Roof repairs aren’t easy. As you work, you have to keep your balance and not think about how high up in the air you are. Add a rickety ladder that moves every time you shift on top, and it becomes a real nightmare.
But it doesn’t have to be one. Even if you don’t enjoy working at a height, a good, stable roofing ladder can change your experience quite a bit. Instead of shuddering at the prospect of falling and breaking your neck, you’ll be able to fully focus on your work.
But there are so many roofing ladders on the market, making it difficult to choose the best one. That’s why I’ve made this comprehensive guide to help you find just the ladder you need!
Best Roof Ladders: Top Picks
1. Louisville FE3232 Extension Ladder
With its height of 32 feet and 300-pound weight capacity, Louisville is a perfect ladder for all kinds of roof repairs. It’s strong enough to support you and any tools you bring along, but it’s also lightweight and extendable. Thus, you’ll have no trouble carrying it and storing it away when you no longer use it.
Since any roof inspection and repair can take a while, you want your ladder to be sturdy and durable. Louisville is just that — a ladder made of non-conductive fiberglass with rubber threads on its steel shoes. These specifically-designed shoes ensure a firm grip on the ground, so there’s no way that the ladder will slip while you’re moving on it.
And if you’re more worried that you’ll slip, Louisville took care of that too. D-shaped rungs are comfortable to stand on and serrated, ensuring that you won’t lose your footing even when it’s raining. On top of that, the rungs are directly connected with the rail, providing durability and quality, while the rail itself is mar-resistant. When it comes to quality, you’ll have a hard time finding something better than Louisville.
What’s more, the extension is smooth and easy. The heavy-duty slide guides allow the rails to glide to their full height, while the Max lock with its latch system makes sure that they don’t fold back. Extend your ladder as much as you need, and lock it in place with the Max lock — it’s that simple!
2. Telesteps 1800EP Professional Extension Ladder
Do you have very little space in your garage, but also need a tall ladder for your roof repairs? Well then, Telesteps 1800EP is the right choice for you. It works just like a telescope — when you fully extend it, it’s 14.5 feet tall, but folded, it’s barely taller than a stool.
The Telesteps ladder is made of aircraft-grade aluminum alloys, so it’s sturdy and easy to carry. It features pivoting silicone shoes that grip the ground firmly and elliptical tubes that give the whole ladder strength. You can be sure that there will be no accidents — or at least none caused by faults in the ladder construction.
You can fully extend the Telesteps ladder, but you can also raise it only to the height you need. Both extension and retraction are incredibly easy due to the patented one-touch release mechanism. As convenient as this is, some users did find a few faults with it. One of those is the fact that you can’t collapse the ladder by a single rung, but instead have to fold it entirely and extend again to the desired height.
The Telesteps ladder is used by the US military and law enforcement teams, which says enough about its quality. But that’s not all — it also has a certificate which proves that it’s OSHA compliant. All in all, you really can’t go wrong with this one.
3. Little Giant Velocity Multi-Use Ladder
As the name suggests, the Little Giant ladder is quite big, yet it can easily become small. In total, this ladder is 22 feet tall, but by operating its hinges and rock locks, you can change its height and configuration. Use it as a stepladder, 90-degree ladder or extension — whatever you need, you’ll find it in the Little Giant!
The ladder is quite lightweight, but it can handle up to 300 pounds at a time. Since it’s so versatile, two people can use it at the same time when it’s in a certain configuration. And here’s where it gets even better — if you’re using it as an A-frame, it can bear 300 pounds on each side! So you can climb with another person on the other side, and bring a few tools on top.
Made of aerospace-grade aluminum, the Little Giant ladder is incredibly sturdy and stable. Due to its wide-flared legs, you’ll feel as if you’re standing firmly on the ground even when you’re on the highest rungs. Little Giant Velocity exceeds all OSHA and ANSI standards, making sure that you get the best possible product.
But remember, Little Giant is by no means your typical everyday ladder. You might find yourself a little confused and maybe even overwhelmed when you use it for the first time. So here is a little demo, showing you exactly how to change its configuration and length and make the most of it.
4. Werner D6232-2 Extension Ladder
With its 32-feet, the Werner extension ladder is among the tallest on this list. Yet if you don’t need its full length, simply retract it. The rope and pulley system allows you to do that easily, and the clamp at the end of the rope locks the ladder in your desired position. What’s more, you can even separate the base section and use it as a ladder on its own!
The Werner ladder is extremely safe and durable. Its load capacity is 300 pounds and it features slip-resistant Traction-Tred D rungs. These allow you to work for hours at a time, without fear of falling. On top of that, rungs are firmly fixed to the rail so that they can’t twist around. Thus, you can expect a safe climb and no sudden loss of footing.
For added stability, the ladder features durable action feet that are perfect for use on hard surfaces. But they can also dig into a softer surface such as the ground and stay firmly in place.
The whole ladder is made of non-conductive fiberglass, which allows you to work near electrical sources. Thanks to all of this, Werner’s ladder is often professionals’ first choice — roof mechanics everywhere swear by it.
5. OxGord Multi-Folding Ladder
Think of how many ladders you have — one for smaller jobs outside, another one for roofing, yet another that you use inside, and probably one more for good measure. That’s a lot of space taken up by ladders which you could easily replace by a single one. Yes, that’s right, a single OxGord ladder can be used for all these various purposes, and so much more.
When unfolded, the ladder is 12.5 feet tall, but you can bend it and retract it in all kinds of shapes. That’s possible thanks to special multi-position hinges and safety locks that allow unprecedented versatility. Use it as a step-ladder, twin step-ladder, extension ladder, and anything else that comes to mind. When you finish, simply fold it — it can collapse to 3.4 feet so you can easily store it in your basement.
This OxGord ladder is made of aluminum, which makes it durable and lightweight. It’s waterproof, so you can use it in the rain and not worry about rusting. What’s more, all of the hinges are anti-corrosive as well!
With its 330-pound weight capacity, the OxGord is one of the most heavy-duty ladders on this list. But since you’re likely to carry heavy materials when performing roof repairs, that is exactly what you need!
6. DeWalt DXL3020 Fiberglass Extension Ladder
When fully extended, the DeWalt ladder is 16 feet tall, so it can reach most roof areas with ease. However, since it features rung locks and a pulley for easy extension and retraction, it’s easy to conclude that you can use it at various heights. So even if your roof is not quite as high, you can still comfortably use the DeWalt ladder!
The ladder is made of fiberglass and has a rather smooth and sleek finishing. It’s corrosion and mar-proof so it will stay in great shape for a long time. On top of that, the sides of the ladder are made of rubber in order to prevent scratches on landing surfaces.
DeWalt pays special attention to balance and stability, so the ladder features heavy-duty swivel shoes. These shoes are made of aluminum, which means they won’t corrode and you’ll have great support while standing high in the air.
Customers gave the DeWalt ladder great reviews, saying that the brand is trustworthy and reliable. What particularly impressed them was the tool slot and hardware tray at the top of the ladder. These two features make work much easier, as you can simply put your tools aside when you’re not using them.
What to Look For When Buying a Roofing Ladder
The ladders I’ve reviewed here are only some of the many you can find on the market. And in case you end up having to choose from ladders that aren’t on this list, you should have some idea of what you’re looking for. That’s why I included this short guide which shows some of the main features that a good roofing ladder should have.
In most cases, in order to perform roof repairs, you’ll need an extension ladder. These ladders are some of the tallest on the market, but can also retract if your roof isn’t quite as high. Before you actually purchase any ladders, make sure to know the approximate height of your roof.
Keep in mind that the ladder can’t have the same height as the roof. It will stand at an angle when you use it, andit needs to extend over the roofline for stability. Thus, buy a ladder that is seven to ten feet taller than its highest contact point.
As sturdy as a ladder is, there’s only so much load it can bear. And luckily, you don’t have to test it on your own — duty rating shows you the weight capacity of each ladder. But remember; while all ladders can definitely handle your weight alone, you need to take into account the weight of tools and materials you want to bring with you. The last thing you want is to accidentally overload your ladder.
For roofing jobs in particular, look for Type I or Type 1A ladders. Type I are heavy-duty ladders which can bear up to 250 pounds and are often used in construction. Type 1A ones are slightly sturdier — they have a 300-pound load capacity. Most of the ladders I mentioned here belong to Type 1A, but you can’t go wrong with either one.
You need your ladder to be sturdy and durable, but also light enough to carry around. Obviously, the ladder’s material should reflect this, so let’s take a look at the most common ones.
- Aluminum — lightweight and waterproof, aluminum is a material that can withstand any sort of wear and tear. The only real downside of it is that it’s more prone to scratches and dents than other, heavier metals.
- Steel or stainless steel — extremely durable, steel provides great stability to any ladder. Unfortunately, it needs rust-proofing before use and can be a little too heavy. On top of that, it’s quite pricey, so it’s somewhat less popular than aluminum.
- Wood — this is a more affordable option than the previous two, but it’s also less durable and damage-resistant. When it’s dry, wood is non-conductive, which is a plus if you’re working around electricity. However, be careful not to use it in the rain — when wet, it quickly becomes conductive.
- Fiberglass — perhaps the sturdiest option of all, fiberglass is becoming increasingly popular. It’s heavier and pricier than aluminum, but it’s also non-conductive, and thus safer.
Hooks and Stabilizers
For additional balance, many roofing ladders come with hooks that grab onto the roof ridge and secure the ladder in place. Even if the ladder of your choosing doesn’t have one, it’s a good idea to invest in it.
You might not need a hook for all roof work — for example, if you’re only up there to clean the gutters, you can get away with not using one. However, if your roof repairs require you to move across the roof, a hook is an absolute must.
‘Stabilizers’ is a pretty wide term that covers everything from special ladder shoes to anti-slip rungs. All of the best roofing ladders nowadays come with at least some stabilizers, so usually, it’s only a matter of choosing what you need.
Check what additional features a ladder has to make sure that you will really be as safe as possible while you’re working high up in the air. Ultimately, it’s always better to pay more and have a high-quality ladder than end up in a hospital after a bad fall.
Choosing a roofing ladder may not seem like a big deal, but a wrong choice can have severe consequences. So don’t go into it blindly — you need to do your research and make an informed decision.
And if you’re not sure where to start, this guide can steer you in the right direction. Choose from the many ladders on this list, or simply use it to learn what you should be looking for. Either way, you’re sure to find the perfect ladder for your specific roofing needs!