Choosing the right ladder seems like it should be easy, right? And it is. There aren’t too many elements to consider. The main choices are material and style. Other than that, it’s pretty straightforward. When you’re using a ladder, it usually means you’re up high, and it’s a well-known fact that falling from height can cause quite a lot of damage. This is why picking the cheapest ladder option is not always the best idea for your safety. Here are some things to look at and consider when choosing your new ladder.
Firstly, what is the purpose of the ladder? Do you need a DIY ladder? Is this a feature ladder on your new library style wall? Or are you having a roof hatch or loft ladder installed? The purpose and location of your ladder will determine the material to be used which contributes to the overall look and style of the ladder. Making sure you have a good understanding of what you want and need is vital to making sure you pick the right one.
If you are having to move your ladder around, aluminum is your material. Fiberglass is a dense material, which consequently makes it heavy too. While wood looks nice, it can also be heavy and difficult to move. Aluminum ladders can easily be handled and transported by a single person. This makes aluminum the preferred choice for a style that will be maneuvered or lifted in any way. Due to its lightweight properties, aluminum is usually the material used by tradespeople and for extension ladders.
In general, fiberglass is much stronger than aluminum. Its density makes it a strong and sturdy ladder material. However, this does not mean that aluminum isn’t strong. It wouldn’t be used to make ladders if it wasn’t, and can be just as safe to use as fiberglass. There are always rumors of fiberglass cracking or snapping and aluminum bending, but this doesn’t necessarily come down to its strength, more so how it is looked after.
Both aluminum and fiberglass are durable. Neither material will rust or corrode if left outside and both are resistant against weather conditions. Fiberglass is also resistant to heat and electricity, whereas aluminum is not. Aluminum will conduct heat and electricity and is thought to lose strength and sturdiness when exposed. This makes fiberglass the safer option if a ladder is needed when dealing with anything electrical or hot. Wood is less resistant to the weather and definitely not safe around heat. If your ladder is for indoor purposes, wood could be your material.
The major difference between materials is the price. While still strong, durable and versatile, aluminum tends to be on the cheaper side. Fiberglass may be denser, stronger and resistant to electricity and heat as well as the weather, but it does come at a higher cost. With wood, you are paying for the aesthetical value – your ladder is a useful showpiece.
The type of ladder you will need depends on the types of tasks you are taking on. Aluminum is affordable, versatile and durable yet fiberglass is stronger and heat resistant.
To read more on topics like this, check out the Budget category