If you have ever cleaned your gutters, then you are familiar with a ladder. As most homeowners know, ladders are handy tools that can make completing household to-do lists much more convenient. However, ladders also present an opportunity for danger if they are not used correctly. This is why ladders include important safety labels that you should review before using your ladder. The roofers from Alliance Roofing wrote this blog to let you know what you need to know about ladders to stay safe while cleaning your gutters or inspecting your roof.
What Are Ladders Made Of?
The first thing you will need to know about ladders is that they are made primarily of three materials – wood, aluminum and fiberglass. Each material has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. For example, an aluminum ladder may be one of the lighter options, however, metal conducts electricity, therefore, a metal ladder should not be used around exposed circuitry or wiring to prevent electric shock.
Duty Ratings and Choosing the Right Ladder
The duty rating of a ladder is a term that expresses the maximum weight that a ladder can safely support. To determine the duty rating that is appropriate for your project add your weight and he weight of any tools or equipment carried or stored on the ladder. This number will give you an indication of how much weight your ladder will need to support.
According to the American Ladder Institute, there are five categories of duty ratings.
- Type IAA (Extra Heavy Duty): No more than 375lbs
- Type IA (Extra Heavy Duty): No more than 300lbs
- Type I (Heavy Duty): No more than 250lbs
- Type II (Medium Duty): No more than 225lbs
- Type III (Light Duty): No more than 200lbs
While this isn’t everything you need to know about ladders, it’s a great place to start. If you need more information regarding how to choose a ladder or which ladder is right for your needs, visit the American Ladder Institute’s website or talk to one of the licensed roofers from Alliance Roofing.