Cleaning your gutters is a necessary task you need to perform annually. However, you need to be extremely careful if you’ll be climbing on the roof. Here are a few gutter cleaning safety tips to bear in mind.
Gutter Cleaning Safety Tips
Ever wondered what gutters do and how they work? Gutters are installed to help redirect rainwater away from your roof and home. This helps prevent water from pooling and causing water damage. Because of this, it’s important to always keep them clean. Below are tips to consider when cleaning your gutters.
Practice Ladder Safety
Always make sure someone knows that you’ll be using a ladder to clean your gutters or work on the building’s roof. It’s also important to use a safe and sturdy ladder. Consider investing in one with a strong shell that can hold a five-gallon bucket that you’ll use to collect gutter debris. Fiberglass ladders are the sturdiest, but they’re also the heaviest. Your next best option is an aluminum ladder.
Utilize a Garden Hose
Invest in a garden hose that will make it easy for you to adjust water pressure with a single hand. A nozzle with a pistol-grip trigger spray, for example, will come in quite handy as you can easily hang it over the gutter’s front ledge while using a gutter scoop or moving the ladder.
Get a Gutter Scoop
One of the best ways to remove leafy debris from your gutters is by scooping them out. A great tool for this task would be a plastic scoop, which you can purchase at most hardware stores. You want to avoid using a metal scooping tool because it may scratch and damage the gutter.
Protect Your Hands
Invest in a good pair of gloves to protect your hands against dirty leaf debris that’s likely to contain bird droppings that are ridden with bacteria. Consider thick, suede gloves as they are more superior to thin leather, cotton or rubber gloves for cleaning your gutters.
Protect Your Eyes
When cleaning your gutters, you never know when something might fly out of the downspout. It’s not uncommon to experience wasps, frogs, bees and rats leaving at high speed once you start removing the clogs. Protect your eyes because the last thing you want is an eye injury.
Clean off the Roof
Start by power washing or raking off the roof. The trick here is to prevent rain from washing all the debris down into the gutter and clogging it once again. Also, leaving debris and water on the roof can lead to water damming up in valleys, near HVAC equipment or near the chimney, which can cause roof leaks and erosion.
Consider Rubber Shoes
If you’ll have to walk on the roof to clean the gutters, then it’s good to use rubber shoes. Rubber soles are the best in preventing slip and fall accidents. It’s also important to avoid walking on the roof in the morning because that’s when the roof is moist. Wait until the sun has dried up all the moisture in the late mornings or early afternoons.
Other gutter cleaning safety tips include unclogging the downspouts, scheduling semi annual cleanings, investing in gutter guards and being mindful of power line hazards. If you’re unable to clean the gutters on your own, seek professional help from roof and gutter cleaning professionals.