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How To Properly Set Up a Ladder

While we are in no way encouraging you to get up on a ladder, especially to get onto your roof, we do want to point out how important it is to properly set up a ladder should you ever find yourself having to do it.

First of all, there is a huge array of ladder types for all the different things ladders are used for, both personal and professional. Once you know what you need a ladder for, it may be a good idea to refer to the American Ladder Institute for specific information about ladder type, safety standards, and general use guidelines.

For general purposes around your house, here are some things you may need a ladder for, a few types of ladders you may use, and a few commonsense considerations when using a ladder.  

What do I need a ladder for?

On a personal level, you may need to use a ladder to:

  • change a lightbulb in a ceiling light fixture in your house when you want to see something new and exciting
  • wash your windows when you want to see if there’s anything new and exciting happening outside of your house
  • get the neighbors kitty out of the tree in your backyard when hocus pocus and brain messaging won’t get through to Felix
  • get your kitty off the top of your kitchen cupboards when he found his way up, but can’t come down
  • Install a drapery rod when you are giving your décor a refresh

What kind of ladders are available?

There are different kinds of ladders for different kinds of jobs. A few common for household use are:

  • Step – This is a pretty common ladder for household use. It has wide rungs that make it easy to stand on.
  • Single – Has to be supported by something other than itself, like a wall. Does not adjust in length.
  • Extension – Has to be supported by something else, leaned against the outside of your house, for example, and adjusts in length.   

What kind of ladder should l use?

For the most part, you will use a step ladder around your house for a variety of uses, anywhere from dusting cobwebs out of corner crevices to covering the giant cactus in your front yard when there is a frost warning issued to getting the spice down from the way too high top shelf.    

A single ladder is commonly used for painting or hanging window treatments or blinds on tall windows.

To reach those second-story windows on your home’s exterior, an extension ladder does the trick with its ability to change length! 

The most important commonsense considerations to properly set up a ladder are:

  • Ensure it is stable
  • Make it level
  • Place its feet on a non-slip surface
  • Make sure the incline is not too severe with the potential to throw it off balance
  • Don’t stand on top of it

One common rule explained by the University of South Carolina as The base of the ladder should be placed so that it is one foot away from the building for every four feet of height to where the ladder rests against the building. This is known as the 4-to-1 rule.

Be careful when you go up a ladder

And as you make the climb, remember to:

  • Stay balanced, error forward so you don’t fall backward
  • Keep your weight pushing down and forward so it doesn’t slip
  • Make sure your feet are dry
  • Ensure the ladder steps are dry
  • Make sure there are no pets or children that will run through and knock you off balance
  • Prepare yourself not to be startled, which could result in losing your balance and a fall

Where can I get a ladder?

When you need a ladder, there are many places to buy or rent one. Home improvement retail stores as well as ladder companies offer many options.  

For further information and reading, visit Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s website.

And when you need to get up on your roof to inspect a leak, assess storm damage or just see how it’s holding up and if anything needs to be repaired or replaced, just give us a call at Weather Vane Roofing. You won’t have to worry about how to properly set up a ladder to get on your roof. We’ll get up there with the speed and power we’re known for and see if anything needs to be refreshed, refurbished, or renovated, and come up with a plan to revitalize your roof if it needs it!  

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About Weather Vane Roofing
We provide roofing, siding, insulation, windows, and gutters. Making your house beautiful and efficient is our main goal. We use the latest in technology and products to provide eco-friendly and cost-effective solutions for your home and business. With locations in Lansing, Owosso, and Brighton/Howell we are Mid-Michigan’s roofing experts. Let us transform your house into a home.

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