You don't have to be a contractor to have access to rented scaffolding, which is nice because this is one construction tool that can truly make your life easier as a homeowner. Whether you are tackling an exterior painting project or working on your gutters, traversing along on scaffolding is much easier than trying to balance yourself and your tools on a ladder. However, if you have little experience with scaffolding, it is all too easy to make some pretty dangerous mistakes. Here are a few of the biggest mistakes you should work to avoid if you plan to use rented scaffolding for your next home project.
Mistake: Not adhering to the weight guidelines of the scaffolding system.
Why? When you rent scaffolding from a supplier, you will be given a guideline about the weight restrictions or the restrictions will be clearly marked somewhere on the scaffolding itself. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to not adhere to these guidelines. Each scaffolding system is tested during manufacturing to determine how much weight the frame can handle without buckling or shifting. Make sure you are paying careful attention to the weight of whoever will be working on the scaffold as well as the tools you are using.
Mistake: Not making sure the scaffolding is set up on a secure foundation.
Why? While it is usually recommended that you set up scaffolding only on a solid surface, such as concrete or pavement, this may not always be a possibility when you are working outdoors. You can still set up scaffolding on grassy areas or gravel, but you must make sure the surface is as solid and level as possible. If you don't, the scaffolding's base can shift and move, which will in turn make it difficult for the structure to balance your weight. Many professional contractors use a large sheet of thick plywood to create a temporary solid surface.
Mistake: Foregoing the use of mounting hardware to keep standing platform or planks stable.
Why? When you initially set up the scaffolding in your work area, you will be adding the platform which will be used for standing. This platform could be one solid sheet that you hoist into place or it could be a series of wide planks. Either way, it is crucial that you use the necessary mounting brackets to hold the standing platform secure once you have inserted it into place. These brackets hold the component stable on both sides. Without the platform being secured, shifting weight as you move around could cause the platform to raise on either end.
Talk to the rental company, like Savage Scaffold & Equipment Co., for more helpful tips.