fiberglass vs aluminum extension ladder

Fiberglass vs Aluminum Extension Ladder; Which One Is Better?

Every buyer is entitled to know about the product or services he or she wants to buy. Hence, the main reason for this write-up is to extensively provide more information about the fiberglass vs aluminum extension ladder. Do you currently need a ladder, and you are confused about which one to purchase? Do you wish to know which one is better between the aluminum and fiberglass ladder? Determining which good or service to go for surely comes with a lot of questions. But not to worry, this article aims to give a full explanation and answers to your questions. Kindly read through.

Description of fiberglass and aluminum extension ladder

From the name fiberglass ladder, it can be easily identified that the ladder is made from fiberglass. What then are the qualities or features of fiberglass? Fiberglass does not rot, it does not expand, it has high resistance, low heat conductivity, it is incombustible, and lastly, it is resistant to electricity. As a result, a fiberglass extension ladder can be described as a strong, incombustible, electricity resistant, low heat-conducting, non-expanding, and non-rotting ladder.

On the other hand, the properties of aluminum are: low weight, heat, and electrical conductor, has low melting point, aluminum is strong at low temperature. Hence, it can be said that aluminum extension ladders are light in weight, they conduct heat and electricity, and that too much sun can reduce their strength.

From the constituent element of fiberglass and aluminum, their features or characteristics have been well identified. Having understood what the aluminum and fiberglass ladders are made of, let us briefly observe their differences.

Types of Ladders

Before moving forward in the article, it will be of benefit to learn about the different types of ladders in order to distinguish extension ladders. Many times extension and step ladders are only being talked about. But, other types of ladders exist. Below are some of the different types of ladders:

  1. Extension ladders: Just like the name implies, they are ladders that can be extended to different heights. They consist of “a base”, which will be down, and “a fly” that can be extended.
  2. Step ladders: If you are afraid of resting a ladder on surfaces such as walls, a step ladder might be suitable for you. They come with adjustable support. The two most common types are the simple front step ladder and the twin ladder.
  3. Folding ladders: They are ladders that can be folded and used easily for small heights fixing within the house.
  4. Attic ladders: They are designed with hinges to reach attics in houses in a safe and comfortable manner.
  5. Podium Ladder: These are designed with a working stand for people that need to stand for hours on a ladder due to the job they are working on.
  6. Telescopic Ladders: These are easy to carry, easy to store cutting-edge ladders, and most important of all, just as reliable as any other ladder. Choosing the A-frame telescopic ladders, here are more.

Differences between aluminum and fiberglass extension ladders

Seeing the description above, you might ask, what then are the differences between fiberglass and aluminum extension ladder? The table below identifies some seven differences between them:

S/N Aluminum Ladder Fiberglass Ladder
01 Light in weight Heavier than aluminum ladders
02 It is resistant to corrosion but can corrode because of too much exposure to some environmental conditions. Fiberglass never rusts or corrode.
03 Aluminum ladders conduct electricity Fiberglass ladders are resistant to electricity. It is an electrical insulator and does not conduct electricity.
04 Their ability to withstand the stresses of physical force is moderate Their ability to withstand the stresses of physical force is strong
05 Exposure to heat does not expand fiberglass ladders Aluminum ladders expand under hot temperatures.
06 Easier to carry due to its lightweight Not easily carried due to its heavyweight
07 It is not safe for electrical technicians due to its conduct of electricity It is safe for electrical technicians because it is an electrical insulator.
08 It is cost-effective It is more expensive than an aluminum ladder

Similarities between fiberglass extension ladder and aluminum extension ladder

  1. They are both extension ladders with “a base” and “a fly”
  2. Both can be adjusted to different lengths depending on the working height
  3. Both are made in different sizes you can choose from
  4. Both are durable when well maintained.

What to consider when choosing an aluminum extension ladder and a fiberglass extension ladder.

A 67-year-old man living alone, needs to get a ladder to fix some bulbs in the house, hang some wall frames, and fix a window slide upstairs, what kind of extension ladder would you suggest he buy? Considering his age, weight, and the type of work to be done, you would naturally suggest he go for the aluminum extension ladder.

Why? Because it is easy to carry and suitable for the work he wants to carry out

Hence, there are factors to consider when you want to purchase a ladder in order to buy the most suitable one for you.

Weight: Looking at the differences above, a fiberglass extension ladder has the capacity to withstand the stress of physical forces than an aluminum extension ladder. In other words, fiberglass is stronger than aluminum. As a result, an individual who is weighty than normal might consider a fiberglass extension ladder, because they are stronger and will accommodate his/her weight.

Working Conditions: If the reason you want to purchase a ladder is to have one at home to fix the house, then you might want to purchase the aluminum extension ladder. On the other hand, if the working environment of the ladder you want to purchase is more electrical than normal house fixing. Then, get the fiberglass extension ladder because they do not conduct electricity and would keep you safe.

Cost: which is cost-effective between aluminum and fiberglass extension ladder? Of course, an aluminum extension ladder is cost-effective. If what you want to use your ladder for does not involve electrical wires, then I would suggest you go for the aluminum extension ladder to save cost.

Maintenance of Fiberglass & Aluminum extension ladder

Have you decided that the fiberglass extension ladder is better for what you want to use it for or the aluminum? Some maintenance tips to put in place to keep it in good working conditions would be discussed below. The world health organization says ladder falls cause more than 164,000 injuries and 300 deaths yearly. This is not to scare you, but to make you understand the importance of maintaining your ladder. There are different ladders for different purposes, maintaining them just allows them to serve their purposes well.

Fiberglass extension ladder maintenance tips:

  1. As much as possible, bring down your ladder and do not keep it outside after usage.
  2. Although fiberglass does not readily absorb moisture, it can still do so to an extent. Hence, prolonged exposure to moisture can reduce the durability of your fiberglass ladder. To protect them from moisture, clean spray, or wax your ladder.
  3. When fiberglass is exposed to a lot of ultraviolet radiation, it could bring about surface deterioration. Therefore, protect your ladder by coating it with polyurethane or acrylic lacquer.

Aluminum extension ladder maintenance tips:

  1. Return the ladder to its normal position when not in use and keep it inside where it would be protected from weathering
  2. Clean your aluminum ladder with an acidic aluminum cleaner
  3. Avoid hanging your aluminum ladder from the rung or stiles.
  4. Do not store materials on your aluminum ladder.

Safety Precautions when using a ladder be it fiberglass or aluminum ladder

  1. Avoid using slippery substances such as oil, mud, etc. near your ladder to avoid accidents or hazards.
  2. Before using your ladder, check if the screws are intact to prevent using loosened rungs.
  3. If some of the stiles of your ladder are deformed, avoid using the ladder.
  4. Avoid rough handling of your ladder, this could cause internal damage not seen to the naked eye, which could cause future accidents.

Advantages and disadvantages of a fiberglass extension ladder

Are you still asking which one is better between the fiberglass extension ladder and the aluminum extension ladder? Your choice should be based on what you want to use the ladder for because both have their advantages and disadvantages.

S/N Advantages Disadvantages
01 It is safe to use because it does not conduct electricity It is heavy
02 It is strong The cost of maintenance is a little high
03 It can be used anywhere  

Advantages and disadvantages of an aluminum extension ladder

S/N Advantages Disadvantages
01 It is light in weight It is affected by too much sun
02 Not too expensive to purchase It cannot be used for electrical purposes

With all the information given in this article, from the introduction right to the conclusion, it can be inferred that both fiberglass extension ladders and aluminum extension ladders are good. All you need to do is be knowledgeable choose the one that is most suitable for your purpose and purchase it. There is this common saying that “information is power”. Please use the information you gathered here to make a good ladder choice. Thank you.

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