As longtime tools continue to go through a process of refinement, we sometimes wonder what is the advantage of going with a newer type. When it comes to the fiberglass ladder, there are a couple of distinct advantages and disadvantages.
One of the most apparent advantages of a fiberglass ladder is the fact that it will not conduct electricity. Unlike models that are made of aluminum or some other metal, the fiberglass ladder is constructed of a man-made material with no conduction ability whatsoever. For someone who is working around electrical current in any form, this is a distinct plus.
These ladders also tend to wear very well, much more so than wooden models. This is particularly helpful if the ladder is to be used outside for long periods of time. Exposure to rain does not corrode the fiberglass ladder, as it may do with a metal type. The fiberglass is also not subject to the rotting or cracking that can afflict a wooden ladder over time.
One of the drawbacks of the fiberglass ladder is the weight. Because of its density, fiberglass that is strong enough to be used for a ladder will of necessity result in a unit that is heavier than lightweight aluminum. This can make the ladder harder to move about as you are engaged in a project. It may also mean the difference between one person being able to do the job, versus two, since you may require help carrying and repositioning the ladder.
Fiberglass is also not the best option if you are talking about prolonged exposure to heat and light. While it will perform fine for short stretches, it is important to know that heat will decrease the strength of the ladder, making it less about to bear loads. While removing the unit from the source of heat will allow the fiberglass to regain its previous strength, continuing to use it around a heat source will over time make it more susceptible to cracking.
A good quality fiberglass ladder is a sensible choice in many instances. To learn more about the ladder and under what conditions it should be used, visit your local hardware store or check out the websites of several of the manufacturers. There you will be able to find information that will help you determine if a ladder is a good fit for you.