Cleaning and maintaining high ceilings with combination ladders
Carrying out ceiling maintenance is tough, even when working on a standard height ceiling. Some ceilings are low enough for a tall person to paint with little more than an outstretched arm, but anything above that requires significantly more equipment to get the job done. When it comes to high ceilinged rooms and buildings, thorough preparation and appropriate equipment is required. Attempting to clean or maintain a high ceiling without the right equipment is nothing less than dangerous, so it’s important to be prepared.
There are a couple of different options available for anyone looking to carry out maintenance on a high ceiling. Professionals who carry out clean and carry out ceiling maintenance regularly may be best served by a scaffold tower. Scaffold towers offer a completely stable platform on which to work with various tools. However, combination ladders offer an easier and more convenient option which works just as well, as long as safety precautions are followed.
If you’re looking for a height access solution to help you carry out maintenance on high ceilings, we’ll run through the benefits of using combination ladders below.
What benefits do combination ladders offer?
Combination ladders are perhaps the ultimate all-rounder of the ladder world. By combining the key features of other popular ladder types, they work as a one-size-fits-all solution for a number of different work environments. The first feature they borrow is the extendable section found on the extension ladder. Using two sliding sections, combination ladders can provide extended range with a smaller form factor. The sliding extendable section can also be moved downwards, allowing the ladder to be used as a staircase ladder. Finally, 3 way combination ladders also have four legs, as is the case with the standard step ladder. This allows them to stand upright and balance without support from other structures. When it comes to providing a stable working platform for jobs which require work at height, these four legs are key.
How should combination ladder be used when carrying out ceiling maintenance?
The precautions and set up necessary to carry out ceiling maintenance whilst using a combination ladder vary dramatically depending on the height of the ceiling in question. With a standard height ceiling, the risk of a fall when working is smaller due to the fact that the ladder will be less unstable the lower to the ground it is. As the height of the ceiling increases, so does the amount of care that should be taken when working on the ladder.
The first precaution, as always, should be to check the suitability of the floor surface. Any spillages, uneven patches or obstacles should be removed before the ladder is erected. If this isn’t done, the chance of the ladder losing balance when in use is much higher. The second thing to check is whether the ladder has been set up correctly before use. This should always be carried out according to the manufacturer specifications found in the instruction manual. Things to look out for are damaged structural elements, worn rubber foot covers and loose fittings. Once you are sure the ladder is set up as it should be, it is ready to use.
Using a 3 way combination ladder to carry out ceiling maintenance comes with its own set of challenges and safety considerations. Depending on the type of work being carried out, there are a number of different things to bear in mind. For example, if you are cleaning the ceiling it is important to be aware of liquid or cleaning solutions which may spill onto the working platform or ladder rungs. Cleaning solutions can be very slippery, so it is vital that you are aware of any potential spillages and always wear shoes with appropriate grip.
The most important consideration when working on a high ceiling using a 3 way combination ladder is balance. When working at height, it is much easier to lose balance with a simple outstretched arm. This is especially true when holding tools or other equipment you may be using when carrying out ceiling maintenance. To combat the potential loss of balance, many 3 way combination ladders have extendable support legs which increase the base width and reduce the centre of gravity.
Because a 3 way combination ladder with platform does not have as large a working space as a scaffold tower, it is important that tools are kept secure at all times when using the ladder. Rather than leaving tools unattended on the work platform, they should be safely stored on the ground when not in use. Additionally, the maximum safe weight of the worker plus tools will be lower than that of a scaffold tower, therefore the instruction manual should be consulted again before.
Working on high ceilinged room is reasonably similar to working on rooms with normal height ceilings, it just requires some extra safety precautions. As long as these safety precautions are followed, a 3 way combination ladder is a perfectly adequate tool for the job.
If you would like more advice on how to use 3 way combination ladders, or would like to know more about our range of 3 way combination ladders, please contact us today.
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