How to Get on a Second Story Roof Safely

In order to get those important renovations done on your roof, you have to know how to get up there. Finding the right ladder for the job is the first part of the answer, but there’s a lot more that goes into ensuring that you can climb up there and finish your remodeling as easily as possible.

Here is a short guide to climbing up to the roof of your house with a priority on safety equipment and procedures that will ensure that the job goes smoothly.


Find the right ladder

This is the most obvious part of the answer to the question of how to climb your roof, but there’s more to a ladder than price. When you’re doing inspections or remodeling, you want a ladder that comes with the right features to complete your job effectively.

The first thing to consider is the height of the ladder. When shopping for the best ladders, realize that its leaning height is the height you’ll have to work with. A ladder that’s too short will force you to place it closer to the wall. The steeper your ladder is, the more dangerous and inconvenient your climb becomes.

Experts recommend having at least four feet from the base of the wall to the feet of the ladder for an easy climb. Factor how this distance will change the usable height of your ladder when buying.

Weight is also an issue. Make sure the ladder is made of appropriate materials and comes certified by a safety or trade organization for the weight capacity listed.

Use a bungee cord

Make sure to bring a bungee cord with you when you climb up. This is so you can attach the ladder to the gutter of your roof at the top. As you finish your climb and your hands leave the ladder, you don’t want it to drop out from under your feet.

In order to do this for maximum stability, bring a cord long enough to fold across the whole length of the ladder. Attach it to the gutter, wrap it around the ladder’s leg, and pull it around the whole length of the ladder to attach it to the gutter on the opposite side.

This is especially necessary for those that are climbing their ladder to paint or repair a roof (or wall) while remaining on the ladder. The longer you spend standing and climbing on the ladder, the more chance you have of losing your footing. Bungee cords are a cheap and effective way of stabilizing your ladder.

Ensure proper footing

The ladder’s footing is a significant factor in its stability. This includes not only the quality of the feet, such as the material and whether they have treads, but also the ground itself.

To get the proper footing on uneven ground, you may want to purchase a ladder tool for stability. These tools can hook onto the ladder against the roof to provide a different standing angle or create a non-skid platform for the ladder to stand on.

Ladder levelers have hundreds of little rubber feet that hold the platform in place so you can climb up to your second-story roof even from soft, uneven, or slippery ground.

Use three points of contact

To prevent falls when climbing to the roof on your ladder, remember the three points of contact rule. This means making sure that at least three of your limbs are always in contact with the ladder.

This reminder is to improve your stability while working from your ladder and decrease the chances of a dangerous fall while climbing.

The Takeaway

Climbing to your second-story roof to get those urgent remodeling or renovation projects going can be easy and safe with the right equipment and preparation.

If you know that the ground around your house is unstable, you may need to purchase a ladder leveler. Bungee cords that can stabilize the ladder against the gutter of your house are essential (and cheap) additions to your toolkit. The right ladder for your project will be adjustable, stable, and sturdy without much help.

With the right research and preparation, there’s no reason that preparing for your roof renovation project should be more difficult than climbing a few steps.