I know the basic safety of ladder use. It's easy to get to the roof, but
here is where my fear of heights and mechanics get in the way.
How to step off the ladder onto the roof and then how to get back onto the
ladder without knocking it off the eaves?
First time I tried it the act of pushing off the ladder to put my other foot
onto the roof would have kicked the ladder down. So I'm sitting there,
swaying in the wind trying to picture the motion needed to do it. It
doesn't help that I'm mildly afraid of heights, and more realistically
afraid of falling down and hitting the pavement.
I was thinking that it would be easier to use a step ladder rather than an
extension ladder, at least with a step ladder you can step sideways off the
ladder and turn and sit down on the roof. It doesn't work that way with an
What do you mean? It was a borrowed ladder, so that is strike one against
me right there, but more to the point. A more steady ladder would help
greatly obviously, but being afraid of heights I need to picture the motion
in my head and I couldn't do it.
It's one of those things where you're afraid to do it but once you do it and
see how to do it it's no longer a big deal. It was this way with me and
climbing into my attic. Again the act of stepping off the ladder and into
the attic was beyond me. It was only when I forced myself to do it once and
saw that it wasn't a big deal did it become a trivial task. By the way,
getting back down out of the attic was just as tough.
I dont care for heights either. My other home had a spot where the roof
Kinda of a L shape, I would go up there it still bothered me.
I can stand on a ladder and do stuff pretty good........
but climbing on roof is tough
You know I could do that, put the ladder in the corner of the roofline, that
way I could step off sideways.
The biggest problem I had, and I mentioned this to the first poster, I was
using a borrowed ladder, a ladder that was rated for 200 lbs and I am NOT
200 lbs, plus the thing is like cooked spaghetti in that it wobbles all
around. So maybe just using a better ladder would be to my benefit. I
gotta get those damn gutters cleaned or I won't ever fix that water
Rueful Chuckle- I resemble that remark. I'm fat enough that class 1a is the
only thing I will buy or use more than 3 feet off the ground. Sams had a
good price on 24 foot, 50 bucks cheaper than the other place had 20 foot. 20
foot would be a lot easier to carry and spot, on this tall 1-story. Buy a
decent ladder, or hire a service to clean the gutters. Stuff that can kill
you, or take a long annoying time to heal up from, is NOT the place to cut
As a life long ham radio operator, I climbed towers, ladderss, worked on
2 story high roofs kazillion times but still height is not my favourite,
LOL!. Accident needs only split second to happen. If you don't feel like
climbing for the moment, don't.
On Sun, 5 Nov 2006 18:02:16 -0500, "Charles Schuler"
A guy I worked with, a rugged guy in his late 40's or early 50's, fell
1 1/2 stories off his split level house. His wife was doing dishes at
the sink, looking out the window, and saw him fly by. He was lucky
that he only broke his leg, but unlucky that his leg wouldn't heal.
He was on crutches for 6 months, a year, and still was when I changed
jobs. Every night he would plug himself in to some electromagnetic
radiation thing that promoted healing in most people (who didn't just
heal by themselves), but for him it was verrrrry slow.
I borrowed a ladder when I painted my , and I was very picky then and
bought a pair of ladder mittens. I returned the ladder and borrowed
it again 10 years later. It had no mittens.
But in the intervening time, I found a ladder stabilizer in the
mini-storage that my friend lets me clean out once in a while, when
people move out and don't take all their stuff**. And that would be
in the way for my frriend if I returned the ladder with that on it,
plus I don't want to lose the thing.
So in short, I put the stabilizer one, and before I return the ladder,
I'm taking it off.
They are great. I'm surprised they don't get even more good publicity
and that I don't see them in use all the time.
**(I posted here at the time about where to buy square U-bolts, but of
course if you buy the whole thing, it will have that.)
Also, if your ladder is 4 feet above the gutter, it makes getting on
and off much easier.
Getting on the ladder to go down is much harder than going up.
I wouldn't say that. It's still a problem for me. But this time,
with the stabilizer, I was only doing gutter spikes and didn't have
occasion to get on the roof. So I know it will be better but I don't
know how much.
I did go up on the roof twice while the roofer was here, once to look
at what he was doing and once to put a collar on my chimney**.
Because his ladder was about 3 feet taller than the gutter, it was
I think the stabilizer alone would also be a big help. Get a
stabilizer and take it off when you return the ladder, or discuss it
with your friend. Maybe, probably he will want it, but he'll give it
back to you if you buy your own ladder. This would be a way of
thanking him for lending you the ladder. I really can't do the same
thing with my friend, because his parents have died (at the ages of 95
and 99) and that house is sold, and he's separated from his wife and
not living in that house. He keeps his ladder in a semi-public
building that has another ladder just as long.
**Almost all of the townhouses that I can see have a collar on each
chimney, but one or two in addition to one of mine don't. I went 22
years just using a lot of black caulk, but having the collar too is
better. I bought a universal one for about 10 or 20 dollars and
trimmed it to fit.
Once I knocked the ladder over, and had to jump down, avoiding the
closet shelf as best I could, and the clothes rod, and everything on
the floor of the closet** including the ladder which looked dangerous.
I didn't get hurt, but after that, I installed a phone in the attic
and promised myself I would leave the front door unlocked when I went
up there. Ooo, I should put the phone numbers of my neighbors up
**(wide and shallow with folding doors)
Forget step ladders, as they send more folks to hospitals and wheelchairs
and early graves than do extension ladders.
With an extension ladder, the top of the extension should be well above the
roof edge, so that you can comfortably swing your foot onto the roof (your
hips should be well above the roof edge).
The ladder angle and the ladder footing are critical. A ladder near the
vertical is asking for a fall. A ladder with an uneven or unstable footing
is asking for an accident.
Ladders are dangerous. Are you sure you want to do this?
On Sun, 5 Nov 2006 17:30:01 -0500, "Charles Schuler"
With the ladder being well above the roof line; it gives me a sense of
security. I feel like I at least have something to hold on to for
that first step onto the roof. Coming down I grab the ladder and then
I really fell better when someone is holding the bottom.
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens
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