Gutters are designed to divert water away from your home and its parts. Without them, the rainwater will pour directly down from your roof onto the sidings, walls, and foundation. This will cause some hefty property damage that you could have otherwise avoided.
As spring comes and trees bloom, you may notice leaves and other debris pilling over the gutters and downspouts. Having a gutter system filled with leaves results in roof leaks and water damage. This is where regular gutter cleaning and maintenance comes in.
While some homeowners do the work themselves, DIY gutter cleaning is a high-risk task. Here are several common dangers and accidents that may happen while cleaning gutters at home.
Tripping and Falling
Known as the single biggest killer in the construction industry, working at height poses a high risk of falling from a ladder. It’s very easy to fall while walking along with your shingles and climbing on your roof. Just one misstep can lead to unintended consequences. This is dangerous since the roof may become wobbly, and you may end up slipping. When you don’t have enough training and safety equipment, the risk of injury dramatically increases.
Since your gutters are located in a hard-to-reach area, power lines may come close to them. Coming in contact with electrical wiring is a safety hazard that could lead to injury or death. When there’s a power line, there’s a risk of electrocution. If you are not trained to clean your gutters, hire a professional to avoid accidents and further damage.
According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, there are about 165,000 injuries due to ladder-related accidents every year. Out of this number, 90,000 need emergency care and treatment. These nasty accidents are mainly due to user errors and unstable ladders without proper structural support.
When accessing the roofline, make sure that the ladder is placed on a smooth surface. It should also be well maintained, so it won’t break or move while using it. You should also be accompanied by a helper who will provide you with the support you need as you clean the gutters.
Improper Clothing and Equipment
Aside from a suitable ladder, you should wear safety equipment while cleaning your gutters and downspouts. Use safety goggles and industrial glasses to shield your eyes from both the sun and debris. Without eye protection, leaves and twigs may get in your eyes and cause injury.
In addition, you need to wear suede gloves to lower your risk of injury. When you don’t wear safety gloves, the drip edges and gutters are sharp and can cut your fingers. This is more dangerous if the gutters have rust spots. Non-slip shoes with an outer sole are always recommended when cleaning your gutters.
Infections From Bacteria
Not wearing proper clothing may also cause serious health issues. In case you get injured, bacteria and germs can enter your open or puncture wounds. This will lead to infections that can become ultimately fatal. You never know what could be living in your gutters. There may be bird poop, insects, decaying leaves, and mold spores that can result in allergic reactions. These may also irritate your hands, nose, ears, and eyes. Without the proper gear, you’re putting yourself at risk every time you clean your gutters.
Vertigo and Dizziness Issues
Anyone can experience dizziness or vertigo when working in high-level areas. There is a big possibility that you become too nervous when cleaning your gutters and then end up feeling dizzy while climbing the ladder. This leaves you to lose your balance, fall, and get injured. If you are afraid of heights, hiring a professional gutter cleaner is the best way to go!
There are household chores that you can simply do on your own, given the dangers that are present. Gutter cleaning and maintenance are one of them. We always recommend seeking a gutter cleaning expert with the right tools and expertise to clean debris out of your gutter system.
With Pittsburgh Gutter Cleaning, you never need to worry about putting yourself at risk. We will clean your gutters and prevent them from clogging again. Call us for a no-obligation quote!