Are you wondering if it is safe to put a ladder on a roof? In general, it is advised to not place a ladder on any type of roof for obvious reasons but sometimes, especially if you live in a property that has multiple stories and roofs, you may be required to do so. Whether that’s to fix broken roof tiles, clean windows or to give the outside of your home a fresh lick of paint.

In this blog, we take a look at the safe practice of placing a ladder on a roof whenever you are required to do so to help minimise the risks involved, allowing you to complete whatever work you need to do safely. 

So, let’s take a look!

Putting a ladder on a sloped roof 

Setting up a ladder on a sloped roof differs slightly from setting one up on a level roof. To avoid any unnecessary accidents and to ensure you are as safe as possible whilst working on a sloped roof, be sure to follow these simple guidelines.

  • Before attempting to climb your ladder whilst on a roof, you need to ensure your roof is in a fit condition and is strong enough to support any additional loads placed upon it. Inspect your roof and its framework for any signs of damage or wear and tear. If necessary, replace any tiles or pieces of the framework that need replacing, once you’re happy with the condition of your roof and framework, you are safe to continue setting up your ladder. 
  • Now that your roof and framework is okay, you can proceed to check your roof ladder. Inspect the duty rating sticker before setting it up to ensure that it is suitable to hold the additional loads. Here, a type II ladder with real feet and spring-loaded sprung locks is recommended. Next, inspect your ladder for signs of damage, ensuring all rungs and feet are in good working condition. If using an extension ladder, ensure all locks are sufficiently engaged. 
  • Always check your surroundings for any electrical wiring and overhead power lines before climbing up your ladder, especially if your ladder isn’t made from non-conductive materials.
  • For additional stability, call someone to hold your ladder from the base to ensure the ladder doesn’t tip over whilst you are working on it.
  • If the roof is made up of delicate materials such as asphalt you need to ensure you do not damage it. Do this by placing ladder mats down to provide added protection to your roof. 
  • Always follow the angle or 4:1 rule. Here, your ladder should be one metre out for every four metres up, creating a 75-degree angle with the first story or garage roof.
  • Ensure the rungs of your ladder are always horizontal. If you are struggling to do this, use a ladder levelling tool such as a roof boat or pivot tool to keep the ladder upright whilst on a sloped roof.
  • For even more stability, climb up the ladder and tie off both stiles to any suitable point using a rope or strap. 
  • When climbing up and down the ladder, never lean sideways or backwards and always maintain three points of contact, preferably two feet and one hand. Never overreach and never exceed the ladders maximum load limit. 

By following these simple guidelines, you will ensure that any work carried out on your property’s roof involving a ladder will be completed safely and efficiently! 

We hope that this blog has helped to answer your question “is it safe to put a ladder on a roof” but to make sure you know, yes it safe BUT only when the necessary safety precautions are taken.

Good luck with any work you have to do with your roof and be sure to check back to find out more useful home and lifestyle tips.