How To Put A Ladder On A Sloped Roof (Step-by-Step Guide)

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

Every now and then, you’ll need to make repairs on hard-to-reach spots of your home. Among the toughest spots to address is the roof as even getting up there can be a challenge. That’s especially true if you have a sloped roof.

The good news is that there is a way to get up on to your sloped roof safely. It’s something homeowners can do even if they lack experience when it comes to home repair.

Use the 75-degree-angle rule when placing your ladder to ensure optimal support and security. Use a ladder hook to attach the ladder to the ridge of your roof. You will need an extension ladder to reach further up your sloped roof. For extra stability, you can use ladder stabilizers to increase the grip on the roof.

There’s no denying that climbing up the side of your home using a ladder can be scary. Ease your worries by taking heed of the information included in this article.

The Challenge of Climbing Atop a Sloped Roof

Before we get into the discussion of climbing up a sloped roof, let’s first talk about why that’s difficult. The main issue here is that you’ll have a hard time establishing a solid base.

Since the roof is slanted, finding a good entry point for the ladder can be a challenge. It has to be at a spot where you can disembark from the ladder safely and establish a good base.

Getting the ladder to stay in place as you climb is no easy feat either. With the ladder set up at an angle, it may lack the solid base needed to provide you with adequate support. Climb the ladder the wrong way and it could also slip against the side of your home.

It’s important to recognize that climbing a sloped roof using a ladder is inherently risky. That said, there are things you can do to make the process as safe as possible.

How to Secure a Ladder on Your Home’s Sloped Roof

Let’s now get to the steps you need to follow if you want to climb your sloped roof safely. Keep these steps in mind the next time an issue up there emerges.

Check on Your Roof

Prior to climbing your roof, you must first check to see if it’s actually capable of supporting you. Consider the material makeup of your roof. Metal roofs are suitable for climbing and the same goes for tile and ceramic roofs.

It would also help if you could perform an ocular inspection of your roof. Given that you’re not doing climbing at this point, you’ll have to check from afar.

Go inside your attic or whichever room is closest to the roof and look for any signs of significant damage. You should also head outside and try to use binoculars to spot potential problems. If you have a drone at home, now is a good time to use it.

Step 1: Choose the Right Type of Ladder

This is arguably the most important step of this entire process. Simply put, you won’t be able to reach your roof if you’re using the wrong type of ladder.

So, which type of ladder should you choose? In this case, you will need an extension ladder.

Extension ladders are designed for scaling heights. They can also be rolled out further in case you need more length to reach the right spot. Now that you’ve set your sights on extension ladders, it’s time to focus on its characteristics.

To get the right ladder length, you should first measure how tall the side of your home is. Now, find an extension ladder that can cover that height. reminds you that the ladder will be positioned at an angle. Also, you can only use up to the top three feet of the ladder. Remember those things to ensure you end up with an appropriately-sized ladder.

The ladder duty rating is something you must be mindful of as well. At a minimum, you’ll probably need a Type II medium-duty ladder. Those are good enough to hold up to 225 pounds of weight.

You can also find Type I heavy-duty ladders and Type IA extra heavy duty ladders. Those can support up to 250 pounds and 300 pounds respectively.

Lastly, make it a point to look for an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) sticker on the ladder. It’s an indicator that the ladder can actually back up its load-bearing claims.

Step 2: Pick Up Some Accessories

With the right ladder chosen, you can now move on to picking out some accessories. These accessories will make climbing the ladder easier and safer. They can also offer additional protection for your home.

Ladder Hooks

First off, try to find hooks that will fit your ladder. The hooks are used to secure the ladder on to your roof. They grab on to a particular spot and help keep the ladder from moving around as you climb.

You can purchase the ladder hooks from just about any hardware store. Alternatively, you can make the ladder hooks yourself and save some money in the process.

Ladder Stabilizers

Ladder stabilizers come in the form of bars, mitts, and mount guards. The idea behind using them is that they will keep your ladder steady.

Some of these stabilizers are worn over a portion of the ladder or they can be attached to your home. The stabilizers attached to your home are usually ones that also provide some form of scratch protection.

Ladder Leashes

The ladder leash has the same goal as a ladder stabilizer but it goes about things differently. To use the leash, you must first wrap one end of it over one leg of the ladder. You then take the other end and nail that to the surface the ladder is leaning on.

A ladder leash should provide plenty of stability. You can also use it together with other stabilizers to better secure your ladder.

Step 3: Get a Friend to Help

You’re done with selecting the hardware but there’s one more thing you can do to ensure a safe climb. Call a friend over and ask for his/her help.

It’s a good idea to always have someone nearby who can grab hold of the ladder when it’s swaying. Having that person there will put your mind at ease and allow you to climb without that much worry.

How You Should Climb the Ladder

Whenever you climb the ladder, remember to always maintain three points of contact. Your feet and hands should always be the parts of your body in contact with the ladder.

Maintain a steady pace as you climb as well to keep too much weight from being concentrated on one spot. Also, if you feel unsteady while on the ladder, don’t be afraid to climb down. It’s always best to err on the side of caution when using a ladder.

Related Questions

Can You Clean Your Gutters from a Ladder?

Yes, you can clean your gutters from a ladder but you have to exercise caution when doing so. It’s a good idea to use the same ladder for roof climbing as you would for cleaning gutters.Positioning is also key. Get as close to the spot you want to clean so that you don’t have to overextend. Overextending can easily lead to the ladder tipping over.

Should You Use a Harness When Climbing Your Roof?

More often than not, using a harness is unnecessary because a ladder is tall enough to reach the roof. However, if you need to set up scaffolding to reach your roof, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a harness. The harness provides extra protection that can further reduce the chances of you sustaining an injury.

What Safety Gear Should You Wear?

Don’t take climbing a ladder lightly. Put on some safety gear when climbing and protect yourself as well as you can.Wearing a helmet is a must and you should also consider putting on some boots and gloves. The boots and gloves will help you cling to the ladder better.

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

More by Upgraded Home Team