How To Put And Secure A Ladder On a Sloped Roof

How To Put And Secure A Ladder On a Sloped Roof


February 15, 2022

If you have a sloped roof, it probably feels more difficult to set up and secure a ladder to get up onto it safely.

These types of roofs make it difficult to do roofing work because they don’t offer easy access to where you need to go. That’s why you must ensure that you learn how to put and secure a ladder on a sloped roof.

What kind of ladder is right for a sloped roof?

The ladder should be long, light, and have grippers located at the bottom so that you don’t slip. 

There are other tips to bear in mind when using a ladder on a sloped roof, and some important accessories to know about that will help you stay safe and avoid injuries. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about using a ladder on a sloped roof. 

The Dangers Of Using A Ladder On A Sloped Roof

How To Put And Secure A Ladder On a Sloped Roof

The main problem you’ll encounter when using a ladder on a sloped roof is that it’s difficult to establish a solid base. The roof is slanted, so ensuring you can locate a good entry point for the ladder is tricky – it must be in a place where you can safely disembark from the ladder.

You have to ensure that the ladder stays securely in place. Since the ladder will be set up at an angle it might not have a level base that gives you enough support. 

How To Put And Secure A Ladder On A Sloped Roof 

Now that we’ve looked at some of the difficulties involved with using a ladder on a sloped roof, let’s explore how you can safely do your roofing jobs.

Choose The Right Roof Ladder

A roofing ladder is an extension ladder that is attached to the ridge of the sloped roof. This enables you to get up onto the roof and work from an angle. To attach the ladder to the roof, it needs to have hooks installed on it.

These often have rolling wheels so that you can push the ladder up the height of the roof. These wheels also protect your roof shingles from damage. 

Make sure that the ladder you choose when you want to use it on a sloped roof has a type 2 duty rating. This is a good choice as it will be strong enough to handle up to 225 pounds of weight, and it’s been approved for medium-duty use.

Purchase Ladder Accessories 

How To Put And Secure A Ladder On a Sloped Roof

There are important accessories you should purchase to keep your ladder stable during use. Ladder shoes are an example. These “shoes” are often made out of plastic, metal, or fiberglass, and they’re basically caps that get attached to the bottom of the ladder legs so that they will grip the ground better. 

Some ladder shoes have rubber mats that you put underneath the ladder for even more stability, but others have joints that give your ladder shoes flexibility so the shoes remain in full contact with the ground at all times, even if the ladder is at an angle. 

Here are other accessories that you should consider purchasing as they will make climbing onto a sloped roof much easier and doable even if you’re not a professional roofer.

Stabilizer cord 

How To Put And Secure A Ladder On a Sloped Roof

You can prevent the ladder from slipping at the top where it makes contact with the roof by using a stabilizer cord. This helps to prevent lateral movements that can make you wobble when you’re up on the ladder.

Bungee cord is an example of a stabilizer cord because it’s strong and durable. You will hook an end of the cord to the lip of the gutter, making sure that you wind the cord tightly around the ladder leg, then fold the cord across the ladder and back around it in a complete circle. Finally, hook the cord to the gutter on the opposite side of the ladder. 

PiVit ladder tool 

If you have a steep roof, you should purchase a PiVit Ladder tool. This tool provides a level base on which you can place the ladder when you’re on slanted ground. It ensures that both ladder legs are at the same level.  

Roof boot

Another accessory to have is a roof boot. This is a metal tool that gets drilled into the roof so it’s essentially a stopper for the ladder. You should hammer the boot with long nails so you can attach it to the ladder’s bottom rung. You can also use a roof boot with a PiVit ladder tool to give you even more protection so your ladder doesn’t slide.

How To Use Extension Ladders Safely

How To Put And Secure A Ladder On a Sloped Roof

An extension ladder is convenient when you need to achieve greater heights or climb up a sloped roof. Here are some tips to bear in mind when using it.

  • Extend the ladder properly. Place it on the ground so that its feet are against the wall of your house. Lift the top of the ladder and walk it upright, hand over hand. When it’s almost in a vertical position, hold a rung that’s in line with your thigh and carefully lift the ladder. Then, walk its bottom back away from the house.
  • When you’re happy with how the ladder is extended and positioned, take some rope and raise the telescopic section of the ladder to the height you need. You want to check that both of the rung hooks are locked onto one of the ladder’s rungs. Then you can tie off the rope end to a lower rung. 
  • To get the right ladder angle, you should make use of the 1:4 ratio. How this works is that you divide the ladder’s height by four, before setting the ladder base at that distance away from your house. So, if the ladder is 16 feet tall, its base should be set four feet away from the house.
  • Make sure that the ladder feet are always stable on the ground. Never use blocks of wood underneath the ladder to secure it. These could move out of place and cause you to come tumbling down to the ground.
  • When you ascend or descend the ladder, make sure you always face it while using both hands to grip it. Using a toolbelt for your supplies is important to free up your hands for gripping the ladder while you climb or descend it.
  • It helps to have a friend around! Ask a friend to be around when you use a ladder on a sloped roof. They can stand on the base of the ladder to offer a bit of extra support or just check that your ladder accessories are working correctly. 
  • It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: never set up your ladder on wet, icy, snowy, or muddy ground as this can make it lack stability while you work on the roof, even if you’re using ladder accessories. 

Does a longer ladder have a higher duty rating?

The length of a ladder doesn’t influence its duty rating. So, before you use a ladder, always check its duty rating by checking the sticker on the side of the ladder.

What safety gear do you need when climbing a ladder?

You should make sure that you wear a helmet, boots, and gloves when using a ladder on a sloped roof. The gloves will help you to have a better grip on the ladder when ascending or descending it.

What sizes do extension ladders come in?

You can find extension ladders that have lengths of 16 feet all the way up to 40 feet or more.  


If you have to climb a ladder to get to the top of a sloped roof, you have to ensure you stay safe.

It can be scary to think that your ladder could wobble and cause you to fall or remain stranded on a roof. In this article, we’ve provided you with all the tips you need to follow to ensure you don’t slip or fall, and to help you get your DIY roofing job done successfully and quickly.

Even though a sloped roof can seem intimidating to climb, especially if you’re not a professional roofer or it’s your first time attempting it, with the right ladder, tools, and tips at your disposal this can become an easy task.

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James Weldon is a professional roofing contractor with many years of experience on the job. He does not only handle large projects and provide excellent services for his company’s many clients; James Weldon also dedicates his spare time to teaching others useful tricks of the trade. Using BuildCampus as an avenue to reach many roofers and aspiring roofing contractors, James Weldon continues to provide high-quality educational posts and buying recommendations for anyone who visits the website.