Works great with single or extension ladders. Includes wheel for added convenience. Easy to fit between ladder's top rungs. Expertly crafted from powder-coated steel for durability. Equipped with wing nuts for fast, effective tightening.
Not ideal for roof with ridge vent or cedar shakes.
Includes rubber-grip T-bar to protect shingled and metal roofs from damage. Constructed from high-quality yellow zinc-plated steel. Designed for seamless attachment to single or extension ladder. Sturdy and versatile hook.
Wheels tend to move around, even with wing nuts fastened. Pricey compared to similar options.
Performs beautifully with a many types of fiberglass and aluminum ladders. Sold with hardware and instructions. Can be pivoted 90° when not in use for convenient storage. Good option that can be permanently installed on ladder.
Sharp points can sometimes damage shingles.
Instantly attaches ladder to peak of steep roof. Intended for use with D-rung and round-rung ladders. Equipped with reinforced rod around hook for extra strength. Weight capacity of 300 lbs.
Can be hard to tighten hook to ladder. Tends to slide.
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If you need roof repairs and all the contractors want an arm and a leg to do the job, perhaps it’s time to do it yourself. DIY projects are increasing in popularity, but roofing projects present special safety hazards and concerns, particularly if your roof is a steep one.
The steepness of your roof is called the pitch, and if the angle is too steep, you won’t be able to walk around on it safely. You’ll need some way of anchoring yourself. The least-complicated way is to put roof hooks on your ladder. These are hooks that will secure the top of your ladder across the peak of the roof. They normally have wheels on the side opposite the hook, so you can easily roll the ladder up and down the roof.
There are different kinds of ladder hooks. Some require two hooks, while others only need a single hook in the middle of the ladder. The weight and material of the hook will be a factor in deciding which one you want. Keep reading our roof ladder hooks buying guide, and we’ll help you figure it all out.
Captain hook: These are hooks that look like something Captain Hook would use. The advantage to them is that they pivot out of the way on hinges when you don’t need them. The disadvantage is that the sharp point can damage roof shingles. They also don’t have wheels on them, so muscling the ladder up to the peak of the roof will be harder than with the wheeled variety.
Flat steel: These are the standard, garden-variety of roof ladder hooks. They are made of steel, six to eight inches long. The length lies flat against the roof and provides good security without damaging the shingles. Depending on how the edge is angled, some of them may not be suitable for use on wood shake shingles.
Wood shake shingles, especially older ones, can slip out of place without warning and take you to the ground with it. Any wood shake roof that is pitched over 10 degrees requires a roof ladder.
Steel: Most roof ladder hooks are made of steel. This gives them plenty of strength to hold the ladder securely in place with your weight on it.
Aluminum: Some roof ladder hooks are made of aluminum. Aluminum is fairly strong, but the main benefit here is how lightweight it is.
Each ladder hook will weigh between 4.7 and 7 pounds. If a hook is designed to be used with another at the same time (one on either side of the ladder), bear in mind that that will be double the weight on the end of the ladder when you’re trying to turn it over.
The main colors for ladder hooks are safety yellow, red, and black. Some are burnished aluminum or yellow zinc coated.
Ladder stabilizers: Before you can use a roof ladder, you have to get up to the roof and have a steady foundation from which to work. You can’t work very well if you’re constantly worried that the ladder you’re standing on might wobble, slip, or slide at any moment. A stabilizer like this top-seller by Ladder-Max offers a solution to this worry.
Extension ladder covers: The ends of ordinary extension ladders have sharp corners and edges. When you’re standing on one to maneuver a roof ladder into place, wheeling it up to the roofline or flipping it over into position, you need something to cover the ends of the ladder so you don’t jab or cut yourself. Soft ladder covers like these from Louisville Ladder are inexpensive and easy to use.
Safety harness: If the roof you’re working on is steep enough to require a roof ladder, it’s steep enough that you should wear a safety harness in case you slip. You’re not Spiderman, and when that one-in-a-million accident happens, a safety harness is worth its weight in gold. One of our favorites comes from 3M Personal Protective Equipment.
The pitch of a roof is the number of inches it rises for every 12 inches of horizontal length. A roof that increases vertically six inches for every 12 inches it goes up is a 6-in-12 (6/12) pitch.
A roof pitch in excess of 9-in-12 (9/12) is about 37 degrees. This is considered a steep pitch and requires the use of a roof ladder.
Some roof ladder hooks are sold in pairs, but most are sold singly, so we’ll compare prices for them individually.
Inexpensive: The low price range is around $25 to $30 for a single ladder hook. These are simple, all-steel ladder hooks. They might be a little heavier than some others.
Mid-range: Mid-price ladder hooks cost between $30 and $40 each. These are the solid ladder hooks that will last for years.
Expensive: Anything above $40 is in the high price range. This is where you’ll find the padded, rubberized hooks that protect the shingles on your roof.
Ladder hooks attach to the top two rungs of your ladder and are tightened in place with wingnuts.
Pull the roof ladder up to the roof and lay it on the roof with the wheels facing down. The wheels will roll across the tiles or shingles instead of knocking them loose.
Position the ladder two to three feet away from the chimney or any vents. This will allow enough room for you to turn it over once it is in position.
Push the ladder up the roof until the wheels touch the top row of shingles covering the center peak. Turn it over so the hook is facing down. Gently pull the ladder back and forth a few times to ensure the hook is securely set.
When you’re finished with the ladder, reverse the process. Push the ladder forward an inch or two then turn it over so the wheels are facing the roof. Roll it back down the roof until you can lower it to the ground. You should always have a safety rope on the ladder. It makes it much easier to raise and lower it.
Never try to climb any kind of ladder with tools in your hand. You should have both hands and at least one foot on the ladder at all times. Keep your tools in your tool belt so your hands are free.
We also like the TITAN, 81DR Roof Hook, which is made of solid steel yet weighs just seven pounds. Only one is required per ladder, and it is reasonably priced to boot. It appears to be a new product, and if the manufacturer had a little more history, this would be a major contender.
Q. What is a normal roof pitch?
A. There isn’t any standard per sé, but most residential houses have a roof pitch, or slope, of 18 to 36 degrees. Below 18 degrees is considered a “flat” roof. Above 36 degrees is considered a steep roof.
Q. Can I walk on my roof without a roof ladder?
A. If your roof has composition shingles and the pitch is between 14 degrees and 27 degrees, you will be able to easily walk on it in soft-soled sneakers. If your roof is steeper than 27 degrees, you can still walk on it, but you should exercise caution.
Q. Should I get off the roof ladder once I’m on the roof?
A. No. If the roof is steep enough to require a roof ladder, you’ll be in danger of slipping and falling anytime you get off the roof ladder. If you need to repair or work on different sections of the roof, you’ll have to move the roof ladder to each section in turn.
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