We have a two story home, the windows, and roof trim on the 2nd floor are set back so that we need to place a ladder on the roof to reach them.
What is a safe way to set up ladders so we won’t damage the roof or slide down and kill ourselves. The pitch of the roof we are setting the ladder on is not steep, but we need the ladder to reach fifteen feet to the peak.
I just finished painting a house with two recessed peaks, gables, like you describe.
One of the peaks wasn't recessed as far as the other. With this one we used a 28 foot extension ladder from the concrete to the peak. It didn't have to much of an angle and was comfortable for the painting. This is preferred as the ladder is stable with no chance for slipping.
The other peak was recessed to far back. This required use to use a 20 foot extension ladder on the roof. The roofing material was wood shake singles and a bit slippery. For this task we used two Pivot Ladder Tools by ProVisionTools, they have good gripping power. One was used for each leg of the ladder. With the ladder set on these, another person helped steady the ladder and offer additional support.
Another option is to use a 2×4 screwed to the roof to keep the ladder from sliding. The screw holes would need filling with silicone caulk when finished.
It all depends on the style of roof and what direction of pitch. I like the Pivot Ladder Tool for most work involving a ladder and a roof.