Hello everyone... I live in an older two storey home. I want to
purchase an aluminum ladder so that I will be able to safely clean out
the rain gutters and eavestroughes. Will a 32 foot ladder be suitable
(grade 2)? Your thoughts please. Thank you for your time.
It should be fine. Keep in mind that the better the grade of the ladder, the
more weight it will carry and the feel will be more rigid. If you are not
particularly comfortable up on an extension ladder, you may want to consider
a type 1 or 1a.
All depends...how far off the ground are the gutters? :)
What's the terrain, overhead service entrance location, your weight and
condition, etc., etc, etc., ...
Personally, I find it preferable to do gutters by being on the roof
(assuming pitch is such is walkable) rather than having to bump a ladder
around when I've had to do so. If I had a two-story which didn't have
either access from a lower point or walkable roof it would be a major
incentive for gutter guards.
As for the ladder itself, as someone else noted, a 32 footer at
extension of class 2 would be pretty bouncy for a big dude, not so much
for small fella' like me...
Seems like a 32 would be more than needed for a typical 2-story unless
there are either high ceilings, and attic or other reasons it's tall...
The height is the key. My house is on a very steep slope. Oneside a 12
foot ladder is all I need to get to the roof. The other side has a walkout
basement and even a 24 foot ladder will not even reach the roof.
As mentioned an extension ladder has a couple of feet overlap and you need
to place the ladder a certain distance from the point of contact at the top.
My house is too steep to walk on the roof. It is almost a 45 deg angle. I
am lucky that there are not too many trees close by and I don't usually have
to do the gutter cleaning, especially on the back side of the house.
How many feet up? What do you weigh? A ladder of 32 wont do 32 it
has to be extended and set back, best is go to maybe Sherwin Williams
and talk to a pro. Rubber Bungie cords attatched to the ladder and
gutter make it safe. For some jobs just pay a cheap hacko pro. That
ladder might be to much for you to handle.
When I painted years ago as a pro I could set up and drop in full
air- to ground, a 40 ft Heavy duty ladder and catch it. now it would
blow out my back and maybe kill me.
Rueful chuckle. I have a 24 ft. 1A fiberglass (since it was cheaper than
the 16 or 20 foot I really needed), and it is about the longest I'd want
to handle solo. I can't toss it around like when I was a kid, either.
Can't believe I used to use a 16 ft. wood ladder in my teenage years.
I'll never use this 24 fully extended- even if I had anything that tall
here, my inner ears and advancing age tell me to stop around 15 feet off
the ground or so.
I have a 71 year=old friend, who last year at least could still put a
24 foot fiberglass (which are much heavier than aluminum) extension
ladder on his little pickup with cap, by himself, then drag it off,
carry it into the woods a bit or to a telephone pole on the street,
erect it, go up and do the work, maybe go back down again to get
tools, put it back on the truck, and do that a couple more times and
then take it back to storage.
He's 5'7" or 5'8", not fat at all, and not very stong looking. Was a
miler in college.
He still has a job where he lifts packages of various sizes all day.
Carries a handtruck in his truck. Works maybe 40 hours a week, or
maybe less. Plus does all kinds of ladder work around his house. He
says recently that he's not as strong as he was.
His father died at 94 and his mother just shy of 100. Both active
almost until the end. His mother drove and wore 2" heels at least
until she was 95. Lived alone after her husband died until she was 96
iirc. Bedroom on second floor.
I'm blaming my situation on bad genes, compared to his.
Once I used that ladder for painting my last house(2 story). Did not
cause any trouble. Took ~15 Gal. of paint. I still have the ladder but
house being stucco, now I use it for access to gutter or hanging X-mas
lights, things like that.
I live surrounded by trees maybe 30 or 40 feet tall on two sides of my
two story house, trees that are only about 20 feet from my house.
And yet, I have either no leaves in my gutters or almost no leaves,
depending on the year, and just a tiny bit of "gravel" from the new
After 20 years, I still can't figure out why there are no leaves --
they're a lot of leaves on the grass -- but I'd try to make sure I
actually get leaves in the gutters before buying the ladder. Maybe you
can borrow one.
I love the |___| shaped thing that clamps on near the top of the
ladder. Makes it much more stable. There are two or three models,
including one model that can be used two ways, narrow and far from the
house, or wide and close to the house. Also meant to span windows, if
you have windows narrow enough to span. So think about it a while
before you buy. Most places seem to only sell one model.
On uneven land, I've sometimes put a board under one leg, but when I
do that, I hammer a couple big spikes or wood wedges into the ground
to make sure the board doesn't move. And I've tied the ladder to the
porch railing on occasion.
Does a 32 foot ladder actually measure 32? I don't remember, but do
they just measure two 16 foot pieces and add them together, or do they
take into account that you have to have, what, a 3? foot overlap.
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