Clogged gutters, especially in the winter time, can be a ticking time-bomb causing ice dams that can seriously damage your roof, walls, floor and insulation or they can become too heavy and pull loose which can cause serious injuries to anyone who gets caught in its cross-hairs. Cleaning your gutters is therefore essential to avoid costly issues and potentially fatal incidents. They should be cleaned bi-annually preferably in April and October during spring and autumn when trees are flowering or shedding their leaves.
Before you embark on this chore however, it is important to learn ways and tips for cleaning gutters safely to avoid nasty accidents such as falling off the ladder and cuts from getting your fingers caught in corners or doing it wrong and having to pay someone else to fix your mistake which could end up costing you even more.
Cleaning Gutters Safely – Our Guide
One of the most important steps in cleaning gutters safely is to wear the right clothing for the job which includes proper safety gear. Avoid loose-fitting clothing including overly-long pants and sleeves and footwear without the proper traction. These could get caught in the gutters or catch under your feet causing you to lose your balance and possibly fall off the ladder. Safety gear such as work gloves, safety goggles and dust masks will reduce your risk of getting injured and also make it more comfortable for you to work.
Another important safety precaution is practicing ladder safety while cleaning your gutters. You can do this by alerting those at home with you that you will be using the ladder while cleaning the gutters so that they do not play around it or open windows where the ladder is perched to avoid making you fall or even having the ladder fall on them. You should also ensure that the ladder you are using is safe and sturdy, has no defects like loose rungs and that all parts are securely tightened. Four-legged step ladders are ideal for gutters on a single-story building but for taller buildings it would be better to use extension ladders.
Cleaning gutters safely will be impossible if you are digging into the debris with your hands instead of using a scoop or trowel. Plastic trowels are ideal as they are tough enough to scoop out any kind of debris while still protecting your gutter from any damages. It would also be advisable to inculcate the buddy system in your cleaning as you may need someone to hold the ladder stable for you and look out for you in case you fall. Some people secure a bucket to the ladder to drop the debris into but this can be risky as a bucket can be a tripping hazard or cause you to tip over. Placing the garbage can on the ground below you is much safer.
The cleaning process is rather simple as you just remove the gutter covers, scoop out the debris then flush it with water and ensure water is flowing properly. Some people use a leaf blower instead of a hose but this may not get all the debris out. You should also ensure the down spouts are free of debris by spraying down the spout at high pressure to remove anything that may cause a clog. If this doesn’t work you can work a hose or stick up the spout to remove the clog. Cleaning gutters safely is possible even for first-timers if you just follow the right steps.
If you aren’t a DIY type, you can always hire use to do it for you. Get a free online quote here.