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Aluminum vs. Fiberglass Ladders

When it comes to choosing an extension ladder to help you tackle jobs around your home, material is a primary consideration. Therefore, you should know the pros and cons of aluminum vs. fiberglass ladders before you buy.

Fiberglass ladders

Durability and sturdy construction are the top advantages of fiberglass ladders. These heavy-duty ladders are able to bear a greater amount of weight. However, because of this heavy duty-construction, fiberglass models weigh considerably more than their aluminum counterparts. Often, this makes it more practical to buy a short fiberglass ladder for small jobs and a longer aluminum one for hard-to-reach places. Another advantage of fiberglass is that it is not a good conductor of electricity. Fiberglass is the material of choice when you have to work around power lines or electricity. However, fiberglass material is vulnerable to UV rays that, in time, lead to deterioration or cracking. It is easy to avoid this problem by keeping your fiberglass ladder in the garage or covering it.

Aluminum ladders

A lighter weight and a lower cost are the prime advantages of aluminum ladders, making them the most popular choice among homeowners. Aluminum is invulnerable to sunlight and exposure to the elements, so it is safe to store an aluminum ladder almost anywhere. A tall aluminum ladder is safer than a shorter fiberglass model if the job requires a longer reach. However, because they are less sturdy compared to their fiberglass cousins, aluminum ladders are susceptible to collapse under very heavy loads. Always check an aluminum ladder's maximum weight limit, and invest in the sturdiest that you can afford.

An extension ladder is an invaluable tool, providing access to hard to reach places. Learn the differences between aluminum and fiberglass models to help you make an informed choice.