If you are looking to buy fiberglass ladders, you may want to know how long do fiberglass ladders last?
Fiberglass is the most popular material in ladder manufacturing because it provides both strength and lightweight, two qualities that make it the best choice if you have to move around frequently with your ladder or keep them at different locations.
As long as you take good care of your fiberglass ladders, they can last for years, even decades.
Here are some tips to help you get more out of your fiberglass ladders so that they last as long as possible.
How Long Do Fiberglass Ladders Last?
How long a ladder lasts depends largely on how it’s used and maintained.
Aluminum ladders are more durable than fiberglass ladders but are also heavier and more expensive.
The aluminum main advantage is that it’s harder to bend or break. Fiberglass has the advantage of being lighter.
If you have to move your ladder often, choose fiberglass. If you don’t need your ladder very often and want something lighter, aluminum is a good choice.
When deciding between fiberglass and aluminum, most people will say go with fiberglass because they tend to be less expensive, lighter weight, easier to transport, and easier to store away in tight spaces when not in use.
There’s no right answer when choosing between an aluminum or fiberglass step ladder; it’s all about personal preference.
The best way to determine which one you prefer is by checking out both an aluminum step ladder and a fiberglass step ladder side-by-side.
Related: Fiberglass or Aluminum Ladder?
Do fiberglass ladders have an expiration date
The safety of a fiberglass ladder isn’t predicated on an expiration date. If it is in use and working properly, it will continue to be safe regardless of how long it has been stored.
That said, it’s not a good idea to use or store ladders for extended periods.
Like all tools, ladders are better used when they are new. It’s best to buy new ladders if you have plans to keep them around for longer than three years.
If that isn’t an option, make sure you inspect your ladder thoroughly before each use; check rivets, welds, and bolts regularly (including replacing any parts that appear worn), as well as look for any fraying or chipping paint or other signs of damage.
When Is It Time To Replace My Ladder?
There are a lot of variables to consider when answering that question. It’s not a simple yes or no like asking, Should I replace my car when it’s 10 years old?
There is no hard and fast rule as to how long fiberglass ladders last. Your ladder should be replaced if you notice any of these conditions (or a combination):
Sagging; cracked or split rungs; broken feet; multiple impact points from falling off ladders (if you don’t fall off your ladder, chances are you won’t need to replace it).
If your ladder is more than 10 years old then it should be time for an upgrade regardless!
Just because you have an older model doesn’t mean you can just continue using it indefinitely.
Related: Can a Fiberglass Ladder Be Repaired
Tips for Maintaining Your Fiberglass Ladder
The primary benefit of fiberglass ladders is that they’re lightweight and easy to store. Plus, their material makes them durable, making them good for frequent use.
But you still need to take care of your ladder if you want it to last long. Here are some tips to expand the life span of the fiberglass ladder.
Administer Non-slip Treatment
A fiberglass ladder should have traction (to reduce slippage), so consider using non-slip treatments regularly. This can prolong its lifespan and make sure you stay safe.
When it comes time to administer treatment, follow these instructions:
- Cleaning/disinfecting with clean water using soap or detergent (with rinse)
- Wiping dry with a clean cloth
- Protecting with special protective agents (follow instructions on the product)
- Placing a strong steel barrier around your working site, then taking measures against falling into gaps
Monitor General Maintenance Carefully
To best maintain a long life for your ladder – both during use and in storage, be aware of safety risks.
One major concern is rust. Some fibers are likely to corrode over time, which will greatly diminish how long a fiberglass ladder lasts as well as possibly weaken it structurally.
You can avoid corrosion by protecting your ladder from moisture and salt damage – both of which foster oxidation.
For example, if you store a ladder outside over winter, ensure that it’s thoroughly covered by snow to avoid precipitation coming into contact with exposed areas; snow cover also helps insulate ladders during low temperatures so that they don’t expand and contract too drastically.
In general, fiberglass ladders should last for a long time, even for years.
However, damage from severe weather or regular wear and tear can shorten their lifespan significantly.
Once you’ve used a ladder for five to ten years, it’s usually a good idea to replace it, at least if you use it daily.
Joseph is the owner of LadderGeek. He is a home remodeling enthusiast. He has created this blog to share some of his knowledge on Ladder and accessories.