The fiberglass ladder is one of the most effective kinds of ladders. In addition to being erosion-resistant, fiberglass is safe to work with electricity, giving it an advantage over the aluminum ladder. However, because of excessive pressure or extensive use under extreme weather, your fiberglass ladder can get damaged over time.
How to repair fiberglass ladder if there’s degradation of your ladder’s coating? Can you fix a structural problems, like a crack in a vital region, at home?
While some issues with fibreglass ladders may require contacting the manufacturer, others won’t. So, it’s important to note down the steps in repairing your fiberglass ladder.
This article outlines all the essential information you need to know about repairing any damaged fiberglass ladder. So, if you’re interested in knowing more, check out the following sections.
- Can You Repair Fiberglass Ladder By Yourself?
- How To Repair A Fiberglass Ladder?
- Step – 1: Measure the Dimensions
- Step – 2: Cut the Wooden Frame
- Step – 3: Cut Fibreglass Mat
- Step – 4: Fill in the Gaps!
- Step – 5: Rinse with Alcohol
- Step – 6: Mix the Resin
- Step – 7: Apply Resin
- Step – 8: Apply Another Layer
- Step – 9: Use Resin on Wood
- Step – 10: Set the Wooden Frame
- Step – 11: Final Touches
- Final Step
- How to Seal A Fiberglass Ladder To Prevent Shedding?
- What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Fiberglass Ladder?
- Final Words
Can You Repair Fiberglass Ladder By Yourself?
While it’s not entirely possible to repair your ladder without tarnishing its integrity, you can still patch up your fiberglass ladder. Also, whether you can repair a damaged fiberglass ladder depends on how extreme the damage is. But in all honesty, if your ladder gets damaged, then you should consider getting yourself a new ladder.
Most times, when you use a fiberglass ladder for a long time, or you frequently place it over a sharp or rough edge, it will be more prone to damage and degradation. For instance, a change in color, decrease of glossiness and appearance are the first few things you’ll notice. Usually, these damages occur in areas with high Ultra-Violet radiation and high humidity.
You can handle these damages by yourself with texture decline or color change. You shouldn’t need expert knowledge to get it back working.
One PRO advice- you shouldn’t leave your fiberglass ladder outdoors. That can not only lead to the damage of your ladder, but it can also speed up the process and reduce it’s life expectancy.
Why is this so? The direct sunlight coming in contact with your fiberglass ladder causes an increasing exposure to the UV-radiation over time. Also, OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) stated that exposing your fiberglass ladder to sunlight speeds up the fiber bloom condition.
While it’s possible to fix your fiberglass ladder DIY or take it to the manufacturers for repairs, it’s more important you know that sometimes you might need to replace the entire ladder.
This saves you the stress of potential danger when using the re-fixed ladder. In truth, no one wants to worry about a tall ladder for painting high ceilings snapping in half when you are elevated 20ft above the ground.
That said, you should ensure to scrutinize your fiberglass ladder for degradations on the finish or even fiberglass bloom.
How To Repair A Fiberglass Ladder?
We’ve seen that it’s not only possible for your fiberglass ladder to degrade in quality, but you can also repair it, depending on the damage to the extremity. So now, let’s see how to repair fiberglass ladder in the following steps.
If your fiberglass ladder legs are cracked, you’d need to fill up the space in each leg with something, and for that, you should ensure to get some wood.
Step – 1: Measure the Dimensions
Measure the dimensions of the fiberglass ladder legs, then mark those dimensions on the wood.
Step – 2: Cut the Wooden Frame
After measuring the dimensions of the wood, cut it using a cutter.
Step – 3: Cut Fibreglass Mat
Then, you’d need to overlap the cut wood by two to three layers of the fiberglass mat. So, cut the fiberglass mat into the shape of the cut wood.
Step – 4: Fill in the Gaps!
When you’re done, cut some strips from fiberglass. You can use them for stuffing into empty spaces.
Step – 5: Rinse with Alcohol
Wash off the fiberglass ladder with some alcohol and let it dry completely.
Step – 6: Mix the Resin
Mix resin in a cup with a hardener. If the surrounding environment is cold, the resin will take longer to dry up. But, at a normal room temperature or even in hot temperatures, the resin will dry faster.
Also, you must ensure to mix the resin and hardener properly and at the right amount. You can mix it using a stick and for up to half a minute.
Step – 7: Apply Resin
Keep mixing the resin and hardener until it begins to thicken up.
Once you’re done with that, apply the resin on the space within the fiberglass ladder that you’re filling up. Also, ensure that the resin mixture is sufficient enough to get the broken fiberglass leg space wet.
Step – 8: Apply Another Layer
Gently place the fiberglass on the applied resin and then apply another layer of resin on the fiberglass.
Step – 9: Use Resin on Wood
In the meantime, apply the resin on the cut wood in sufficient amounts.
By the walls of the fiberglass ladder legs, apply the resin as well and ensure that it’s wet enough.
Step – 10: Set the Wooden Frame
When you’re done applying everything, you can now fit the wood into the space you cut it out for.
Now, press the wood into the space to ensure that it’s properly fitting, then apply another layer of resin on the outer side of the wood.
Step – 11: Final Touches
If there is still some space between the wood and the wall of the fiberglass leg, then fill it up with some extra resin.
Place the other layer of fiberglass mat on the wood now. You have to ensure to saturate the fiberglass mat with the resin.
That may have took a lot of time and effort, right? But it’s better to spend a few bucks for a DIY then go buy a new ladder.
How to Seal A Fiberglass Ladder To Prevent Shedding?
Like we’ve already seen, you can repair your fiberglass ladder if it encounters some damage. This is because fiberglass ladders are non-conductive and lightweight.
Unfortunately, it also means fiberglass is prone to shedding. It is, however, important to seal your fiberglass ladders to prevent shedding, as it can be a serious problem.
Let’s consider the following steps on how to seal your fiberglass ladder to prevent shedding below.
1. Sand Your Damaged Fiberglass Spot
First of all, you need to sand the damaged area on your fiberglass using 60-grit sandpaper. While sanding, ensure to remove all the shedding from the fiberglass ladder in the process.
It’s important to note that the shedding will resemble short threads sprouting from the ladder’s surface. So while climbing upon the shedding fiberglass ladder, it will feel rough and be itchy.
So, be sure to sand the shedding regions, rails or frames, until it is totally smooth.
2. Wipe The Area to clean off Sanding Dust
When you’re done sanding the area, wipe it completely using a dry rag to clean off the sanding dust. This way, whatever you do next on the fiberglass will stick properly.
3. Apply Lacquer
After cleaning the sanded area with a dry cloth, now it’s time to apply lacquer on it. To do this, spray lacquer on the sanded area. Then, in a linear pattern, spray the lacquer back and forth until you’ve covered the entire area.
4. Again, Sand The Area
When you’re done spraying the lacquer and have dried thoroughly, sand the area again. But this time, use 100-grit sandpaper so that the next layer of applied lacquer will stay on the first one. When you’re done sanding, wipe the surface to clean off any residue.
5. Spray The Area Again
Now, apply the second coat of lacquer spray on the sanded area. But this time, allow it to dry completely for at least two or three hours before using it again.
6. When you’re done, inspect the Ladder
After spraying the second layer of lacquer on the ladder, you need to inspect it for any extra wear and tear each time you use it. Also, since fiberglass ladders are prone to corrosion, you should ensure to inspect them before use. That way, you’d be able to spot little areas that require repair.
What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Fiberglass Ladder?
The average life expectancy of a fiberglass ladder is 2 to 3 years. Although the fiberglass ladder is one of the most durable types of ladders, the life expectancy of a fiberglass ladder depends on some factors, such as the location of use, the way you handle it, and whether you maintain it properly.
Even though the average lifespan of a fiberglass ladder is 2 to 3 years, you can prolong it even much longer by storing it inside and washing and waxing it regularly. It’s worthy to note that, although fiberglass has a lesser porosity than wood, it can still absorb some moisture. This can damage the integrity of your fiberglass ladder.
So, to prolong its lifespan, you should-
- Keep your fiberglass ladder in places away from moisture,
- Wash and wax it regularly, and
- Keep it away from constant UV radiation.
In this article, we have discussed How to Repair Fiberglass Ladder. But while it’s possible to do so, you can most likely damage the texture and integrity of the ladder in the process.
Also, note that various factors determine the life expectancy of your fiberglass ladder.
So, do well to mitigate the negative factors and prolong the useful life of the fiberglass ladder. Also, follow the various ways to seal your fiberglass ladder from shedding. This way, your fiberglass ladder will not only last but outlast its previous performance.