How to Climb a Ladder to a Roof

Written by alexander callos
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How to Climb a Ladder to a Roof
Climbing a ladder to a roof can be extremely dangerous. (Clarissa Leahy/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Ladders can be found in nearly any household and are used for many different applications. Without them, getting certain tasks done around the house would be much more difficult. One of the most common uses of a ladder is getting to the roof of the house. Ladders are necessary to work on gutters and also for work directly on the roof with chimneys or shingles. Either way, when working on a roof, ladders can be extremely dangerous and safety precautions must be taken.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Extension ladder
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Hammer

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  1. 1

    Measure from the roof to the ground so the ladder can be correctly positioned. Write it down on a piece of paper.

  2. 2

    Find a safe and sturdy spot on the ground and set the ladder up. Pull out the extension ladder and position the feet in the designated spot. Raise the ladder up and lean it against the top of the roof. Extend the ladder three feet above the roof so you have room to climb off while still holding onto the ladder.

  3. 3

    Measure out from the wall to make sure the correct ratio of one foot out for every four feet up is used. Check to see if the feet of the ladder are properly locked into place and steady. If the feet wobble, you may need to scrape out a shallow trench with the back of a hammer over the high-side foot to stabilise the ladder.

  4. 4

    Carefully begin climbing up the ladder holding on with both hands to the sides. Climb slowly one step at a time. Climb all the way up until you have enough room to step off and onto the roof.

Tips and warnings

  • Ladders should be positioned one foot out on the base for every four feet of rise up the wall. This will ensure the ladder is as sturdy as possible. If the roof is 20 feet high, the base of the ladder needs to be five feet out from the wall.
  • It is important not to skip steps when climbing up the ladder. This can cause a loss of balance and increase the risk of falling.
  • When climbing any ladder, avoid electrical power lines. These are dangerous and cause serious injury or death. Position the ladder away from these power lines.

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