When carrying out roof inspections and repairs, knowing a bit about ladders can hugely be beneficial. Without the right roof ladder, a simple DIY job might cost you dearly in terms of time and labor. But that’s not all. Abysmal ladders cause awful accidents and even deaths.
The number is 164000 accidents, and 300 deaths annually, according to the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors. This post looks at some of the best roof ladders for the highest safety and efficiency in your operations.
- 1 Best Roof Ladders You Can Buy Right Now
- 1.1 1. Louisville FE3232 Extension Ladder, 32 Feet
- 1.2 2. Little Giant 22-Foot Velocity Multi-Use Ladder
- 1.3 3. Lifewit 12.5ft Folding Ladder Aluminum
- 1.4 4. DeWalt DXL3020-16PT Extension Ladders
- 1.5 5. Ohuhu 12.5 FT Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder
How to Choose the Right Roof Ladder
I am not a roofing contractor or anything, but I own a variety of roof ladders and have seen the beauty and ugly with these tools.
A rickety unstable ladder will surely make you part of the statistics mentioned earlier. I have been there, and have scars that remind every time to be vigilant when shopping for roof ladders.
Stability and strength are the most important things. And when you and feels the rickety racks, get down quick and get you a sturdier ladder. Otherwise, you might end the day with missing teeth, or a fractured spine in worst cases.
Choose the right ladder size for your job
Roof ladders come in different lengths. When a ladder is too long or too short for your job, it doesn’t only imbibe efficiency but also puts your safety at risk.
When evaluating ladder heights, remember that the usable height of the ladder differs from its actual height. On a step ladder, you can only safely stand on the second last step to prevent the structure from tipping. Your reach will not be more than 4 feet beyond the height of the ladder.
If you go with an extension ladder, remember to factor in its leaning angle. When leaning against the wall, experts recommend that the base be set back one foot for every 4 feet of height for maximum stability.
Also, when this kind of ladder rests against the roofline, it needs to extend at least 3 feet beyond the support pot.
Find out what weight the ladder can support
The right roof ladder needs to be able to support both your weight and that of your tools and materials. When shopping, look out for the ladder duty rating. This measure indicates the maximum load a ladder can carry.
The weight ratings provided by the American National Standards Institute include:
- Type IAA -375 pounds
- Type IA -300 pounds
- Type I – 250 pounds
- Type II -225 pounds
- Class III -200 pounds
Choose a ladder made with sturdy materials
There are numerous materials available for roof ladders. Aluminum ladders are lightweight and weatherproof. They tend to be highly versatile and durable except for occasional scratches here and there. Stainless steel is the sturdiest type of ladder, but it is also the heaviest of materials.
If you are working near electrical wires, consider using a fiberglass ladder. The latter is a nonconductive material that will assure your safety.
Because fiberglass material tends to be pricier than the rest, you can go for an aluminum ladder reinforced with fiberglass coating.
Best Roof Ladders You Can Buy Right Now
The Louisville extension ladder stands at 29 feet, a considerable height for roof jobs. The ladder has a weight rating of 300 pounds, and that means that you could be able to safely step up on it with a couple tools.
Projects like roof repair or inspection often mean spending along time on a ladder. In that regards, you need a ladder made of sturdier materials. The fiberglass construction of this ladder could provide you the support you need for a safe work session.
The steps feature heavy-duty steel shoes that minimize the chances of slipping. On the other end, the mar-resistant rail end caps help to prevent wear and tear on the landing surfaces.
There are two additional slide guides at the top of the base section which works with the stop locks on the upper part to prevent destabilization through overextension.
The Louisville FE3232 Extension Ladder also features steel-plated swivel safety shoes. The shoes are made of heavy-duty steel and massive rubber treads that might help with stability and balance.
Louisville FE3232 Pros & Cons
- Its fiberglass material makes it safe to use near electrical connections
- It comes with an easy to use rope and pulley that extends the ladder
- The ladder is lightweight and easy to move around
- Quality control issues, including shipping damage
- The quick latch system for extending and collapsing the ladder defaults at times
- The Model 22 converts to a 19 foot extension ladder - Enjoy an unmatched feeling of stability, dual-pin hinge, wide-flared legs and the highest quality construction. It is a true two-person ladder
- Use the Velocity as multiple sizes of A-frame, extension, 90-degree ladders, or as a scaffold system. Buy one ladder to do the job of five,A-Frame max height :9'1'',A-Frame min height: 5'1'',Extension...
- Use the right ladder for the right job every time and avoid 95 percent of all ladder-related safety issues
Just like the Louisville FE3232 Extension Ladder, this unit has a duty rating of 300 pounds as well, which is a considerable weight capacity for roof jobs. From cleaning the gutter to replacing shingles, you might find this ladder to be highly versatile.
When fully extended, the Little Giant Velocity ladder stands at 22 feet. Even though it falls slightly short than the 29 feet you get with the Louisville ladder, this height is about the same as rooflines in most homes.
If you need a ladder that is flexible through all kinds of positions, this might be it. The Little Giant Velocity Ladder can be folded into an A-frame ladder, as a 90-degree ladder or as a scaffold ladder.
The Little Giant Velocity ladder features aluminum construction that is both lightweight and sturdy. You might find it easier to move around than its steel and fiberglass counterparts.
It uses dual-pin hinges for stability while the included Rock Locks make it easy to adjust the length of the ladder.
The runs used in this unit are much more extensive than the case with the Louisville ladder. Wider rungs are easier to use—they reduce fatigue while increasing your balance and stability on the ladder.
Just like the roof ladder reviewed earlier, this unit also uses steps that feature deep treads to improve traction and stability when in use. The wide flared legs with rubber grip feet might also help to enhance your safety on this roof ladder.
Little Giant 22-FT Pros & Cons
- It is made of lightweight and sturdy aluminum
- It has an acceptable duty rating for roofing jobs
- It can fold into different forms for various applications
- Wide legs with rubber grip feet improve stability and traction
- This ladder might lose its sturdiness after a short time of use
- It might be challenging to set up
Just like the Little Giant 22-Foot Velocity Multi-Use Ladder, the Lifewit folding ladder is flexible enough to be used as a step ladder, an extension ladder and as an A-frame ladder. This high versatility means that you might not have to own many sets of ladders like I do.
When fully extended, the Lifewit Multipurpose Folding Ladder reaches a maximum height of about 12.5 feet. For a single-storied bungalow, that height will get you to the roof. The included multi-directional latching systems enable it to be oriented in several different ways.
One unique feature with this ladder is the stabilizer bar on the legs. The latter is laced with rubber paddings that might help you achieve maximum balance and stability while on it.
The aluminum ladder can withstand a live load of 330 pounds. That puts it in the IA type weight rating like the previously reviewed roof ladders. That weight capacity could be sufficient, provided you don’t step on it with weighty materials.
You might find its A-frame configuration ideal for internal operations like painting or electrical wiring. Its most unique set up, I think, is the platform arrangement – you can fold it into a six-foot extended platform with a height of 3 feet. That gives you a full raised workspace for seamless painting, wiring, and other tasks.
One other thing this ladder boasts is storage convenience. It is possible to fold it up into a compact contraption (0.9 x 1.22 x 3.3ft) that fits in the trunk of your car.
Lifewit 12.5ft Pros & Cons
- It is highly versatile and easy to use (no assembly required)
- It features sturdy aluminum construction
- Its extendable height of 12 feet can get you to the roofline of most buildings
- Can be configured into a compact unit for secure storage
- The joints frequently get jammed
- It might take your fingers when you open and close it
The DeWalt DLX 3020 ladder reaches a height of 16 feet upon full extension. This size could enable you to reach hard to access areas on the roof without the need for extra tools.
This ladder is made of fiberglass, meaning you can safely work with it without the risk of electrical shocking. Its finishing is smooth and stylish, it can help to safeguard both the ladder and your roof from corrosion and marring.
The weight capacity of the DeWalt DLX 3020 ladder is 300 pounds. This capacity demands caution not to overload the ladder with extra tool and materials weights.
This fiberglass extension ladder also features wrap around swivel aluminum shoes. They are heavy duty and help to optimize the ladder’s stability and balance.
The ladder uses rung locks with a quick latch system, which might help to enhance safety. There is also an included pulley that helps with the extension and collapsing of the ladder.
DXL3020-16PT Pros & Cons
- It’s top features a tool slot and hardware tray that might make your work easier
- The ladder features non-marring rubber sides to prevent scratches on landing surfaces
- It is nonconductive and safe for electrical jobs
- It is lightweight and easy to maneuver
- Quality control issues—might be delivered with damaged parts
- It’s a tad heavier than all the roof ladders reviewed earlier
- One Button Retraction: Convenience is key! That's why we've designed this ladder with easy one button retraction. Simply press down on the thumb buttons and the ladder (completely extended condition)...
- Premium Aluminum Alloy: The Ohuhu Telescopic Extension Ladder is crafted from high-quality aluminum alloy. It's lightweight and easy to carry without sacrificing strength.
- Rock-Solid Stability: This ladder is as sturdy as they come, with a weight capacity of up to 330lbs! Non-slip end caps hold the base firmly in place, while extra-wide steps ensure safe climbing....
The Ohuhu Telescopic Extension Ladder features a modern design that enables on button retraction. If you find the pulley and rope extension/collapsing mechanism to be cumbersome, this progressive design might be what tickles you.
In a collapsed state, this roof ladder has an incredibly small footprint—it might fit the trunk of your car. When fully extended, you might appreciate that its 12.5feet height gets you far on the roof for shingle replacement.
330 pounds is its weight capacity. If you need a ladder that you can climb on with heavy shingles, this model might not be ideal.
This roof ladder comes with non-slip end caps that might be useful to hold it firmly in place. The extra-wide steps might help to give you maximum balance and stability when climbing up and down on it. Unlike the DeWalt DLX 3020 ladder that has a tendency to pinch your fingers on opening and closing, the Ohuhu Telescopic ladder features smart locking pins that hold the sections in place for a slow and smooth retraction.
The Ohuhu Telescopic ladder is ideal for people with limited storage space. In a collapsed state, the contraption is no more than 40.2 inches, and can easily be swung around one-handedly by an averagely built person.
Ohuhu 12.5 FT Pros & Cons
- Extension and retraction is by the press of a button
- It’s lightweight and relatively sturdy –weight capacity of 330 pounds
- A considerable height of 12.5 feet will get you to the roof of an RV or single storied home
- It is incredibly compact in a collapsed state
- It’s hard to lock into position
- Not sturdy enough
- Its durability is not assured
The Best Pick
The Louisville FE3232 Extension Ladder, 32 Feet Extension Ladder is the pick of the bunch. This aluminum ladder scores high points for versatility and an extended height (22feet) that might comfortably get you to the peak of your roof. Its weight capacity is 300 pounds. Although that capacity may be limiting, the roof ladder makes up for it with sturdy construction. It uses dual-pin hinges while its runs are made to be wider for more balance and stability.
The steps have deep treads to give you the maximum traction when you are upon it. The ladder is flexible enough to be configured into an A-frame ladder or a 90-degree ladder. It can also be used as a scaffold ladder for heavy-duty construction projects.
These features and more make the Louisville FE3232 ladder a potential perfect buy for both DIYers and professionals.
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