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How to Tell if You Need Scaffolding

Whether you’re repainting your window frames or making repairs to your roof, sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether you actually need scaffolding. Is it too high for a ladder? Can I reach everything I need to from the window, and is it safe to do so? Perhaps these are questions you’ve asked yourself before. But you don’t have to leave it to chance: there exist several criteria, based on both safety and practicalities, that determine whether scaffolding will be more suitable for the job at hand.

In this article we give four key factors that will help you tell if you need scaffolding.

The job involves working at height

Working at height refers to any project that involves working more than 4.5m (15’) off the ground. Generally, this means anything above the ground floor. There are three common ways to access projects at this height – ladders, extendable cherry pickers, or scaffolding. While all three have their advantages, only scaffolding guarantees a safe, secure platform from which to work at height. Ladders are too restrictive, while cherry pickers are expensive and require at least one trained and experienced operator to get them into place.

Length of the work

Any project that involves working at height for more than a day or two would benefit from a scaffolding solution. Traipsing up and down ladders for an extended period of time can be very tiring, especially if you’re carrying tools, materials, or paints. If your workers become exhausted, they run the risk of slipping on their ladder.

Range of movement

Some jobs simply cannot be accomplished effectively from a ladder. If you’re painting the outside of a building, re-shingling an entire roof, or building a second storey extension, working from a ladder restricts how effective you can be. You have an area of movement only a few feet either side or directly in front of you. Reaching out further to extend that area is a major health and safety risk and you should seriously consider a scaffolding solution to remedy that.

Weather conditions

While British weather can be erratic at the best of times, at certain points in the year they can be predictably awful. Building during the autumn and winter months involves working in strong winds, freezing cold, and driving rain. These are awkward conditions even at ground level. When working at height they can be downright dangerous. With scaffolding in place you have some measure of shelter, as well as safety rails and wide platforms to work from, making for a much safer working environment.

domestic scaffolding

What are the benefits of using a scaffold?

A professionally built scaffold offers several advantages to any construction, repair, or renovation project. These are some the most popular benefits:

  • Safety: The key advantage of scaffolding for any project is that it provides a safe platform from which to work. Scaffolding platforms include plenty of room for workers to pass by one another, change position for comfort, and even sit down during breaks.
  • Accessibility: scaffolding allows you to access hard-to-reach areas of a building with ease. This is particularly useful for roofing work, as you try to navigate oddly-shaped roofs, reach chimney stacks, and so on.
  • Balance: Every time you stretch away from your ladder to reach a part of your project, you run the risk of overbalancing and falling from a height. With scaffolding, there’s plenty of room to manoeuvre, avoiding that problem.
  • Improved productivity: while it might take longer to set up a scaffold in the first instance, compared to using a ladder, once it is erected it can improve productivity. Your scaffold will cover the whole building, removing the need to go up and down a ladder every time you need to get to the next section of the project. Likewise, you can have a number of team members working on the project at any given time.
  • Adaptability: as your building project progresses, your scaffolding needs might change. Fortunately, scaffolding is infinitely adaptable. Whatever your requirements, you can alter your scaffolding set-up to match, adding or removing components as needed.

What kind of jobs need scaffolding?

Any job that requires working at height for extended periods of time should involve a scaffold for the safety of its workers. These are some of the more common tasks, where you might expect to see scaffolding as an integral part of the job site:

  • exterior painting and decorating
  • window cleaning
  • building repairs, renovations, and restorations
  • roofing works
  • building conversions and extensions
  • repointing brickwork and chimney stacks
  • cleaning gutters, fascias, and soffits

How to tell if you need scaffolding: final thoughts

If you have a project in Cannock, Stafford, or anywhere else across the Staffordshire region that needs a quality domestic scaffolding or commercial scaffolding service, contact Cannock Wood Scaffolding today. We provide end-to-end scaffolding solutions from an initial consultation and site analysis, through the scaffolding build, all the way to dismantling and removing it once the job is done. Contact us on 01543 379 112 or 07866 672 460 or send an email to cwscaff@gmail.com to receive a free, no-obligation quote.



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