Do you want to check your guttering? Are you trying to locate the source of a leak, or check that your tiles are secure ready for Santa’s arrival? Whatever the reason, this is the time of year when many homeowners are reaching for their ladders in a bid to identify problems and save money. Before you grab a ladder, make sure that you are safe: you don’t want to spend Christmas in a plaster cast!
Nearly 100,000 people go to A & E every year as the result of ladder-related injuries. Using a ladder safely is, of course, important at all times of the year. However, in the winter you have added risks. Slippery surfaces and adverse weather conditions make the job more hazardous. Add to that the desire to get the job done as quickly as possible, so you can go into the warm and enjoy a glass of mulled wine, and you may be a little more reckless than usual. Whether you are hanging fairy lights or checking your guttering, here’s how you can make sure that you do it safely.
Firstly, and most importantly, make sure that you are confident using a ladder in the current conditions. If not, call a roofing specialist to check your roof or guttering for you. If you are hanging Christmas lights, wait until you have someone there to help you.
Make sure that your ladder is safe: inspect it for weak rungs or damage and if you are in any doubt about its safety, don’t use it.
Make sure that the ladder you use is the right length for the job that you want to do, and that you can safely and comfortably reach the area that you are working on (you shouldn’t have to lean or stretch precariously to reach).
Place your ladder at a 75% angle to avoid slipping.
Make sure your ladder has a strong resting point at the top.
If you are using a leaning ladder, secure it well using cables, or enlist someone strong to hold it steady.
Always make sure that you have three points of contact with the ladder, i.e. two feet and one hand.
If you are worried that your ladder might slip, consider investing in a special ladder anti-slip tray, which helps to hold the ladder in place at the bottom.
If you have developed a leak in your roof, want to clear your chimney or check your guttering, it is tempting to save money and do it yourself. However, sometimes, it is a risk that is just not worth taking. By finding a trusted local roofing specialist, you can get a professional to do it for you. This will enable you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the festive period, safe in the knowledge that the hard work is being done by a trusted, rated professional.