Keeping your gutters clean and clear is an essential part of home maintenance. Leaving them unclogged can lead to serious further issues to your home, like foundation cracks and flooded basement. But how do you do this safely? It’s very easy to hurt yourself if you don’t take adequate precautions. To find out how to protect yourself and your property read on…
You Will Need...
- Aluminium Ladder
- Gutter Scoop
- Protective Gloves
- Garden Hose
Step by Step Instructions
Be Careful On Ladders
As almost a third of all fall injuries involve ladders, it’s important that you practice ladder safety. Check that your ladders are in a safe condition before using them. Make sure that any fixings are tight and that there are no areas of rust. The feet should be complete and in good condition. Missing feet causes wobbles! If you need to buy new ladders remember that fibreglass types are sturdy but heavy, and wooden ladders are not recommended for this job. Aluminium ladders have strength and support and are probably your best option.
Don’t ever move your ladders whilst standing on one of the steps, and ensure they are placed on a flat area of ground. You may need to place boards under the feet for a smooth surface. It’s a good idea to have help from a partner to steady the ladder at ground level. Never reach – always move your ladders, you should maintain three points of contact with your hands and feet. Don’t forget to tie your ladders at the top and secure them at the base.
Wear Protective Clothing
Start with your hands and choose protective gloves that work. Cotton gloves can absorb dirty water so if you’ve cut yourself on a sharp piece of gutter or debris this may lead to infection. Leather gloves tend to be less versatile and shrink after being exposed to wet conditions. Rubber gloves can tear and leave you prone to bacterial infections. Your ideal glove is made of thick suede which will give you the versatility as well as the best protection.
Then concentrate on your eyes. When you’re flicking dirt and debris from the gutters it’s quite possible that something will fly into your eye and cause damage. Opt for goggles that are secured around your head so that you don’t need to adjust them when you’re working.
Rubber soled shoes are the best bet for your feet. They stick to the rungs of the ladder and also to the tiles on the roof if you need walk there. Slip and fall accidents are very common, so try to let the roof dry out before you begin work. Early afternoons or late mornings are the most suitable times to perform your gutter cleaning. Take into account the weather conditions before you begin. Avoid wet and windy days at all costs for maximum gutter safety.