If you ever have to work outdoors, the weather conditions that you find yourself in can have a tremendous effect on your overall safety, especially when high winds are involved. 

The wind is often a neglected and ignored weather condition when working outside, most likely down to the fact that it is invisible and as such is not top of the mind. However, despite us not being physically able to see high winds, they have the ability to cause real damage to anyone that is caught working in them, especially if you're on a ladder!

So, how do you keep yourself safe when working in windy conditions? Ladders UK Direct are here to give you some easy ladder safety tips that help minimise the risks involved with working outdoors in high winds.

More...

Hop-up step

Need a bit of extra height while working? A ladder isn't always the most practical solution - sometimes, it's both quicker and safer to use a hop-up work platform.

We offer a selection of sturdy aluminium hop-ups here at Ladders UK Direct. The best one? Well, that depends on your requirements...

More...

diy in lockdown

Since the coronavirus pandemic started, DIY projects have become increasingly popular. With more time at home and very few things to entertain us, it only makes sense that you tackle some of the home improvements that you've been putting off. In normal circumstances, you might have hired a professional to get the job done properly. However, tradesmen are busier than ever and we're being advised to limit our interactions where possible, so a DIY approach might be preferable this time around.

Luckily, a lot of DIY stores like B&Q, Halfords, and (most importantly) Ladders UK Direct are still trading, which means you can get your hands on the materials and equipment you need. Shop Ladders Now >

If this is your first time doing any kind of home DIY, you might be following YouTube tutorials and 'winging it' to a certain extent - which creates some pretty serious safety concerns. Tradespeople with years of experience and knowledge are able to manage the risks properly. In comparison, your average Joe following a YouTube tutorial might make one wrong move and end up damaging their home, or worse, injuring themselves. In this blog, we're going to take a look at some of the safety precautions you can take to reduce your risk of DIY injuries during lockdown.

 

Do a risk assessment

Before you start any DIY job you should carry out a risk assessment. Professional tradespeople always do them to make sure that all the potential risks are managed. Now, we're not expecting you to fill in paperwork, but you should definitely take some time to look a the job, the tools and equipment, and the working area before you get started. 

A lot of people decide they want to do a DIY job and just dive right into it without any forward planning - this is where accidents occur. It's good that you're keen to get things done, but your safety always has to come first!

We've gone into detail to show you how a step ladder risk assessment should be carried out, but the same steps can be applied to any kind of DIY risk assessment.

  • Identify potential hazards
  • Come up with solutions to eliminate the hazards

For example: "My ladder is missing a couple of rungs, which means I'll struggle to climb to the correct height safely"

Solution: Don't use a ladder that's damaged, order a new one and make sure it's in good working order before you start your DIY project.

Some potential DIY risks to be aware of

You might think that most DIY jobs come without risk, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Every DIY job comes with risks, some are just more obvious than others. Here are a few risks that you might not have considered...

Painting and/or putting up wallpaper 

Check that the room you're decorating has adequate ventilation. A lot of people start decorating with the windows and doors clothes and end up giving themselves a severe headache from the fumes!

Putting up pictures/shelves

Drilling directly into a wall blindly is a definite risk. Check that you're not going to hit any important wires or cables by investing in a cable detector.

Electrics/wiring

The risks that come along with electrical DIY can be life-threatening. We'd recommend using a fibreglass ladder to reduce your risk of electric shock. If in doubt, always seek the help of a professional electrician.

Avoid doing unnecessary/overly-dangerous DIY

One of the easiest ways to reduce your risk of injury is to assess each DIY job and decide whether or not the risk you're taking is absolutely essential. If you're not confident that you can complete a DIY project safely, it might be best to avoid doing it at all. 

Ending up in the hospital right now will put more pressure on the NHS and also increases your chances of catching COVID-19, so, if in doubt - leave it to the professionals. 

That being said, with a thorough risk assessment, the right equipment, and some prior knowledge, there are a lot of DIY jobs that anyone can do during lockdown!

Shop All Ladders Now!

Read More:

 If you have any questions about the right kind of ladder for your DIY project, drop us an email at sales@laddersukdirect.co.uk.

window cleaning

Are you thinking about starting your own window cleaning company? If the answer is yes, you're in the right place! Today we're going to answer the question "can window cleaners use ladders?" so that you know whether you should purchase your very own set before you get started. 

Window cleaning ladders and the law

If you're working at height, there are a set of rules, guidelines, and regulations that you have to follow that are set out by the Health and Safety Executive (or HSE). Their overarching message is that working from height should be avoided wherever possible. Equipment like water fed poles can be used from the ground to clean hard-to-reach windows, but there are also some flaws with this method. 

  • There might not be a suitable water source for the equipment at every house/location
  • The water-fed pole may not be long enough to reach the windows you need to clean
  • The quality of work might be lower because you can't see the dirt on the windows up-close

In some scenarios, cleaning windows on a ladder is the best option. Here's what the HSE advises if you do need to clean windows at height:

"Where window cleaning at height cannot be avoided, you must first consider using an existing place of work that is already safe for example, cleaning from inside windows or from a balcony.

If you cannot find an existing safe place, to work from, you must provide suitable access equipment. Where the risk of falling is not eliminated by either of these means, you must take additional measures to minimise the distance and consequences of any fall by using the right type of fall arrest equipment."

So, yes - window cleaners can use ladders to reach windows on the second or third storey, but it's important that you invest in good-quality equipment and work as safely as you possibly can. That's where we come in!

Best ladder for cleaning windows

At Ladders UK Direct, we offer a wide range of ladders that are perfect for window cleaning. From sturdy single-section ladders to versatile combination ladders - we have it all! Here are some of our top picks if you're looking for the best ladder for cleaning windows.

domestic double extension ladder

Domestic Double Extension Ladder

If you're only planning to do window cleaning jobs around your own home, this Domestic Double Extension Ladder is ideal!

It's made of lightweight aluminium, can carry loads up to 150kg and meets the new improved strength and slip tests. While this ladder can't be used by professional window cleaners, it certainly is a great option for homeowners who want their windows to sparkle.

 

LFI super trade plus triple extension ladder

LFI Super-Trade PLUS Triple Extension Ladder

For those of you looking to clean windows professionally, this Triple Extension Ladder from LFI is an excellent choice. This ladder comes in a range of lengths from 4 metres to 10 metres, so you'll have no problem reaching the windows on the tallest of buildings. 

It's certified for trade use, features comfortable 'D' shaped rungs and secure non-slip grip with PVC feet. For added slip protection, you should take a look at our ladder pads and our ladder mats

zarges combi-master

Zarges Combi-Master DX

If you're looking for a great all-round ladder that you can use for cleaning windows - even without a supporting wall, then the Zarges Combi-Master DX is the ladder for you. 

This innovative combination ladder can be used as a two-section push-up ladder or a ladder with double-sided access. It features high-strength Perlon straps and sturdy triangular rungs which made it comfortable to work on.

With this combination ladder in your arsenal, there'll be very few windows that you cannot reach. 

If none of these ladders looks like the right window cleaning solution for you - take a look at our full range of window cleaning ladders by clicking the button below. As always, you can email us at sales@laddersukdirect.co.uk if you have any questions.

Shop All Window Cleaning Ladders >

Read More: Can You Put a Ladder Against a Window?

Choosing the best scaffold ladder is no easy task - there are a lot of different brands out there, and if you've never bought a scaffold tower before it can be a bit overwhelming! Don't worry, today we're going to talk you through some of our best selling scaffold towers so that you can get a better idea of the scaffold towers that we offer & choose the right one for you.

zarges reachmaster mobile scaffold tower

Our Best Selling Scaffold Tower

In 2020, our best selling scaffold tower was the Zarges Reachmaster Mobile Scaffold Tower (pictured above). This versatile scaffold tower comes with platform heights ranging from 0.6m to 6.5m, so you're sure to find a product for the task at hand.

It features a folding base frame which allows the scaffold tower to be erected quickly. When folded down, this scaffold tower can be neatly packing into your van or the back of your car. The safe working load is 210kg, meaning it can comfortably support you and your tools/equipment. 

In total, the Zarges Reachmaster Mobile Scaffold Tower offers a greater range of platform working heights than most other aluminium scaffold towers in its class. No surprise this one of the best scaffold ladder sellers of 2020!

Order Your Zarges Reachmaster Mobile Scaffold Tower >

Another Best Selling Scaffold Tower

You guys loved the Zarges Reachmaster Scaffold Tower, but one of the other best scaffold towers (coming in a close second) was the Boss Ladderspan Single Width Scaffold Tower

This platform is a better choice than the Zarges Mobile Scaffold if you're looking for maximum height. These scaffold towers have a minimum working height of 4.20m and a maximum working height of 14.20m - depending on which product you buy.

All of these scaffold towers have a tower width of 0.85m, allowing enough space for you to work efficiently without taking up too much space around the building/structure you're working on.

With a rigid construction, ribbed rung tubing, and a 3T (through the trapdoor) build method - you'll find this scaffold tower a pleasure to work with.

Order your Boss Ladderspan Scaffold Tower >

If the scaffold towers here don't seem like the best option for the job at hand, you can browse our full range of scaffold towers by clicking the button below. If you have any questions, feel free to drop us an email at sales@laddersukdirect.co.uk.

 best ladder for cleaning caravan roof

Caravans are, for a lot of people, a home away from home. With the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we predict that caravan holidays will be on the rise in the coming months/years. Caravans can be a great option for people who want a little getaway without having to travel abroad or mingle with others. 

Caravan owners take a lot of pride in their home on wheels, so keeping them clean is a high priority. The outside of the caravan can be cleaned quite easily with a pressure washer or traditional car cleaning kit, but the roof is often harder to reach. Unlike a car, caravans are tall enough for most people to stand inside, so it's unlikely that you'll be able to clean the roof without a set of steps or a ladder.

In this blog, we're going to look at the best, lightweight, and compact ladders that you can transport around the country with you to keep the roof of your caravan clean!

Telescopic Ladders

If you want a ladder that's really compact (we're talking tiny) that will give you plenty of height to clean your caravan roof, the Zarges Telescopic Extension Ladder is an excellent choice. When stored, this ladder is only 0.84m in length, meaning it can be put away under a bunk or in the caravan's internal storage area. When extended, this impressive little ladder can reach a height of 3.8 metres, so you'll easily be able to reach the roof of your caravan to clean it. 

Shop Zarges Telescopic Ladder >

Step Ladders

If you're on the hunt for the best ladder for cleaning a caravan roof, then you might be swayed by the LFI Home Platform Step. This lightweight, durable, aluminium step ladder comes in a range of lengths, making it perfect for cleaning caravans of all heights. The smallest of these compact step ladders has a storage height of 1.25m, so while it might not be as compact as the telescopic ladder, it certainly will be easy to store and transport. 

Shop LFI Home Platform Steps >

Multi-Purpose Ladders

The best all-round ladder for cleaning your caravan roof has to be this Multi-Purpose Aluminium Step Ladder. This innovative ladder can be used in a number of configurations to provide height and work platforms where you need them. 

In its step ladder configuration, you'll be able to reach your caravan roof no problem. In its platform configuration, you'll be able to keep your bucket, cloths and cup of tea elevated while you work. And in its storage configuration, you'll be able to fit it in inside your caravan - no problem.

This multi-purpose ladder has a storage height of just 0.91m, and with it's multi-uses, we honestly believe this is one of the best ladders for cleaning a caravan roof!

Shop Multi-Purpose Aluminium Step Ladder Now >

 Read More: Ladders for Caravans

If you have any questions about the best ladder for cleaning your caravan roof, you can drop us an email at sales@laddersukdirect.co.uk. As always, we'll do our best to find the right ladder for you!

ladder standing up

Storing your ladder properly can make all the difference to how long it lasts. Your ladder takes care of you while you're using it, so make sure you take care of it when you're not!

Ladders that are stored incorrectly can topple over, cause injury or start to rust/deteriorate, so it's important you take the time to find an ideal storage space before you put your ladder away.

Here at Ladders UK Direct, the ladders we offer are generally made of long-lasting materials like aluminium, fibreglass and steel. That being said, incorrect storage can turn a perfectly good ladder into a dangerous piece of equipment. Proper ladder storage will prolong your ladder's life and will keep you and other people in your home/business safe.

How should I store my ladder?

If you're stuck for places to store your ladder, you have a few options. The safest option is to invest or create a ladder rack in your garage or shed where you can store your ladder on the wall horizontally. With support points along the length of the ladder, the chances of it falling on a passer-by are very slim. 

The second best option is to lay your ladder completely flat on the ground. Yes, this might be a trip hazard (so be careful where you lay it), but it's certainly not going to fall on top of anyone from the floor.

Understandably, not everyone will have the means to store their ladders horizontally, or the space to have their ladders stored on the ground which leads us to the question...

Can I store my ladder standing up?

Yes - ladders can be stored standing up,  but it's not the safest method of ladder storage. Ladders that are stored standing up are far more likely to topple over than ladders that are stored laying down or horizontally on a ladder rack.

For that reason, we'd only recommend storing your ladders standing up if you've got no other alternative. If you're worried about storing your ladders, we'd highly recommend checking out our ladder locks and ladder storage hooks. These products are specifically designed to make it easy for you to store ladders of all shapes and sizes. 

Read More: Ladder Storage: How to Store Your Ladder

If you're looking for new ladders to add to your home or business equipment kit, we have a diverse range of ladders on offer. Shop Now!