on and off the ladder.

A good length for many homes is a 28-footer. That's long enough to reach two stories, yet gives you all double rungs for good footing on one-story work.

How to Roof a House: Ladder Factor # 3 – Weight

Ladders fall into five different duty ratings, based on the amount of weight they are designed to carry. Keep in mind that includes your weight plus any tools or materials you might carry while on the ladder.

  • Light Duty Type III – 200 Pounds Max Load
  • Medium Duty Type II – 225 Pounds Max Load
  • Heavy Duty Type I – 250 Pounds Max Load
  • Extra Heavy Duty Type IA – 300 Pounds Max Load
  • Special Duty Type IAA – 375 Pounds Max Load

How to Roof a House: Ladder Factor # 4 – Material

At one time most all ladders were wood. You can still get wood, but aluminum or fiberglass are much more common choices today. Aluminum is lighter, but fiberglass is a better choice when it comes to roofing.

The heavier weight of fiberglass gives a more secure feeling, especially when the ladder is extended. It's also much safer around overhead electric lines.

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