We believe in gutter systems that require no cleaning or un-clogging but realize that some people still have gutters that require such maintenance. Here are some safety tips for those of you that get up on the ladder to unclog gutters. It is essential to be aware of the dangers of unclogging gutters so take precautions before starting this task.
Things to Prepare For
Always consider the weather forecast. Rain will cause the ladder and roof to be slippery and hazardous. You never want to climb a ladder if there is thunder and lightning. Heat will make surfaces hot, so you should wear gloves to protect your hands from metal ladder rungs. And the hot sun might warrant some sunscreen. These are simple considerations but necessary ones.
It's important to dress for the task. Even if it's hot, long sleeves and pants are still a good idea to avoid contact and cuts. If it's cold, a warm coat is needed. Wear rubber-soled shoes so you don't slip on the ladder's rungs. Gloves are a necessity in any weather – and not just any gloves. Use thick leather or suede gloves to keep hands from getting cut and protect them from dirty water that may contain bacteria. And eye protection is crucial, as gutter contents tend to splash. Protect yourself from any debris that may be in your gutter. Remember that birds, small rodents, snakes, and insects could reside in the gutter, so having the proper protective clothing will keep you safer.
Things to check off before you begin climbing:
- Make sure the ladder is on solid ground
- Don't go about this by yourself. Make sure to have a spotter to hold the ladder in place for you.
- Use the right ladder for the roof height. Do not try to make a step ladder work if you are reaching very high. At that point, an extension ladder is needed.
- Maintain a 3 point contact (two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand) when climbing or descending a ladder
- Carry tools in a tool belt or raise your tools using a hand line. Never carry tools in your hands while climbing up/down a ladder.
Power Line Awareness
When cleaning gutters around a power line cable that drops from the power pole to the roof of a building, visually inspect the electrical cable where it connects to the roof. This ensures that the protective wire insulation hasn't rubbed off through years of wear-and-tear by weather and nearby trees.
If the cable appears to have damage, do not attempt to repair it; instead, call a licensed professional electrical contractor to fix it. If it's raining and there is an electrical wire problem, do not attempt to clean out the gutters until the wires are fixed; water is a dangerous conductor of electricity. Whether it's raining or not, it would be a good idea to have the electrical wiring repaired before cleaning your gutters.
Prevent Gutter Cleaning with Leaf Guard
One way you can make sure you don't have to clean your gutters is by getting LeafGuard®. LeafGuard's design keeps leaves, pine needles, fir needles, and other debris out of your gutters. This is covered under our lifetime clog-free guarantee* so you never have to worry about the hassle of clogged gutters again.
With all the ladder-related injuries happening each year, LeafGuard simplifies your life by eliminating the need to clean your gutters and never worrying about having to climb a ladder for that task again. LeafGuard is the gutter system with which you'd wish your house was built.
*Guaranteed not to clog for as long as you own your home, or we will clean your gutters for free.
Do you have sizeable repairs to make to your gutters this spring?...
Of all the tools that you use to protect your beloved yard, gutters...