How to Access to Roofs or Gutters Outside the House


For decorating outdoors and for access to roofs or gutters you will need an extension ladder or a platform tower. Both have their pros and cons:

  • extension ladders may not be as con­venient or as comfortable to work from as platform towers (which have work­ing platforms measuring about 1.2m square) but they are easier to move aboutand put up and are much cheaper to buy. However, both can be hired, and some platform towers have wheels which enable them to be manoeuvred over hard, flat ground
  • platform towers should be safer than ladders and more versatile – they can also be used for decorating indoors or as a stair platform or for reaching some chimneys
  • plattorm towers dismantle readily but take up more storage room than a lad­der, and unless the frame is aluminium or galvanised steel it will need painting from time to time. Extension ladders are normally made of wood or aluminium and require little or no maintenance.

Access Roofs  Outside

Platform towers

Platform towers which you can buy or hire are made from either aluminium alloy or painted steel. I hey consist of a series of H-frames slotted together to give a square platform generally measuring around 1.3m by 1 3m.

The maximum height for this stan­dard platform tower is 3.6m (1 2ft) out­side and 4.2m inside. Half-width towers (0.6m by 1 3m) can be used up to 2.4m inside, but are not recom­mended for use outside. Greater heights can be achieved by using additional supports (outriggers) or by tying the tower to the building or by hiring a larger size of ‘industrial’ tower.

Platform towers have diagonal bra­ces to strengthen them, and toe boards and guard rails for the platform to stop things and you falling off.

Platform towers are generally fairly simple to build. With a rope and a hook to help you get the H-frames off the ground, one person could build most 3.6m platform towers in about a quarter of an hour. But it is much easier if a second person helps.

Extension ladders

Most extension ladders sold to do-it-yourselfers have two sections and extend to around 6.3 metres – enough to get to the top of most modern houses. Choose one which is a little over one metre longer than you want your feet to go.

Two materials are widely used -wood and aluminium. Aluminium lad­ders are generally lighter than wooden ones but are more expensive. Choose one with rungs which are flat on top and angled so they are horizontal when the ladder is leant against a wall.

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About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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