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Fast Fix for Loose Ladders

Tightening the metal braces can return a loose ladder to rock-solid

Fast Fix for Loose Ladders
Illustration by Narda Lebo
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There's probably at least one wobbly wooden stepladder lurking in the garage, shed, or basement of every home. Often, these ladders simply are too old to be fixed. But often you can return a loose ladder to rock-solid status by tightening its metal braces. Locate the hex nuts on the outside of the ladder rails; there should be one at each rung. Tighten the nuts with a wrench, then check to see if the ladder is more stable. If it's still a little wobbly, tighten the nuts again. If any wobble remains after the braces have been fully tightened, the ladder is beyond repair and must be replaced.

There's probably at least one wobbly wooden stepladder lurking in the garage, shed, or basement of every home. Often, these ladders simply are too old to be fixed. But often you can return a loose ladder to rock-solid status by tightening its metal braces. Locate the hex nuts on the outside of the ladder rails; there should be one at each rung. Tighten the nuts with a wrench, then check to see if the ladder is more stable. If it's still a little wobbly, tighten the nuts again. If any wobble remains after the braces have been fully tightened, the ladder is beyond repair and must be replaced.

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