When we think about housework, we often forget about our gutter system. There are not many homeowners who enjoy climbing on the ladder to remove debris and sludge in their gutters. In fact, we disregard cleaning our gutters and downspouts until an issue comes up.
Cleaning your gutters is a necessary household task you need to perform at least twice a year. Every year, many cases of injuries and deaths are recorded due to unsafe gutter cleaning. If you’re going to do it yourself, you need to be extremely careful and take a few precautions to safely and effectively perform it.
Practice Ladder Safety
A ladder is required to access and reach your gutters from the ground. Always choose a safe and sturdy ladder with a strong shell that can hold a five-gallon bucket. This is where you will attach some of your cleaning tools and put all debris that you have collected. You may use a four-legged stepladder for single-story homes and an extension ladder if you have a two-story home.
Before climbing and placing it near your gutters, you must first inspect it for any loose screws and bolts, dents, and defects to avoid any ladder-related accidents. If you can barely reach the gutters from the topmost step, you are using the wrong ladder and putting yourself at risk of injury.
It is also recommended to implement a buddy system. Have a family member or friend present in case you fall. They can assist you in steadying the ladder as you clean your gutters.
Clean Off the Roof
Before you clean the gutters, clean the roof first. You can start by power washing or raking off the roof to remove the debris. This will prevent the rain from bringing all the debris and tree leaves down into the gutter and getting them dirty again right after you clean them.
Wear rubber-soled shoes to safely clean off your roof. Rubber soles will prevent you from slipping and falling when you try to walk around your roof. After this, you can now collect all the debris and remove anything that might clog up your gutters and downspout.
Use the Proper Cleaning Tools and Equipment
Aside from a ladder, you need a heavy-duty bucket where you will put all the debris you pull out of your gutters. Tossing them onto the ground will only result in a mess that you need to clean up later on. Having at least a five-gallon bucket will also prevent you from having multiple trips up and down your ladder.
You will also be needing scooping tools to remove leafy debris and gunk. Gutter scoopers help extend your reach and make your work much easier. Just be sure that you use a plastic scoop instead of metal to avoid any scratches and gutter damage.
Scared of climbing a ladder? Don’t fret because there are tools that allow you to clean gutters from the ground. These are leaf blowers with attachments, power washers, gutter vacuums, telescopic gutter cleaning tools, and garden hoses.
Wear Thick Gloves
To protect your hands from leaf debris, bird droppings, and sharp sticks, wear personal protective equipment and proper work gloves. Gutters are exposed to various elements day in and day out. It is very dirty and ridden with bacteria. A thick suede glove is recommended as it can protect your hands and fingers against germs and injury. This will help keep a better grip on gutter cleaning tools and minimize exposure to hazards.
Protect Your Eyes
Wearing protective goggles is one of the most important safety precautions you need to take. When cleaning gutters, the last thing you want is a blinding eye injury. Using the right eye protection prevents foreign objects from damaging your vision. Safety eyewear protects you from physical and biological hazards and saves you from hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Before you start cleaning, assess the situation and inspect the surroundings near your gutters. Are there power line cables or tree branches that will make the job unsafe and more difficult? Do not attempt to clean gutters where electrical cables are exposed or damaged. If you think the power line is damaged, call a professional electrical contractor to repair the hazardous electrical wiring. Exposed power lines pose electrocution risks or even death.
Have a Routine Gutter Cleaning and Maintenance
A gutter cleaning schedule during spring and fall will keep the debris from accumulating too much. Of course, this doesn’t apply to homeowners with many trees in their yards. Without routine gutter cleaning, your home could be at risk of water damage and severe foundation issues. Consistency is key in avoiding clogs and making gutter cleaning much safer and easier.
Hire a Gutter Repair and Cleaning Service
This tip is most recommended to everyone, especially homeowners who are too busy to clean their gutter systems. Call a gutter cleaning company that can perform the work in a safe and hazard-free manner. They will thoroughly inspect your gutters and determine the best course of acting in cleaning and maintaining them. If you’re not sure how to do the task safely, don’t hesitate to hire a professional gutter service to give you a hand.
Always remember that a responsible homeowner will do household tasks while staying safe. At Pittsburgh Gutter Cleaning, we offer professional gutter cleaning services that will are designed to meet your needs. We know how to safely eliminate clogging and help protect your biggest investment. Contact us today if you have questions or concerns!