Ladders against gutters... And what to do when getting onto a roof ladder?

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ComfortablyNumb

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Working at height

Working at height remains the highest cause of injury and fatality on construction sites in
the UK. The HSE have released the following statistics for 2020 - 2021 (P)
39 fatal injuries were reported in the period 2021 – 2022 compared to reported figures in
2019 – 2010 of 36, 50% of these were caused by falls from height.
61,000 non-fatal injuries to workers each year, averaged over a three-year period 2018/19-
2020/21. (P) 19% of these were caused by falls from height.

please take care and if it looks dangerous then get an extra pair of hands or a pro in to do it. I lost a family member sliding of a roof onto railings and his boss got a pathetic fine even though in text messages he'd requested fall arrester and a tower
 

Krome10

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Fair points, and maybe I won't live to tell you guys that it all went well ;)

But what are the stats for RTAs and does it stop us all driving? Or alcohol and all's it's related health problems? Power tools... Dietary decisions... Etc

On one side of the house - at its lowest point - the gutter to ground height is less than 6 foot. Obviously if half+ way up the roof it will be higher and a good momentum could be reached by the time I got to the gutter if I slipped or fell. But in the scheme of things it's all quite low level stuff.

I do appreciate your concern though.
 

dickm

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This conversation suddenly awakened a memory from one of the dusty corners of my mind. The rural Grammar School I attended in the 1950s acquired some additional buildings a few hundred yards from the main school, and the chemistry master (no idea why) was appointed to check things over. He called on two or three of his farm boy sixth formers to come and help one Friday afternoon in what must have been my last Autumn term there. I was deputed to check and clean our the leaves from the gutters on one of the two storey bits; ladder was provided. Still here to tell the tale, but can imagine the teacher would get a rocket today for even thinking of this!
 

davethebb

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I regularly heed go on our roof to replace tiles etc. and always use a ladder standoff. as resting the ladder on the gutter causes damage AND is less stable (not a lot of friction). I have a second ladder with a roof hook and wheels hooked over the ridge and then tie the first ladder to the bottom of the ladder on the roof - this stabilizes the first ladder. I also add a couple of bags of sand to the base of the first ladder. Before I slide the second ladder over the ridge I run a rope over the top rung and tie this off where the two ladders join - the other end is used to connect to a simple harness just in case....

One word of caution. Using ropes and harnesses can create more work and also get in the way if you are not careful.
 

deema

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I’d like to ask, how do you stop roof ladders from breaking tiles where the rests sit on the roof?
I have a Welsh slate roof that needs attention every now and again. I dread if, every single time I use the roof ladder on it about a week later where the rests have sat slates will have subsequently cracked / broken. The slates only break afterwards, not when the ladder is on it. I’m be never worked out how this happens or what I’m doing wrong.
 

rogxwhit

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I used to make my own roof ladders and the hook construction was wood and ply with a good pad area. Never broke a slate ... but if your slates are old, some will be getting fragile and maybe it's time for a re-roof ...? :-(

the best type of rope to use when tying ladders, securing them as described above, etc
I use nylon yachting rope for everything - ladders, roof racks ... it looks pretty, is nice to handle and has a bit of elasticity that means you can get it really tight if needed, but there's a bit of give that'll reduce any shock loading ...
 

davethebb

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Deema, I use a piece of wood 4ft or so tied to the ladder (tied 90 at the bottom) with foam insulation under it (or something similar) this helps spread the load. - I also add foam padding to the ladder hook feet. I have 300 yr old kent peg clay tiles and cast iron gutters.... and this works for me.

NOTE: I tend not to use the blue polypropylene rope for things like this and it is difficult to tie off safely - unless you feed the loose end into the weave/lay of the rope but this only works if the rope is constantly tight which is general it isn't using it like this. - best get some decent climbing rope. You can also use a work positioning belt which has a simple adjustment to shorten and lengthen the rope so you don't have to keep on undoing the rope and it frees up both hands.
 

Krome10

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More great advice, many thanks!

Any links or ideas of exactly what rope I need would be really useful, or else I'm likely to look at all of the different types and thicknesses of yacht/climbing ropes and completely bewilder myself!

The main thing I'll be doing is hacking off render from a gable end above the roof I'll be on. A such I'll be putting boards down to protect the slates. If the ladder is also on boards, will that be a problem? I figured if not it would also help to spread the weight/loading and prevent potential slate damage. But didn't know if for some reason it is not recommended to put the roof ladder onto boards.

I'm still liking the idea of having some permanent eyelets/hooks/anchors or whatever dotted about which I can tie to, so any ideas on what to use would be great. The walls are solid stone if that makes any difference; and a reasonably soft sandstone.

Cheers
 

lexi

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Anchor points normally go into the ridge. That timber is generally like a 5x2 lying on it's side. You are basically screwing into the 2" face of it. Permanent anchors are through bolted there or fixed with heavy and deep coach bolts. They can be left in with a dressing of lead or mastic, as the top of ridge itself does not accumulate rainwater.
The 4x2 timber will even protect cast iron gutters from your weight. The timber will stop you from sagging the cast gutter on it's roof brackets. Put pressure on the cast gutter, and you create a bow which will affect your run out to the outlets. Watch out with ladder stand offs. They can flip around if you lean out to reach for something. Never been a great fan of them and they make a ladder unstable in many ways...........especially moving it or removing it when the thing is attached.
 
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