Whether you want to inspect your roof for damages, clean away debris that’s gathered on it, or clean out your gutters, chances are that you’re going to be needing a ladder to reach your roof. While ladders are great tools to have, they can also be dangerous, which is why it’s so important to remain safe while using them. If you’re planning on getting to your roof for any reason, be sure to follow these ladder safety tips to keep everyone safe.
Before Using the Ladder, Inspect It for Defects
Before you use your ladder, it’s always smart to make sure it doesn’t have any defects. If your ladder sits in storage for the majority of the time, it’s likely to develop corrosion or cracks, have loose bolts, or the rubber feet could be broken. In any case, if you notice any of these issues, it’s not smart to use your ladder to get onto your roof. You should dispose of the ladder and consider purchasing a new one to access your roof.
Make Sure the Ladder Is on a Solid Foundation
Before placing your ladder against your house, be sure it’s on a solid foundation. This means the ground should be even and not a slope. If the ground is uneven, it could cause the ladder to tip over. Ladders can also slip if you place them in mud, water, or wet grass. The feet of your ladder should always have resistance when you place them on a solid foundation. This will ensure your safety by preventing the ladder from moving.
Don’t Set Your Ladder Up Near a Door
While this may seem obvious, it’s also something that can be overlooked when you’re using a ladder. Never set up your ladder near or in front of a door. Someone could walk out of your home and easily bump into the ladder, or the door could hit the ladder. Either way, both of these could cause you to become injured.
Be Aware of the Weather
If you’re trying to access your roof on a windy day, you may want to rethink your decision. Whether a storm is coming or the wind is just extremely strong, you don’t want to risk yourself getting hurt by the ladder being knocked over and you falling with it. If you absolutely need to get to your roof, it’s best to do it on a day that has clear skies. This will help you avoid any injuries or accidents.
Slowly Climb the Ladder
Sometimes even the best-quality ladders can shake if you move too quickly while climbing up to your roof. Be sure you climb your ladder slowly. Once you reach the top of your ladder, it’s also important to think about your weight displacement when you get onto your roof; you don’t want to risk the ladder tipping over from having more weight on one side than the other.
Keep Three-Point Contact When Climbing Down
If you don’t know what three-point contact is, it means to always have either two feet and one hand on the ladder or two hands and one foot as you’re climbing down. This ensures you won’t lose your grip or misstep, so you’ll avoid any injuries by falling.
Never Carry Tools in Your Hand as You Climb
If you have tools or materials in your hands as you’re climbing your ladder, it might be hard to maintain three-point contact. You should never compromise your safety by carrying things up and down a ladder. Instead, use a tool belt to hold anything you might need once you reach your roof.
Don’t Stand on the Top Rung of Your Ladder
The top of your ladder is not a step. Most ladders will have that written on the top rung. You should not ignore the warning because the top rung is not designed to hold your weight.
The next time you need to inspect your roof or clean out your gutters, be sure to follow these tips to make sure you stay safe. If you’re unsure whether or not you can complete your project safely, you may want to consider hiring professionals for the job. At Unified Roofing, professional roofers are available to inspect your roof for you. They’re well versed in ladder safety and can efficiently and safely get the job done.