Stay Safe on Ladders While Inspecting the Roofline of Your Home

Stay Safe on Ladders While Inspecting the Roofline of Your Home

24th March 2016

Spring has officially sprung folks and it’s time to start thinking about tidying up the outsides of our homes ready for the summer months.  With the weather becoming milder, it’s time to check out just what damage the winter has wrought and put things right.  A little maintenance and DIY now on the exterior of your home will help you avoid costly repairs and renovations later on.  Today we’re taking a look at the rooflines of our homes – this means the gutters, soffits, fascia and bargeboards – all of which may have sustained damage over the colder months and be in need of repair, renovation or replacement. 

Before we start, it goes without saying that accessing the highest levels of your house will involve the use of ladders.  So, the first step is to choose the correct type of ladder for the job at hand and then make sure it’s in good working order so that you don’t come a cropper while you’re taking care of your home.

While there are different types of ladders for different types of work, as a homeowner, you probably want a good, all-round domestic ladder that is versatile enough to use on a number of different types of task.  If you live in a bungalow, a sturdy stepladder may be all that you need.  However, if your home has two or more storeys, you’ll need a ladder that will reach the roof.  The average height of the gutters on a two storey house is about 5.7 metres – this means that you’ll need a ladder with a working height that matches your gutter height.  A 2 section extension ladder is likely to be suitable if it has an extended height of 8 metres.

When you’ve chosen your ladder, the next step is to make sure it’s safe – we’ve already published some handy tips you can use for choosing a ladder and carrying out a safety inspection .  You should carry out a safety check each time you use your ladder to avoid falling and injurying yourself.  More than 90,000 people are treated for ladder related injuries each year, many of these as a result of an accident using a ladder in a domestic setting.  While there are stringent rules and regulations in place governing ladder use in the workplace, when we use ladders at home, we’re left to our own devices and don’t always take the care we should to avoid risks. 

Now it’s time to take a look at the roofline of your home. 

  • Check the gutters for blockages, wear and tear, loose fittings so that any damage can be repaired.
  • Check the fascia (the verical frieze or band under the roof edge that the guttering is usually fixed to) to make sure that it’s not rotting (if it’s made from wood) or loose.
  • Check the soffits (the bits that span the gap between the siding of the house and the roofline) for damage from weather, insects, etc.
  • Check the bargeboards (the boards on the gable end of the house that hides the end of the roof timbers).

Any signs of damage in any of these areas means that you need to consider repairs or replacement befgore it has the chance to become worse.  Neglecting to do so now will only result in more costly repair/replacement work in the future.