Ladders are used for many different tasks in every day work. Whether you use a stepladder to get a few extra inches to pull something off a higher shelf, or an extension ladder to climb up to your roof, they are a common tool that everyone should know about. While ladder use may see intuitive, there are some tips and tricks that may not come to mind when first picking up your ladder in preparation for your tasks. In this article, we’ll give you a few tidbits to make sure that you do not end up injuring yourself. Safety is the number one thing we strive for, after all.
Height Given Versus Height Needed
While you might be happy with a ladder that reaches to the top of the shelving or a fair amount of trees, unless there’s enough of the ladder above where you want to reach, it is unsafe. A good rule of thumb is to give at least three feet more to the top of the ladder, whether you’re climbing up onto a roof, or merely clipping overgrown branches. This gives your ladder more stability and helps keep it from buckling as you climb up or down. This provides you with the safety you need from shaking, which can cause you to fall.
In addition, you will do better if you buy a ladder that is a few feet taller than you might feel is necessary. While a twenty-four foot ladder will generally get you to your gutters on a two story home, it isn’t tall enough to provide you with a safe climb onto the roof. Unless you know you will never need to climb that high, a twenty-eight foot ladder is far better for that purpose.
You might have a ladder tall enough to follow the above tip, but if you do not give it a good, stable position on the ground, it will wobble no matter how well you hold it up. To make sure you provide your ladder with the perfect angle, you should stand with your feet touching the bottoms of the ladder feet. Hold your arms out straight and touch the rungs. If you can reach the rungs with the tips of your fingers, then you have a good angle. If not, then you should move the ladder until you can. This provides the bottoms of the ladder with firm ground, giving you a balanced climb up.
Planning Your Route
While using your ladder to get to higher-up areas outside your home, you can come along a good deal of different obstacles. Anything from hanging bird homes, to errant tree limbs, to even power lines may come into your way, and it is a frightening aspect to have to twist around such objects. In addition, the ground may or may not be as stable as required. Planning a route around these hurdles will do a great deal of good in making sure that you do not twist in a way that could send you falling to the ground.