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Why do I need a Roof/Cat Ladder?

Ste Smith 13/07/16

roof ladder also known as a cat ladder is for when you need to complete work on your roof safely. A roof ladder is simply a ladder with two hooks attached on the end. The hooks allow it to attach to the peak of a roof securing the ladder to make it easy and safe to move me up and down the roof while giving a base to balance and complete work from.

Roof Ladders & Extension Ladders

A roof/cat ladder is not a standalone ladder, you will need a normal extension ladder to climb up on to the roof. A tip here is to use roof ladder link clamps to clamp the extension ladder to the roof ladder, making them more secure and less likely to slide apart when transferring from one to the other.

To get the cat ladder in place it has wheels to allow you to push it up the sloping roof without dislodging or damaging roof tiles or slates. When the wheels reach the top of the roof ridge you simply turn the ladder over and the hooks securely lodge on the ridge of the roof.

"If you are using a ladder to get access to the roof, always make sure it is set up correctly and long enough - at least 3 rungs above the gutter and when the roof ladder is in place clamp the two ladders together using roof ladder link clamps."

Turn any Ladder into a Roof Ladder

You can turn any ladder into a roof ladder using a universal roof hook kit. The roof hook clamps onto the top of any single section, or extension ladder and turns them into a cat ladder. Usually this only takes a few seconds to complete. For home projects using a roof hook kit is usually the most cost effective way of using a roof ladder for DIY roof maintenance.


Dedicated Roof Ladders

Alternatively you can buy a dedicated roof ladder and these usually come as single or double section roof ladders with the roof hook already attached. In order to choose the correct size you need to give consideration to the overall length of the ladder and make sure that they are long enough to reach from the eaves to the roof ridge. Folding cat ladders are a new way to transport roof ladders. These are articulated roof ladders that fold in half for compact storage and easier transit. Folding roof ladders are becoming more popular as an alternative to sectional roofing ladders where you have to bolt sections together to make the desired roof ladder length.

Roof Ladder Certification

There are no roofing ladder classifications specific to roof ladders (yet, but they are coming soon), but most roof ladders should comply with the EN131 standard or the Class 1 standard. If you are buying a roof hook kit then the ladder that you attach the roof hook to will be classified and should be at least a BS EN131. If you are using them at work we would recommend a Class 1 (BS 2037) ladder, kitemarked with a BS standard.

Inspecting Your Roof Ladder

If you are using cat ladders as part of your work or trade then you should also give consideration to using your roof ladders safely. Make sure that the ladders are regularly inspected and tagged using Ladder Log Inspection tags and consider purchasing a roof ladder safety kit, consisting of a full body harness, running line, rope grab, karabiner, cowstall strop, tensioning straps, ladder tie bolts and carrier bag. Alternatively, let us inspect them for you. Contact us for an inspection quote.

Roof Ladder Alternatives

It is also worth considering that there are alternatives to roof ladders as a form of roof access. Ladder staging systems work in conjunction with roof/cat ladders to create a roof platform for safe roof access. The ladder staging system complies with BS Edge Protection and will meet the approval of your H&S Inspector as one of the safest ways of working on a roof.

There are also some specialist products available such as conservatory roof ladders which provide single user access to allow cleaning or maintenance of conservatory roofs.

Roof Ladder Question? Ask Us

At Ladderstore we have a wealth of experience advising customers of the safest ways to use roof ladders and helping with specialist roof access solutions. Ladderstore can solve your roof access problem with existing products, recommend specialist products, tailor existing products and design bespoke solutions that will get you up and running and complying with current working at height legislation with the minimum of fuss. For further information please contact us or on 01204 590 232.