drive some stakes in the ground and tie ladders base, then climb ladder
and tie ladder at top, like using a C clamp on the gutter, tie ladder
to c clamp.
DONT leave rope etc to catch your feet trip on!
its nice to know your ladder wouldnt blow down, that happened to a
friend before he had a cell phone he was stuck on roof for hours
Confidence on the ladder comes with time and experience. If you are
inexperienced then you may never feel comfortable. Just be sure the
ladder is safe by keeping its' pitch shallow and the bottom secure, as
others have said. Then there will be no risk of kicking the ladder
down. Have a long enough ladder to extend several feet above the
roofline so you have somthing to grab. These things will increase your
confidence. After that you just put one foot in from of the other,
always moving forward. You always want to lean forward, never back.
Keep your eyes on the roofline and your where your next step will fall.
When I was on the roofing crew we often had to carry bundles of
shingles and other material up the ladder. When you have a 70lb bundle
on your shoulder your concentration is increased dramatically and you
instinctively understand that you must move forward. Usually I can
just step off onto the roof and carry the bundle to the ridge. On
steeper roofs you can unload the bundle onto the roof or to a waiting
helper. then it can be carried to the peak to be stacked. On steeper
pitched roofs we would nail a board to the roof next to the ladder to
give a more secure foothold or place to put the bundle. This only
works if you are tearing off the roof anyway.
I know a unfortunate fellow that fell off a 3rd story roof:( He fell
and hit concrete, with no one around he dragged himself inside and
called 911. He broke his back and was bleeding pretty bad, left blood
trail on ground.
He survived after missing near a year of work and lots of surgery and
supringisly he still weorks on his home, painted it again this summer.
he lost soi much income being a project manager for building the
pittsburgh airport his home will never recoop the money let alone the
If I were him I would make the outside no maintence he sands and strips
complete waste of effort if you ask me.
Beats the hell out of me. I tried to go up on my roof to fix a piece of
trim that had come loose, but I couldn't do it. I simply couldn't get my
foot to go up on the roof. I had to ask a friend to do it. When he did he
disturbed some bees that were nesting under the molding; so there he is
running across the roof flailing his arms around, and I can't even get up
there. I felt so so, well I'm sure you know how I felt.
Mind you, I have climbed 1,000' cliffs in Yosemite, and been sky diving and
hang gliding; but I can't go up on my roof.
Good luck; if you figure something out, let me know.
Goddamn, and I was expecting this to be one of those "You moron" threads. I
actually mountain climb too, it took me a few trips to get used to
navigating ledges, and free climbs are simply impossible, but like we all
seem to be saying - taking that last step onto the roof seems to be
A step ladder is unstable in any user position other than being
in-line with the ladder. I once was on the third step of a 6 foot
step ladder and leaned to the side to remove an electrical cord hung
on a nail. Before I knew it I was on the concrete floor yelling in
pain. My hip took the fall. The ladder had flipped. It was 20
minutes before the pain subsided enough for me to get up. Fortunately
no bones were broken. Run the possiblity of the ladder flipping
through your head. Its not hard to imagine the sequence of events.
As others have said, make sure the ladder extends a few feet above the
roofline to give you something to grab on to.
On my ladder the feet can be positioned so that they stick into the
ground a couple inches, one end of them is spiky for that. Otherwise,
to secure the bottom of the ladder, put a piece of 2X4 across behind
it, then use stakes, spikes, short pieces of pipe, etc. to keep the 2X4
in place. If on asphalt you can drive masonry nails through the wood
into the asphalt below. Or, prop the bottom of the ladder against
something sturdy like the tire of your car (just make sure other family
members don't drive it away then!). To secure the top of the ladder,
put a C-clamp on the gutter and tie it to that (or one on each side).
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