When to Use a Ladder
Got some tasks to do around the house or on the job and not sure whether you need a ladder? We’ve created this quick guide to some of the common situations where you need a ladder to help you make up your mind. Below you’ll find information on which type of ladder suits each job best, as well as safety tips for each task.
Accessing Your Roof and Gutters
Cleaning gutters or getting access to a roof are what many people first imagine when thinking about using a ladder. Despite what generations of house climbing kids think, a ladder is best. For cleaning gutters, you’ll likely need an extension ladder – although a step ladder could be sufficient if your roof is fairly low. Factor in some extra time, as you’ll need to climb down and carefully move the ladder to do each section of gutter – this will stop you from overreaching and potentially tipping the ladder.
Tips for the Roof
Accessing the roof is a trickier matter and you’ll need to exercise even more caution than usual. You’ll definitely need an extension ladder for this, and its top should be at least a metre past the ledge. This will give you something to hold onto as you climb off and back on. You should usually have a spotter holding the base of a ladder anyway, but in this case it is absolutely essential. Not only will this keep the ladder stable as you climb off and back on at height, but it will ensure the ladder doesn’t fall while you’re up there and leave you stranded!
Painting Ceilings and Walls
A step ladder is more than enough for most painting jobs, and definitely enough for all indoor painting. Step ladders are great for this as they often include trays where you can rest paints and brushes. They also give you extra stability while working, while double sided models can accommodate two painters at once. For exterior walls, you may need an extension ladder, especially on a two storey house. If this is the case, make sure you have a tool belt and a paint can hook. You need to have both hands on the rungs when climbing up, and the paint can will need somewhere to hand while you work – hands-free ladder use is not an option!
Getting access to windows to clean them is very similar to painting. An outdoor step ladder is usually sufficient – and more convenient – but for higher windows you’ll need to use an extension ladder. Just make sure you have a safe way to get up and down with your cleaning gear.
Changing Light Bulbs
It can be tempting to just climb up on a coffee table or chair to change lightbulbs but don’t do it. They aren’t designed to bear that kind of load and may break or overbalance. A step ladder is more than sufficient for this job.