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extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

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  • extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

    I have a rental townhouse, and I need to clean the eaves at the back. Just wondering how long of an extension ladder would I need to get to reach into the eaves?

    I believe I've got 8+8+1+2ish (18-19') for vertical height to the eaves. The backyard is about 12-16" or so below the patio door on the 1st floor (ie. no step outside)

    I'll probably have my wife spot me at the bottom, and to help steady it.

    I also hate ladders, but am getting better.

    I figure a 24' extension ladder should fold down to 12'. I have a strong Yakima Roof rack on my wife's CRV. Would it be safe to travel with that in town? - no hightway, about 10km. The crossbeams are about 32-34" apart. Alternatively I could also strap it to a flatbed utility trailer with a 4x6' deck.

    Thx,
    Peter
    Pete C.
    http://blog.pjbj.ca
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  • #2

    Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

    Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

    Good time to make friends with the neighbour and borrow theirs...

    I bought a cheap extension ladder a few years back, used it once, and promptly took it back to the store. It was a lightweight model, and it wobbled so much I felt completely unsafe. I wouldn't buy one unless it was a heavy duty ladder (and I weigh under 200 lbs!)

    An alternative might be to look into an extension pole for your garden hose. I've seen those where they have a crook on the end, so that you can blast out the gutters while standing safely on the ground.

    I generally go on the roof from the front, where it is just 1 storey up, and then make my way to the back. The house is configured such that I can climb up a 4' section in the middle and at the back it is 2 storeys.

    While you are up there, check the screws on your down spouts. Whoever installed my gutters put on these ridiculous 1-1/2"+ screws which just catch and hold leaf litter. I have replaced them with short 1/2" screws, as that is all that is needed to hold the parts together.

    hope this helps.
    It's not about you.

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    • #3

      Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

      Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

      whatever you do, a pair of extension wings - ladder stabilizers they are often called - work wonders. Makes a night and day difference on any extension ladder. A million times safer, imho.

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

        Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

        I think for your height a 24' ladder is marginal if not too short. Google "ladder length" and see what you get. One site says for 17-21' a 28' ladder is required. A 24' ladder is 2 12' sections but together they do not extend to 24'. The best ladder angle is 75 degrees which means the ladder length is longer than the height. Also, if you are nervous on ladders a longer ladder extended to less than it's maximum is considerably less bouncy than a shorter one fully extended.

        billh

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        • #5

          Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

          Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

          thanks, i read some stuff online about the wobblies... I am 185ish lbs in my undies, so probably close to 200 with clothes on.....

          i will research these extensions....

          P
          Pete C.
          http://blog.pjbj.ca

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

            Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

            Get a 28' and have it delivered. I buy from HD supply and they deliver free. Spend the money on a good ladder, a cheap one is just frustrating to set up, the parts are cheap, nothing works right and the longer length isn't going to cost much more but will be more stable. Don't forget unless you use a stabilizer you have to get the ladder 3' above the line of the roof to be safe.

            I have a good louisville fiberglass 24' and 28'. I bought a cheap 32' from TSC to use for a one time job. What a POS. The rope kept coming off the pulley, the hooks didn't work right
            Last edited by dave_k; 05-25-2011, 10:02 PM.

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            • #7

              Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

              Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

              A 24' extension ladder is at least 14' when closed. A better option would be something like this. This brand is the original but there a lot of cheaper copies. I have one that opens up to 21' but is just over 5' when closed. It is a lot steadier than an extension ladder as it locks solid. The base is wider so it makes it a little more stable. I haven't used my extension ladder since I got one of these.

              http://www.littlegiantladder.com/lit...t/type-1a.html



              the other Ken
              ------
              "Each flitch, each board, each plant can have only one ideal use. The woodworker, applying a thousand skills, must find that ideal use and then shape the wood to realize its true potential" - George Nakashima

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

                Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

                Go Google and read up on ladder safety. There are protocols to follow when setting up the ladder. Unfortunately I cannot remember them.

                Bracing the bottom of the ladder is definitely a consideration. Also tying off both sides at the bottom may help. Make sure the ladder is sitting on a solid base.

                Is there a second floor window where a tie off could happen?

                Use a rope to pull up your tools and stuff.

                Flag both the back and the front of the ladder when transporting. Tie it down at the front and rear of the vehicle as well as to the rack and remember the overhangs will extend out into adjacent lanes when turning.

                Always keep one hand on the ladder when up top.
                Egon
                from
                The South Shore, Nova Scotia

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

                  Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

                  Sounds like

                  A) you need to improve your working wardrobe, B) verify your hospitalization coverage (and your wife's when she's standing under you on the ladder) , and C) given the many additional caveats in the OP, find a more experienced person.

                  You are pulling our leg, right?
                  Start slow; wind down gracefuilly

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

                    Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

                    I don't like heights but am not too bad on a ladder. What gets me is going from a roof back onto the ladder which is worse than going from the ladder to the roof.

                    If you plan on doing this and other maintenance work in the future, consider putting an eye-bolt into some solid part of the building at convenient locations when you make your first trip up then you can tie the ladder at the top to the bolt. It is comforting to know that the ladder is going to stay put for those of us who are a little spooked but remember it is a backup safety mechanism not something to let you do dumb things.

                    Your wife will be an aid at the base but consider the leverage your weight has on the end of say a nominal 15' lever when you are at the top if you lean out too far - she would have trouble holding it. When reaching your body should always remain within the confines of the ladder rails.

                    billh

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

                      Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

                      Originally posted by billh View Post
                      I don't like heights but am not too bad on a ladder. What gets me is going from a roof back onto the ladder which is worse than going from the ladder to the roof.

                      If you plan on doing this and other maintenance work in the future, consider putting an eye-bolt into some solid part of the building at convenient locations when you make your first trip up then you can tie the ladder at the top to the bolt. It is comforting to know that the ladder is going to stay put for those of us who are a little spooked but remember it is a backup safety mechanism not something to let you do dumb things.

                      Your wife will be an aid at the base but consider the leverage your weight has on the end of say a nominal 15' lever when you are at the top if you lean out too far - she would have trouble holding it. When reaching your body should always remain within the confines of the ladder rails.

                      billh
                      Bill H.

                      All good points.

                      I feel the same way about roofs. If my feet on the ladder, it's not to bad, when my feet are on the roof, say near the peak, not too bad either.... that distance about from the edge, to 3' from the edge.... not so good. I also have more problems going from the roof to the ladder.

                      When I was a kid, I would follow friends up trees, but would always take forever to get down.

                      I am also looking at hiring someone to do the cleaning. The eaves are actually near done. I wouldn't be wrong to replace them. I've contacted the owner of then next unit, and have the go ahead to replace our eaves (our townhouses are paired, so we share the roof/eaves

                      P
                      Pete C.
                      http://blog.pjbj.ca

                      Comment

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                      • #12

                        Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

                        Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

                        A flared bottom is much safer if you are a bit inexperienced or a nervous Nellie somewhat on a ladder. Stand-Off Arms are also nice, to help stability and to not potentially dent your eaves.

                        I also hate the re-embarcation from the roof to the ladder. You need a good three feet extension beyond the roof line to make this safe. Make sure your ladder base is level, and not on mushy ground.

                        The feeling of your ladder sliding sideways when you're up there is not a good one. Better yet still, have someone spot you, particularly when you are re-embarking onto to the ladder from the roof.

                        If you are spending a lot of time on a ladder, flatish rungs versus rounded ones make your feet a lot more comfortable.

                        Ladders have three different grades. Either A-B-C, or 1-2-3, Can't remember how they work, but the lower grades ones are junk imo, but the higher grade ones are expensive. Chose the one that is right for your weight and application taking into consideration what you may be trying to haul up with you up the ladder. I lent my neighbour a mid-grade 24 foot extension ladder, that even though I doubt he weighs over 180 lbs, he managed to dent two of the rungs.
                        Last edited by Lost in the Woods; 05-26-2011, 09:37 AM.
                        Kevin

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                        • #13

                          Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

                          Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

                          I've always preferred this style of ladder stabilizer over the one in Kevin's link (sorry kevin!)

                          LADDER_STABILIZER2.jpg

                          I think that the rubber grips help keep the top of the ladder locked in place; less likely to slide to one side or the order.

                          Also, this might be a good time to point out that MOL standards for ladder use would require
                          1) the bottom to be secured to the ground. We often nail down cleats of 2x material around the base (dock spikes nail it into the ground fairly decently). But if there is something to tie the base to something secure, even better.

                          2) tie off the top of the ladder. Billh's idea of installing an eye bolt for this isn't bad.

                          3) As kevin points out, if you'll be going from the ladder to the roof, regs do call for 3 feet of ladder above the roof line.

                          4) lastly, the ministry does mandate that you have 3 points of contact with the ladder at all times. That usually means 2 feet and 1 hand. That does effectively mean that there is little work you can legally do off of a ladder - and that was their point. With a tool belt to carry your tools for you though, you can still do some decent work with only one free hand. Also, you are supposed to keep your belt buckle between the two sides of the ladder, i.e. don't over reach.

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                          • #14

                            Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

                            Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

                            By the time you buy a heavy duty ladder (likely a heavy duty fiberglass 1 or 1A) and a means to move it around (very heavy) and considering that you hate ladders, would it be less expensive (and safer) to hire someone experienced to do this. One slip/fall/incident/whatever off a 24-28' ladder could lay you up for a long time.

                            It's probably obvious I don't much like tall ladders and you'd need a cattle prod to get me up 24 feet

                            I should say - I used to have a 10' aluminum stepladder - terribly unstable - bought a heavy duty 12' fiberglass step ladder and feel infinitely more comfortable on that - can actually concentrate on the job to be done. The one problem is it is very heavy and a real chore to move around.

                            My lawn guys do my eaves troughs - took them about 2 hours to do about 70 feet of trough packed with linden and birch leaves - had never been done in 20 years.
                            Nothing is ever as straightforward as it seems.

                            Glenn from Winnipeg

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                            • #15

                              Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

                              Re: extension ladder to clean 2nd storey eaves. also transporting it.

                              Originally posted by callee View Post
                              I've always preferred this style of ladder stabilizer over the one in Kevin's link (sorry kevin!)



                              I think that the rubber grips help keep the top of the ladder locked in place; less likely to slide to one side or the order.
                              I like that type. Never seen it before though. I think I should get one for myself actually.

                              Originally posted by callee View Post
                              4) lastly, the ministry does mandate that you have 3 points of contact with the ladder at all times. That usually means 2 feet and 1 hand.
                              What about two feet and one beer gut?



                              Whatever you do, you don't want to end up like this guy....

                              Last edited by Lost in the Woods; 05-26-2011, 01:17 PM.
                              Kevin

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