You probably use your ladder every day if not weekly for your projects at home. Homeowners use ladders for various reasons including painting the house, retrieving goods from the top cabinet shelves and checking roofs and gutters for leaks and cleaning them. Unfortunately, most accidents at home involve ladders, and they can be harmful, sometimes leading to death or disability. Primarily, ladder accidents are caused by the wrong choice of ladders because some homeowners don’t know what to consider or how to choose a ladder for their home projects. Fortunately, these tips will help you choose the right ladder for you and your home project.
Select the Proper Ladder Style
With the various ladder styles available in the market today, homeowners ought to be sure of the right style that suits their needs. The ladder styles are designed differently to offer safety and efficiency when standing or climbing. Using the wrong ladder style or ignoring the importance of an appropriate ladder style can result in severe injuries or a fall. The most common ladder style for a painting project at home is the extension and step style. The step ladder style has features, such as rubber molded foot pads, automatic pail shelf, and extra braces to offer stability, tool tray, and resistant steps. Mostly, this type has heights ranging from four feet and 20 feet or more. The platform style provides all the benefits offered by a step ladder, but it has a large wide platform for you to work on and heights up to 14 feet. The step stools ladder style offers homeowners a very safe and stable alternative if their projects do not require much height. Typically, step stools have wide steps, height limited to four feet, and a comfortable standing platform.
Select the Proper Height
The other important consideration when looking for a home project ladder is considering its height. Different projects require varying ladder heights; therefore, you need to select the appropriate ladder height for your home project. You can check with a height safety chart that highlights the various heights alongside their appropriate home projects. For instance, the extension ladders ought to be between seven and ten feet longer than your contact point or highest support, which can be the roof line or a wall. It allows you to get enough length for height restrictions of the highest standing level, length for the right setup, and overlap ladder sections. Also, it is advisable to maintain a standing level on a stepladder of two steps down from the top. Otherwise, you might lose your balance and fall if you happen to stand higher.
Ladders are manufactured to hold a particular amount of weight. Therefore, ladders have various duty ratings, usually five classifications based on their type and grade. The duty rating is generally known as the maximum safe load capacity that a ladder can hold, which includes your total clothed weight and any materials or tools you carry onto the ladder. The total weight must be less than the duty rating. For instance, the type 3 duty rating can handle 200-pound capacity and light duty, which is usually recommended for household projects. Type 2, 1 and 1A are mostly used by handymen, heavy-duty projects and industrial duty respectively. The most common ladder duty ratings for house painting projects are type 1 and 2. It is advisable to consider the work application and weight that will be on the ladder to enable you to choose the right ladder grade to handle your home project.
Consider Ladder Material
The other essential consideration when selecting an appropriate ladder for your home project is the material. Each ladder material has different features that make them suitable for specific applications. Ladders are made of materials, such as wood, aluminum, and fiberglass. Wood ladders are safe around electricity projects, are more massive than other materials, non-conductive, and available in pine. Aluminum ladders are strong and stable. They also conduct electricity, lightweight, and resistant to corrosion. Aluminum ladders are more popular than other ladder materials. Fiberglass ladders can also be used around electricity projects, durable, resistant to corrosion, and stable. For instance, a hostile environment like exposure to chemicals, potential contact with electrical wires, and outdoor storage should be considered when choosing the material for your ladder.