Decorating, Cleaning the Gutters, Changing a Lightbulb, Trimming Hedges, Getting into the loft. Here is just a small list what you might require a ladder for. The question that many people have when it comes to choosing a ladder for these jobs is am I choosing the correct ladder and which material should my ladder be? During Health & Safety Week in June, we looked at when a ladder should or should not be used and we gave you information to help you select the right equipment for the job in hand. If you missed this not to worry, this post is still available on our blog alongside many How To Guides, Customer Case Studies and Ladder Safety Tips.
Ladders are available in a wide range of materials with the most popular being aluminium, fibreglass & timber. In this article we will look at the benefits of these three materials and try to help you decide which is the best material for your ladder. Lets start by looking at Aluminium. You may have noticed that aluminium ladders are the main choice for tradesmen and industrial workers, this is mainly due to the metal being light but strong. The weight of the ladder makes them easy to transport and the weight makes it easy enough for a single person to handle. Aluminium ladders are resistant to rust and corrosion unlike that of a timber ladder and can be stored outdoors if needed. If you are storing your ladder outside be sure to evaluate your work area and check that your rungs aren’t wet or slippery. If you are storing your ladders outdoors make sure that they are chained up and to stop unauthorised use, the Ladder Sentry is a great product stopping people being able to climb them. It is vital to remember if you are buying a ladder for electrical work an aluminium ladder should not be used under any circumstances. Aluminum + Electricity = Certain Death.
If you are working with or near electricity you must use a Fibreglass ladder. Fibreglass ladders are known for being strong, robust and most importantly non-conductive of electricity. They may weight slightly more than aluminium however fibreglass ladders are extremely strong and tend to last longer. The Werner Promaster comes with a 25 year guarantee! A disadvantage of Fibreglass ladders is that over time if they exposed to the outdoors they can degrade and become unstable which reinforces the importance of pre-checks. Be sure to look for cracks, dents and other damages on your ladder before every use and never make temporary DIY fixes.
Timber ladders for outdoor use are losing out to aluminium and fibreglass. This may be due to the weight and maintenance that a timber ladder requires. Timber ladders can be significantly heavier and can not be stored outside as they are more likely to split and rot in wet conditions. Timber alike fibreglass does not conduct electricity and therefore can be used for electrical work. When it comes to selecting a Loft Ladder timber is still a very popular choice, reasons for this may be that timber ladders look aesthetically pleasing and are robust. Our customers are always telling us how impressed they are with their timber loft ladders and the main feature that is pointed out is the solid construction and safety of the product. You can see our five star reviews for timber loft ladders, the Youngman Eco S and the Werner 2-section sliding loft ladder on their product pages.
Whatever material you select for your ladder ensure to carry our pre-checks before every use. You can find out more about pre-checks in our other blog posts or by clicking Here. If you have any queries regarding the material of your ladder or have any other working at height queries don’t hesitate to drop us an e-mail or give us a call on 01204 590 232 our expert team will help.