Jump to content

Need advice on Extension ladder


Bach
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm just starting a home inspection business, and was wondering if someone could suggest a good 24 ft extension ladder. I am hearing a lot of bad about werner or Keller ladders, lots of law suits for injuries. Anyone have any suggestions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since I don't go into Phila. anymore, I've been able to downsize. I carry 28' & 20' extensions and 8' & 6' Steps. Each one gets used several times a week. They are all Werner 200 lb (I'm 160). The 28' has been replaced 3 times in 19 years due to wear. No other problems with Werner's.

Unless you're doing 100+ year old urban buildings, I would suggest the 28' as a minimum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bach,

I applaud you for wanting to get on all the roofs you can, and I hope this doesn't sound snotty, but I suggest you get a little more familiar with ladders before putting them on other people's houses and climbing on them. Your health and liability are too important to risk.

I've been using Werner ladders my whole life and never had a problem with them, nor met someone who has. I bought a 28 foot fiberglass ladder rated for 300 pounds and it gets me on most two story houses. I love it.

The most important thing is to buy a ladder you can handle confidently, and only climb it to heights and pitches you are very comfortable with. Getting on roofs is important, but aint worth dying over.

Good Luck,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got to admit I don't like heights, I'd rather go with a 28ft 300lb rated ladder I think, more money, but I'd rather spend more than think about how I could have bought a better ladder for 60 bucks more while I'm falling 2 stories.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've used a 24' aluminum Werner without a problem for 5 years now. I'm 5' 11', 180 lbs and slightly balance impaired. The 24' is all I can handle safely, and it gets me on 90% of the two story roofs around here. And just as importantly, I'm not afraid to tell the client that "this roof is too steep for me to walk on safely."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had the 17ft. Cosco knockoff made in Korea. It wasn't bad, but it can't hold a candle to the Guerilla Ladders, which are Chinese-made LGk knockoffs sold by HD. I have two - a 21ft. model and a 13ft. model. I purchased the two of them for under $280 before taxes. They're rated for 300 pounds and sturdy as hell (Kind of heavy too). The nest very nicely in the back of my Baja, so I can park anywhere I want without worrying about ladders on the roof striking anything.

I recently had a chance to see the new 17ft. Costco knockoff made by Werner. It was a lot lighter than either of the Guerilla ladders, so I'm guessing it is rated for 225 or 250 lbs, but its action was lighter and easier to use than the Guerilla ladders. I'm thinking about picking one up.

I used to have a 22ft. extension ladder and used it in combination with a fiberglass step ladder to get up onto everything. Since going over to that LG configuration, I'll never go back. These things are so much more stabile and flex so much less than an extension ladder that now it's scary to think about how high I used to go on those extension ladders.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like Mike, I have a 21' LG, 13' LG and the 32' Werner. I also have a 2pc steel-tube chicken ladder, a single 16' fly with a chicken hook as well. Rarely need them but do use them on occasion.

That 32' Werner gets me up to those full-shed dormers on the backs of these Capes up here. I like to have 3' or more above the eaves when I mount a roof. Just feels better. I tie-off my ladders with bungee cord to gutter straps/nails or other stuff if I can.

My other 'ladder' is a 60mm scope, good binoculars, a big mirror (rarely used) and my brain...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to agree with several aspects here.....

I use the Little Giant for compactability and versatalilty. I use it outside for the roof(if it's 6/12 or less but you may need to find your own "comfort zone") as well as inside for the attic scuttles. The advantage on the inside is when the access is in the hall, near the stairs (or near furniture for that matter) the ladder can articulate to fit just about anywhere. The last point I want to make is the safety issue that the previous authors talked about, there's way to many stories about inspectors falling off from roofs and breaking somthing, becoming paralized or death itself. We want you back here adding to the discussion, not another statistic on the chart. Last, but not least some warranties are voided by walking on the roof.....So If your doing an exclusive roof/attic inspection check with the homeowners as to the warranty. God forbid we find discrepancies, Digital photo document them and the homeowner sends the report and photos and forgot to read the fine print of their warranties..........you will get an unhappy phone call.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Bradd Judd

. . . Last, but not least some warranties are voided by walking on the roof.....So If your doing an exclusive roof/attic inspection check with the homeowners as to the warranty. . . .

Which roofing products have these warranties?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Which roofing products have these warranties?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Mr. Katen,

I could'nt tell you the manufacturer. The scenario was that the home was built 2 years prior to my inspection. The roof was leaking from skylight penetrations and seeping into other areas of the household.

While on the roof, many shingles were found missing, as well as pimary decay of substrate from said shingles. The builder was already out of business and the homeowner was fighting with their insurance company and the manufacturer of the shingles. And along comes the inspector to save the day......... yeah right, althought they were completely satisfied with their inspection of the roof and attic, they were quite unhappy when they called me back to inform me as to the warranty being voided.

The Hausdak may think this is an urban myth...... It may be. For all I know the manufacturers rep lied to them. What I do know is being read the riot act and threatened with a law suit for walking on their roof remains vivid in my mind (less than 2 years ago).

I'm quite pre-cautionary and somewhat apprehensive when a client in the same scenario(which by the way is usually in the same neighborhood) makes the same call for the same reasons with the same builder and the same manufacturer of said shingles.

However, on the positive side whenever I'm in that area for a regular home inspection I can pretty much calculate a guess as to where the problems will be on the roof and attic portions of the inspection.[:-magnify

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brad and anyone else,

If this ever happens again, you need to request that this is put in writing from the manufacture as this will not happen. All roofs are walked on at sometime, mostly during the installation of the roofing material. For the roof to be inspected by an insurance company or manufactures representative the roof has to be walked upon.

Don't let idle threats scare you off, once you have been in the profession for a good number of years you get use to this kind of defensive response.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Bradd Judd

Which roofing products have these warranties?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Mr. Katen,

I could'nt tell you the manufacturer. The scenario was that the home was built 2 years prior to my inspection. The roof was leaking from skylight penetrations and seeping into other areas of the household.

While on the roof, many shingles were found missing, as well as pimary decay of substrate from said shingles. The builder was already out of business and the homeowner was fighting with their insurance company and the manufacturer of the shingles. And along comes the inspector to save the day......... yeah right, althought they were completely satisfied with their inspection of the roof and attic, they were quite unhappy when they called me back to inform me as to the warranty being voided.

The Hausdak may think this is an urban myth...... It may be. For all I know the manufacturers rep lied to them. What I do know is being read the riot act and threatened with a law suit for walking on their roof remains vivid in my mind (less than 2 years ago).

I'm quite pre-cautionary and somewhat apprehensive when a client in the same scenario(which by the way is usually in the same neighborhood) makes the same call for the same reasons with the same builder and the same manufacturer of said shingles.

However, on the positive side whenever I'm in that area for a regular home inspection I can pretty much calculate a guess as to where the problems will be on the roof and attic portions of the inspection.[:-magnify

If they were composition shingles, someone was serving you up a steaming heap of carp. I'd have called them on it. And I wouldn't have settled for a friggin' letter either. I'd want to see documentation that was published *before* they cooked up their lame excuse.

That said, I think it's a bad idea for us to be walking on clay tile, old concrete tile, slate and some types of metal roofs. You need a ladder & hooks for those.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

I'm being taught right now not to walk the roof. Use binoculars and a ladder to the eves. 6 or 8'.

There are various arguments for this including injury, liability if I damage anything on the roof and most roofs here in Columbus are 10/12 or greater.(I know cause I design them)

The other arguement is that in the winter you wouldn't walk the roof anyway, but now, in the summer, you are providing a different product for the price.

The man is very well respected here, but also he's probably 250lbs or greater. Personally, I have a roofer or framer fall off a roof every month,these are experienced guys, and I have read many of your tales here as well.

I guess we'll see how it goes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you can see all of the roof surface from the ground, maybe binocs will work on metal or tile roofs, but with comp shingle being 95% of the roofs here, I don't see how you can judge the wear of the shingles without getting on them. Tiny pits and cracks just aren't visible from the ground and those cracks and pits tell me the shingle's days are numbered. I walk every comp shingle roof I can.

Of course walking roofs is a 365 day sport in central Texas. If there's white stuff on the ground we stay home! [:-smile_g

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by jseddy

I'm being taught right now not to walk the roof. Use binoculars and a ladder to the eves. 6 or 8'.

There are various arguments for this including injury, liability if I damage anything on the roof and most roofs here in Columbus are 10/12 or greater.(I know cause I design them)

The nice thing about a 10:12 roof is that it's pretty easy to see most of it from the ground with binoculars or from the edge with a ladder. However, you can't see squat from the ground on a 4:12 roof, plus you'd have to be drunk or addle-brained to fall off one. I say, make the judgement call one roof at a time with your first priority being personal safety.

The other arguement is that in the winter you wouldn't walk the roof anyway, but now, in the summer, you are providing a different product for the price.

What a crock of . . . (Oops. Can I say that here?) Every day brings different limitations to the inspection. Not walking a roof in June because you couldn't walk it in January is nonsensical. Snow might be piled up against a foundation wall in January. Are you not going to look at it in June? Carpenter ants aren't active in January. Are you going to ignore them if you see them in June? Just go out there each day and do the best job you can. Don't waste brain time dreaming up rationalizations for not doing the job.

The man is very well respected here, but also he's probably 250lbs or greater.

Hey, I'm about that size and I'm been going onto roofs every day for 13 years now. Every so often, however, I see one and say, "nope, not that roof under these conditions."

Personally, I have a roofer or framer fall off a roof every month,these are experienced guys, and I have read many of your tales here as well.

I guess we'll see how it goes.

Listen to everyone's advice and find your own comfort zone.

One other thing, and it might sound stupid. If I have a choice, I climb on and off the roof at a location where there's earth or vegetation directly below me -- not concrete. I'm most likely to fall while getting on or off the ladder.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're teacher is a goofball; he is less than competent.

I can't imagine doing this job and NOT getting on roofs. The list of things that one CANNOT SEE without getting on the roof is so long that I'm not going to bother writing it all down.

I carry 3 ladders; a 28 foot extension, a 20 foot LG, & a 12 foot telescoping job. Get a good ladder, or get 2. Read all the safety stuff; staple them to your forehead. Execute the safety recommendations.

When I'm on roofs, I always line myself up w/chimneys, plumbing vents, or other handholds. Total focus; no waving @ people on the ground. Insist that clients & realtors DO NOT say "Be careful" when climbing on the ladder; it's very bad juju for folks to be saying stuff like that when you are about to move close to the precipice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...