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How To Get On The Roof?


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I am looking to expand the number of lights on our roof this year and am curious how to do it. I know how I am going to attach the lights to the roof. My question is more basic. How do I get up there? I have posted a picture of my house below. Its the second level I am concerned about. How do I get up there safely? Any advice?

 

 

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In all honesty, it depends how comfortable you are on a ladder.  Simply throw an extension ladder on there and make that last big step onto the roof.  More realistically, (and I do this as well) use 2 smaller ladders.  Carry all of your stuff up the first one to your 1st floor roof where you can stage everything.  Then use a smaller extension ladder or large step ladder set over the peak to climb up to the 2nd floor roof.  It is more stable carrying something up a smaller ladder that doesn't move and bounce as much (also less injury if you do fall)  Most important is be safe, do only what you are comfortable with, and not when there's snow or ice up there. lol

Edited by vkjohnson
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I'll also add that I sometimes tie off the top of my ladder to a gutter bracket to keep it from slipping sidewise if I'm worried about that happening.  You're actually kind of lucky to have a low pitched roof and low 2nd story in general.  My house foundation already sits up 5 ft off the ground.  That and 9 foot ceilings puts me over 25 feet in the air when I'm up there.

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On the second floor towards the front, I would use a telescoping ladder. On the second floor on the apex of the first floor I would use this ladder:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Werner-17-ft-Aluminum-Telescoping-Multi-Ladder-with-300-lb-Load-Capacity-Type-IA-Duty-Rating-MT-17/100658952

You can set the lenth of each side differently.

I bought one of these years ago (when they were only $100) and have used it on the roof without any problems.

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Has anyone gone as far as renting a bucket truck or lift to get on the second story?  I have a pretty steep pitch with some awkward angles.  I can get to the majority of my front, but I would like to get the second story sides of the house as well.

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Has anyone gone as far as renting a bucket truck or lift to get on the second story?  I have a pretty steep pitch with some awkward angles.  I can get to the majority of my front, but I would like to get the second story sides of the house as well.

Every year I use a lift on my place but my roof is way too steep to stand on. To put it i perspective, the photos above are of a 4/12 pitch roof, mine is 16/12. That is 16 inches of rise in every 12 inches of run....what was I thinking when I built this place? The 4/12 pitch is easy to stand on it's just getting up there. One of the biggest mistakes people make with a ladder is not extending it high enough. make sure it is at least three feet above the gutter or facia board, that way there is something to grab onto to steady yourself as you step on and off.

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Like Bill said it looks like a 4/12 pitch and that is really comfortable to walk on IMO......BUT if for any reason your not comfortable with it DON'T DO IT. HD rents a JLG lift that you can rent and it's worth the money to be safe.

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A buddy of mine is a roofer; and he gave me great advice (as mine is a steep roof as well) - take an old cushion out of a couch - use just the yellow stryro-foam part.  Sit on it and it holds you in place - then you can just scootch up the roof.  I am debating on getting a lift rented for a weekend or so, but for now, this method works.   If I expand and do more of the tree canopies, I may wind up just getting a lift. 

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Thanks everyone for the advice. Seems like three options:

 

1. Rent a lift - thought about that, but its expensive, then I have rent it again to take it down, and again every season. 

2. Extension ladder - seems like a reasonable option, but terrified to climb the height carrying the lights and everything else needed. 

3. Two shorter ladders, one to get to the lower roof, then a step ladder or multi-position ladder on the apex of the lower roof to reach the upper roof. This seems like a better option, but I am concerned that I cannot tie off the ladder, might be difficult to get down...

 

Any other ideas, comments or suggestions welcome. Thanks again everyone!

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Around my part of the woods roofers are looking for work in the cold parts of winter. Check around and see if you could pay one to put them up for you and take them down after Christmas. A couple of my friends have done this to make some extra money. They will have all the right equipment. See what a flat rate to put the lights up and take down might cost you.

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Thanks everyone for the advice. Seems like three options:

 

1. Rent a lift - thought about that, but its expensive, then I have rent it again to take it down, and again every season. 

2. Extension ladder - seems like a reasonable option, but terrified to climb the height carrying the lights and everything else needed. 

3. Two shorter ladders, one to get to the lower roof, then a step ladder or multi-position ladder on the apex of the lower roof to reach the upper roof. This seems like a better option, but I am concerned that I cannot tie off the ladder, might be difficult to get down...

 

Any other ideas, comments or suggestions welcome. Thanks again everyone!

 Hire someone, There are companys that do Christmas Lights and will install for you. Edited by gmac
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Some lawn service companies around here advertise they put up your lights. Once on the lower roof I would use a step ladder turned sideways so the steps are on one side of your gable and the other side of the ladder will be down the other side of the gable so your second story will either be on your right or left side as you climb.

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In addition to the risk of personal injury from falls, etc, you can damage asphalt shingles pretty easily when they are frozen if you aren't careful. I say that because I see your snow in your picture, and living up north we usually have frozen roofs, at least during the time of takedown.

Your roof pitch is pretty mild, but if you are not comfortable I would echo the advice of hiring someone who is more comfortable working on roofs, or rent a lift..

Greg

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  Don't carry anything up a ladder except a rope..Tie a 5 gal bucket onto the end of a rope and pull the bucket(full of lights etc.) up.No sense in having your hands full on a ladder when you can just slip the rope thru your belt.If you have a helper to fill the bucket,you can pull up several buckets worth of stuff and let the helper do other stuff.Mine usually goes in and makes me coffee or tea,but then she's big on the lights and not big at all on heights besides having 2 TKR's(total Knee Replacements).I don't do my second floor,it's 25+ on the front of my house and 35+ at the back.

 I have set up lights on the first floor(hey I'm just getting into this more) so that I can put them up from inside.I have double hung windows and just open the top part of them and can reach out from a step stool to put lights on my front bay windows and even reach the eaves above them.If I were to do my roof I would have to have a boom lift,since I don't have a surface to run a scissors lift across and it's not level enough anyway.I'm working on  ideas for that.I'm looking to do some lighted wreaths in my second floor windows to give some height without safety/hanging concerns.

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Tip from a fireman.  When laddering ANY roof, 3-5 rungs (steps) should be above the roofline.  It's one feat to get up on the roof, quite another to get back down!  Also  A stable base.  If it wobbles when your on the 3rd step...not a great idea to go on to the fourth.  Your gut is your best defense.  "Does this FEEL safe?" 

 

I wanted to post a link for ladder safety here, but all sites I found were pay sites.  If anyone can find a free site on how to throw a ladder, I'm sure it would be beneficial to all here.  Perhaps post it in it's own forum?

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