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Roof Access Ladders
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There are numerous safety benefits of installing roof access ladders on commercial buildings, especially those with multiple roof heights, as anyone needing to access the roof will be able to do so without carrying a ladder from one area to another. The advantage of working with a professional company for all your roofing needs is having access to services well beyond installing roof ladder access, including roof renovations, replacements, inspections, skylight maintenance and more.
Roof Access Ladders for Commercial Buildings
Roof ladders are permanently affixed to offer easier entry onto commercial building roofs. When installed correctly by a company adhering to Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standards, roof ladders can be an effective tool in minimizing risk for an individual needing entry to the roof.
While most modern-day building codes require roof ladders for commercial buildings, some building owners may underestimate their importance and be tempted to cut corners, meeting only the minimal safety standards. This is a mistake as well as a potential liability, especially considering the number of professionals who will likely be using the ladder. It’s not practical or safe to have HVAC technicians, exterminators, facility managers or others rely on portable ladders for roof access.
How Commercial Building Owners Can Benefit From Installing Roof Access Ladders
Roof ladders can allow easy and safe access to a building’s single or multiple level roof to professionals such as:
Most large businesses have one or more facility managers who are responsible for maintaining the building. This can include regularly surveying the interior and exterior for potential damage and doing basic repairs when needed. A ladder would allow them dependable access to the roof to look for possible storm damage or the source of a leak.
Some commercial buildings feature a rooftop HVAC system, largely due to the convenience of having any system repairs or maintenance done without disruption to the activities happening inside, and to deter theft. With a wall mounted roof ladder, these technicians can get to the HVAC unit without having to rely on their own equipment, which may or may not be appropriate for the job at hand.
While the focus of most pest control tends to be the interior of the building, it should also be a concern for roofing systems, especially flat roofs. This can be a nesting area for rodents, birds, squirrels and more, and those nests can block draining systems and may lead to damaging pooling of rainwater. A pest control company will not require special equipment to access the roof if a permanent ladder is already in place.
Roofing maintenance is not a one and done project. To extend a roofing system’s life span for as long as possible, regular maintenance and annual inspections are needed. Installing roof ladder access simply facilitates the process, making it more efficient.
From a safety standpoint, a permanent wall mounted ladder allowing roofing access allows facility managers, HVAC technicians, and pest control personnel to avoid using their own equipment, which may or may not meet safety standards and be the proper size for your building.
4 Considerations to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Proper Roof Ladder
While a professional roofing company will be able to provide guidance on the top considerations to keep in mind when choosing a roof access ladder, it is wise for the building owner to understand what they are getting as well, which includes the following information:
1. Material: Roof ladders can be made up of a number of different materials. It is important to choose a material that stands up well to harsh weather and environmental influences over time, including being rust resistant.
2. Load capacity: Be sure the material selected for the ladder can support the desired maximum load capacity. This should match a building owner’s specific needs as well as key safety regulations.
3. Installers: Ensure you have a team of experts installing roof ladder access who understand how to keep the installation from negatively impacting the wall of the building or the roof. If a roof ladder is incorrectly anchored by damaging the wall or roof, it could invite moisture in, which can necessitate some serious and often expensive repairs.
4. Maintenance plan: Any installation should come with a maintenance plan. Without it, a ladder could become unstable or unsafe and cause unnecessary harm over time. Make a maintenance schedule and stick with it to protect your roof access ladder and the people who use it.
Why Hire a Professional Roofing Company for Roof Ladder Installations?
Who better to install a ladder to the roof than a professional roofing company itself? In addition to it being a one stop shop experience, it can have some definitive perks, such as:
- The installation of a permanent wall mounted ladder that provides easy access to the roof: This is particularly key for commercial buildings with multi-level roofs.
- Customization of a roof ladder as needed: Every building is unique and roofing systems can vary, so it makes sense to trust roof ladder installation to professionals who understand both sides of these logistics.
- Design of a ladder to meet required safety guidelines and regulations: Not all service providers who might need roof access will have a ladder that is the right size for meeting safety regulations regarding accessing a roof. It also keeps these providers from having to carry a ladder up to the lowest roof so they can access other parts of a multi-level roof, which can also be a safety issue.
- The mounting of the ladder to a wall that is deemed structurally sound by the roofing company: Many professional roofing companies also offer wall restoration services and have the tools and knowledge to confirm they are installing a roof access ladder to a structurally sound wall, rather than unknowingly putting a ladder in on a potentially unstable one.
- The company can inspect the roof ladder during a regularly scheduled roof inspection: Just like a roof needs regular inspection, so will a roof ladder to ensure that none of the mounting is coming loose due to environmental factors or damage.
Installing a roof access ladder is one of the smartest things a building owner can do to protect their own roof investment, as well as the safety of those who may also need entry to the roof.