Gutter Cleaning Safety Tips

Gutters are one of those necessary evils of a house – they’re needed to direct rain water runoff from the roof out and away from the house, yet the gutters become clogged with leaves and other debris and must be cleaned periodically. Not a task any homeowner looks forward too and a task that can be quite dangerous when you consider the height of the roof line some homes sport. Calling in a professional gutter cleaner is the best way to get the job done, let the pros deal with the muck in the gutters and the safety concerns. However, when calling in the pros to do the job is not a feasible option, use these gutter cleaning safety tips to help you get the job done yourself.

Sturdy Ladder
A sturdy ladder and a helper will be needed to ensure safety. A ladder is the only thing between you and the ground, so make it a sturdy one leaned at the correct angle against the house. Have your helper hold the ladder near the bottom to keep it stable and to be the lookout for passing people or pets that might bump into the ladder. A helper on the ground will be beneficial to help prevent you from climbing up and down frequently when something is needed.

Protective Gear
Protect yourself from flying debris or sharp objects by wearing safety glasses and rubber gloves while cleaning gutters. Stinging insects (wasps, hornets) and biting animals (rats, squirrels) can be encountered in the gutter or eaves of the house, be on-guard for these possible encounters and prepared with insect spray and a stick to ward off an attack.

Grab the Hose
Use the garden hose to flush out debris with water is the best and quickest way to clean out the gutters. Your on-ground helper can help keep the garden hose un-tangled and water at the right pressure. Remove large pieces of debris with hand or plastic scoop to prevent damaging the gutter, then blast away the rest with water from the garden hose.

Fall Cleaning
Most household cleaning is done in the spring, but gutter cleaning is best done in the fall after all the tree leaves have fallen. That way your home will be going into the winter season with nothing in the gutters to freeze and weigh down the guttering or clog it up.  No one want to be up on the roof in freezing winter weather digging out frozen debris or re-hanging a gutter system, so prepare to do the cleaning in the fall.