Crawling Boards, Scaffolding and Cat Ladders

Never attempt any major roof repairs without using crawling boards or a cat ladder. Either of these may be hired for the specific job. Some crawling boards are fitted with a top section, known as a headboard, with extension lengths. Avoid working from a ladder when using a crawling board and preferably use a scaffold tower for access to these.

Cat ladders consist of a wooden ladder with an angled lip at the top which sits over the ridge tiles. These are used in conjunction with a ladder or scaffold tower. The anchor block should be securely fastened to an adjacent chimney and secured from the rear by ropes firmly fixed to a strong anchor point.


Tubular scaffolding can be used to provide almost any configuration to give ready access. In the majority of situations, a scaffold tower, or a combination of towers in certain circumstances, can provide suitable access for domestic repairs at higher level.

A scaffold tower can be erected up to heights of 9.6m and has a platform size of 2.4m x l.2m. Sectional tubes merely slot together, providing staging of various heights. Castor wheels can be fitted, which enable the tower to be moved around; these can be locked into position. You can also fit fixed feet, which are adjustable for variations in ground height.

On any scaffold system, you should fit toe boards, an upstand of planking which prevents objects from falling over the platform edge. These should be supplied with a hired tower. The height of a tower should not exceed more than three times the dimensions of its base.

Where long areas have to be tackled, a bridge consisting of timber staging can be suspended between two towers. This will allow you to work along a dispersed area or over a surface on which it is unsafe to stand, such as glass. Toe boards should be fitted completely along the run of staging between towers.

On very long runs you may have to introduce a third tower and an extra set of staging. Staging consists of scaffold boards. These should be in good condition and damaged ones should be rejected for safety reasons. Toe boards can be made by upright sections of scaffold board, lashed to the tower at each end.

Access to a scaffold tower can be by ladder, or you can clamber up the sections. Ladders should be firmly anchored with rope to the side of the scaffold, in the same way as for use of ladders generally.

When taking down scaffold towers, avoid throwing sections down to the ground as this can affect the temper of steel. Sections may tend to grip tightly after assembly and may have to be tapped apart with a hammer and a block of wood to disassemble them. Try to avoid damaging any protective paint on the framework. Touch-up paint should be used to make good any blemishes and prevent rusting. Some makes of tower are of galvanised steel and with these you will not face the same problems of possible rusting.

For work inside the house a good step ladder is compact and safe. A step ladder reaching to l.80m should be adequate for most jobs around the house. These may be made of steel, aluminium or timber.

Another very useful design of ladder is the combination ladder and self-supporting steps. This type can be made into an extension ladder which can be adjusted at intermediate heights, made into self-supporting steps, or be used as two entirely separate ladders.

A combined ladder and staging system is one way of carrying out work on awkward places, such as halls or stairwells. This can be used in several ways: as a two or three section ladder, double-sided step ladder, a trestle and single section support, and as a stair scaffold. Each section can also be used as a separate ladder.

Another type of ladder is the platform steps, similar in construction to conventional step ladders but having a spacious platform at the top which allows free use of hands. This type of ladder may be collapsed so that the platform can be folded back to the rear stiles in an upright position.

The folding step stool is useful in the kitchen. Always use a firmly based means of access such as a pair of steps, since chairs can too readily topple backwards.

It is always best to pay a little more for a top-quality product, giving absolute confidence in the equipment bought.

10. November 2011 by admin
Categories: Featured, Handyman Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Crawling Boards, Scaffolding and Cat Ladders


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