I use rung insert ladder standoffs on my extension ladder to access roofs as required, but I am positioning these standoffs on the top most rungs leaving only about a foot of the ladder extension off the roof. I noticed that most safety recommendations state that the ladder extension should extend 3 feet above the roof line, but the trouble is that lowers the placement of the standoffs down about 3 or 4 rungs and makes extending and lowering an already difficult to handle 32 foot extension ladder even more difficult. Subject to banging into eaves and or destabilizing the ladder. I am wondering if other people have wondered about this and what you might recommend. Three feet off the roof is critical or not.
3 feet is the safety standard for [I]roof access[/I]. If you’re not getting off the ladder, there’s no need for the overlap.
And truthfully, it’s not always going to be practical to follow those guidelines to the letter. For example, you’re also supposed to have the top of that ladder secured to something. Otherwise, you grab the side of the ladder to swing your leg onto a rung, and you end up throwing it off balance (theoretically ;)). I’ve personally found 2 feet of overlap to be sufficient for getting onto a roof. You’ll have to see what’s comfortable for you.
I got the open rung standoffs for my wife to use for gutter cleaning. I like the ladder max, but it’s on the heavy side. The open rung standoffs work great for gutter cleaning - perfect angle. Like @Alex Lacey says, you don’t need the ladder extended 3 feet if you aren’t going to be climbing on the roof.
Me, personally even if I were going to do a little roof walking (say to blow out a gutter) I wouldn’t extend the ladder 3 feet beyond the gutter. That just makes something to have to navigate around when you are trying to access the roof. Supposedly, you can use it to grab a hold of to help hoist yourself up, but to me that just seems more dangerous.
Whenever I am going to walk a roof, I make sure to put grippy gloves on (doubles your contact points) and place the ladder in a roof valley or in a position where I can make a few hand grabs to get me up if the roof is a little steeper.
If you really want to be triple safe accessing a roof, get these:
That’s a sweet ladder sit up
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Sure, as long as you never have to move it
iv found that when going onto a roof its best to step off the ladder by as little distance as possible . that way you reduce the chance of the ladder sliding away because the bulk of your body is still in line with the ladder .
dont pivot your body up onto the roof by using your hand grip on the ladder as the lever point , or the balance is suddenly out of kilter .