How do you maintain your ladder?

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tomtheelder2020

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My 6-ft fiberglass ladder has been leaning against the back of the house a couple of months now - which occurred to me might not be a good thing. Sunset Ladders website says

"You can protect the fiberglass coating from penetrating UV rays by coating the fiberglass ladder with an acrylic lacquer or polyurethane. Then periodic washing and waxing will greatly increase the lifespan of your fiberglass ladder."

I had never heard of this and don't recall ever seeing a fiberglass ladder that looked like it had a surface coating. If a coating is going to be applied, it seems like paint would be more effective at UV protection than a clear coat. Have you put a surface finish on your fiberglass ladders? What do you recommend?
 

billshack

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the company that i once worked for , Bell systems said it was ilegal to paint bell ladders,
 

Flyover

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I've seen fiberglass ladders crack if they get hit or crushed but I've never seen one "wear out".

I've always kept my ladders (two fiberglass, one aluminum) in the garage. Pretty sure if I stored them outside my wife would never let me hear the end of what an eyesore it is (and she'd be right) plus I don't want to climb a ladder that's covered in dead leaves and mud and dead bugs and stuff. Could even make it dangerous if it's wet out. Storing in the garage isn't a guarantee they'll be spotless, but it keeps them a lot closer to that condition than storing them outdoors would.
 

tomtheelder2020

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Normally, my 3 step ladders are stored in a corner of the garage. The 6' got left out in an area of the back where I rarely go. Based on comments so far, it looks like I am not the only one unfamiliar with the idea of giving fiberglass ladders a surface coat. It will be low priority but this will go on my to-do list.
 

68bucks

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We used a ton of fiberglass pipe at the plant where I worked and the uv will get to it over time and cause the fibers to bloom. We painted the lines that were exposed. Made a big difference. Suppose it would be the same with a ladder in the sun all the time, like on a ladder rack on a truck or something.
 

Sparky617

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the company that i once worked for , Bell systems said it was ilegal to paint bell ladders,
It is against OSHA regulations to paint a ladder that is used in the workplace. They have no control over what you do with your own ladder at your home. But is not a good idea to paint a wooden ladder. My ladders are all stored indoors. My aluminum extension ladders hang in the garage above the cars. Main concern with an aluminum is surface corrosion and the ropes decaying in the UV light. I did FiOS work for Verizon a few years ago, our ladders are on top of the trucks and exposed to the weather all the time. They are inspected and replaced as needed. Since we're throwing ladders up against the strand to do overhead fiber drops all the ladders are fiberglass. I'm not sure how many years of service they get out of the typical ladder. Any that are damaged are replaced.
 

BuzzLOL

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I had never heard of this and don't recall ever seeing a fiberglass ladder that looked like it had a surface coating. If a coating is going to be applied, it seems like paint would be more effective at UV protection than a clear coat.
Fibreglass boats have a pigmented gel coat on the outside to protect the inner clear fibreglass from the sun... they last for 50 years or more...
 

tomtheelder2020

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Fibreglass boats have a pigmented gel coat on the outside to protect the inner clear fibreglass from the sun... they last for 50 years or more...
Prep and paint for a ladder shouldn't take long - worthwhile to extend the ladders life.
 

68bucks

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Prep and paint for a ladder shouldn't take long - worthwhile to extend the ladders life.
Really unless your ladder is outside all the time it should last the average Joe just about forever. Might get a little sun bleached but would still be completely safe.
 

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