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Fiberglass vs aluminum ladder: 7+ Facts You Should Know

It is a battle of ladders. Will you cheer for the fiberglass ladder or the aluminum ladder? Ladders are vital pieces of equipment for fixing and assembling things both within and outside the home. Especially when trying to reach far heights. We use them for simple tasks like fixing a bulb or retrieving something from an old shelf. We also use them for more complex tasks like constructing a bridge or fixing a rooftop.

 However, whatever you choose to do with your ladder, you want them safe, strong, and suitable for the task. So, today we have the fiberglass ladder and the aluminum ladder as contestants in the battle of ladders. We will look at each side’s gains and demerits. Let’s get started.

The fiberglass ladder

The fiberglass ladder as the name implies is a ladder created from fiberglass, an electricity resisting material. Fiberglass is very solid and strong too. So strong that it doesn’t coil or twist when subjected to heat. Also, it is neither marred by rain, snow nor wind exposure. This is why the fiberglass ladder is considered more durable than the bamboo or aluminum ladder, although more expensive. Also, because it is not easily degraded by weather, it is good for outdoor use.

An additional noteworthy feature of the fiberglass ladder is its adjustable locking ladder hinge which lets you regulate how high or low you want the ladder to be. It can extend just beyond 2feets. This feature makes it good for home and office use.

Benefits of Fiberglass ladder

  • It is an insulator of electric currents. This means the fiberglass ladder assures you of safety when you are dealing with power and electricity than the aluminum ladder.
  • Fiberglass is tough hence fiberglass ladders are strong and resilient. 
  • It can withstand heat and tough weather conditions. 
  • It is not easily bent or broken.
  • Also, It can be used indoors and outdoors.

Disadvantages of fiberglass ladder

  • Compared to the wooden ladders and aluminum ladders, the fiberglass ladder costs more.
  • It is heavy. This means moving it around may not be easily done. 
  • Not all fiberglass ladders can reach very high heights. Most can extend 2-3 feet.

Top 5 Fiberglass Ladders For You

Louisville Ladder FE3216 Fiberglass Extension Ladder 300-Pound Capacity, 16-foot, Type IA

Ohuhu 12.5 FT Aluminum Telescoping Ladder, 330 Pound Capacity

Little Giant Ladder Systems 13610-001 Green King Kombo Pro 6′ A frame 10’ Extension-Hi-Viz Type 1AA, 6 Ft

Werner 6206 6′ Fiberglass Step Ladder

The Aluminum ladder

The aluminum ladders are made of aluminum, a material that transmits electricity well. They are long-lasting and flinty though not as a fiberglass ladder. Compared to the fiberglass ladder, the aluminum ladder is less expensive and not so heavy. 

Also, the aluminum ladder can be stretched a vertical distance, helping to get to really high points. Maintenance of this ladder is also easy. However, unlike the fiberglass ladder, it is susceptible to twists and bending when subjected to heat. You will most likely need a new one if the ladder is spoilt by heat.

Benefits of aluminum ladder

  • It has long extensions. This makes it suitable for getting to elevated heights. It is less expensive compared to a fiberglass ladder.
  • The aluminum ladder is not as heavy as the fiberglass ladder. It is easier to navigate with it.
  • Also, It is durable.
  • It is not difficult to maintain.
  • It is strong.

Disadvantages of aluminum ladder

  • It is made of aluminum, a material that can conduct electrical currents.
  • It is susceptible to heat damage.

Best Aluminum Ladders For You

Ohuhu 12.5 FT Aluminum Telescoping Ladder, 330 Pound Capacity

BEETRO 10.5ft Aluminum Telescoping Ladder, 330 LB Capacity

WolfWise 15.5FT Aluminum Telescoping Ladder 330 Pounds Capacity

Differences Between Fiberglass and Aluminum Ladder

Fiberglass LadderAluminum Ladder
It is Heavy weightIt has a light weight
Used as a Step LadderUsed As an extension
Not subtle to heat damageIt is subtle to heat damage
Serves as insulator for electricityDoes not serve as insulator for electricity.
It is usually more expensiveIt is usually less expensive

Which is Better Fiberglass or Aluminum Ladders

Fiberglass ladders and aluminum ladders share some similarities. For one, both can be lengthened and adjusted to attain different heights. Although, aluminum ladders can longer extensions. Both are strong, resilient, and firm on the ground and have some coming with safety provisions to minimize the risk of falling. They both have a choice of sizes and can serve many purposes.

However, in terms of safety, fiberglass ladders are generally considered safer than aluminum ladders. This is because they neither conduct electric currents nor are they subjected to heat damage when exposed. Also, because they are tough and dense, the fiberglass ladder structural makeup doesn’t get spoiled easily by sunlight or humidity. Unlike the aluminum ladder whose structural integrity can be altered by heat exposure. But it is worthy to note that just because the fiberglass ladders are more resisting doesn’t mean they should be purposely left to long-term heat exposure.

An aluminum ladder on the other hand has the advantage of height and weight. It is lighter and less dense compared to a fiberglass ladder. This makes it easier to carry from one place to another during construction projects. Its ability to straighten and extend long height also serves as a perk.

Construction site workers, industrial workers, engineers, and sometimes electrical workers often go for the aluminum ladders because of the heights they have to attain. Also, because of the movement from section to section and the distance they have to cover. If the aluminum ladder is to be used for an electricity-related activity, it must be insulated to reduce the risk of electrocution. 

Fiberglass ladder, however, is more suited for electricity-involved activity as well as home and office repairs and maintenance. Also, an aluminum ladder is not meant for heavyweights and big pounds. The fiberglass ladder is more suited for such it can take weight up to 350pounds and still be strong. Hence fiberglass should be the ladder of choice if weight is considered.

In terms of cost, the aluminum ladder is relatively less expensive compared to the fiberglass ladder. On average the aluminum ladder costs about 100 to 300 dollars while the fiberglass ladder costs more.

Is Fiberglass or Aluminum Ladders Heavier?

One of the factors to consider when choosing a ladder is the weight of the ladder. Most times, there will be a need to move the ladder from one location to another. So a ladder with less weight and easily movable comes in handy. 

Between fiberglass and aluminum ladders, the heavier one is the Fiberglass ladder. A Fiberglass ladder is known to be strong and heavier because it is mostly used as a step ladder. The aluminum ladder on the other hand has a lightweight and is mostly used as an extension ladder. Thus, you can easily move your aluminum ladder from one location to another. 

How Long Does Fiberglass Ladders Last?

A Fiberglass ladder is built to last for a very long time. With a good cleaning and regular maintenance, it should last for at least 5 years. But if a fiberglass ladder is poorly maintained, it should last for at least 2 to 3 years before you think of getting a new one. But maintenance increases the longevity of a fiberglass ladder. 

Can you get electrocuted on a fiberglass ladder?

No. You can’t get electrocuted on a fiberglass ladder. The same applies to using a wooden ladder. The reason is that the fiberglass is built to serve as an insulator for electricity. So you don’t need to worry about getting electrocuted while using a fiberglass ladder. 

But you have to ensure that your fiberglass ladder is not wet and dirty at any point as you use it. This is because, electricity can still pass through wet fiberglass, and thus, you stand the risk of being electrocuted. To stay on the safe side when working with a wet fiberglass ladder, make sure you wear boots and gloves. This drastically reduces your chances of getting electrocuted even on a wet fiberglass ladder. 

Do Aluminum Ladders Rust?

No. aluminum ladders don’t rust. That is unlike other ladders like the metal ladders that rust once you expose them to outdoor conditions. The aluminum ladder can withstand rust even when keeping outside for a while. That doesn’t mean you should keep your aluminum ladder outside for an extended period of them. 

The reason is, while aluminum on itself doesn’t rust. Other materials were used in manufacturing an aluminum ladder that can get damaged when exposed to sunlight and harsh weather conditions. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, both the fiberglass ladder and the aluminum ladder are good. Your choice of the ladder is dependent on what you want a ladder for. Fiberglass ladder serves better for home projects like roof change, staircase changing, fixing indoor electricity problems, paintings rooms, etc. It is also useful for office duties.

The aluminum ladder serves better for construction and industrial activities. Or activities involving elevated heights. In all, ensure safety precautions like wearing a helmet, using a safety boot, and using a ladder without fault are maintained when using your ladder.