Cleaning Gutters: The Tools and The Dangers
If you’ve decided you can handle getting up to the top of your home and cleaning out your gutters yourself, you should ensure that you are prepared with all the proper tools before you begin. It’s also equally, if not more, important to understand the inherent dangers of cleaning your gutters yourself. We aren’t trying to deter you from doing this yourself, we just want to make sure everyone stays safe while handling these types of projects.
Tools Of The Trade
Not having the proper tools to clean your gutter will make your job more difficult and less effective as well as potentially endangering you.
– A ladder is the first and most important tool you’ll need. Remember to follow ladder safety tips before you begin. Make sure the ladder is taller then your roof when fully extended and make sure that it is not damaged, defective or broken.
– Sturdy gloves are necessary because you never know what can be lurking in your gutters, especially if you don’t have guards in place. Make sure you get sturdy and thick work gloves that can protect from bacteria build-up, as well as sharp objects and potentially even rodents or insects.
– You’ll want a water hose so that you can flush out whatever is stuck in your gutters with water pressure. Make sure you’ve removed as much as you can manually so that you aren’t creating a blockage in your downspouts. Once you’ve also brushed out the insides of your gutters, you can use the water hose to rinse it all away.
– Get yourself a gutter brush or a bristled brush that you can use to scrub away anything that is stuck inside the walls of your gutter. Remember, cleaning out your gutters isn’t just about getting the big stuff out. Sometimes the small stuff, like dirt and residue can cause just as much long-term damage.
- To help with the bigger items, you can get a small hand shovel, like the ones used for gardening. This will make picking up the larger items faster and safer, even though you have your gloves!
Now that we’ve established the most important tools you need to clean your gutters yourself, it’s equally important to review some of the potential dangers that you can encounter. These problems can be as simple as a small cut or as serious as falling off your ladder from great heights.
– We mentioned it in a whole blog, and we reminded you about it earlier. Check your ladder for safety. Make sure it isn’t broken or damaged. Ladders are the biggest cause of accidents with DIY projects, so be safe.
– Don’t overreach. If your ladder isn’t taller then the area you need to get to, don’t use it. If you are overreaching while on a ladder, you can cause the ladder to lose its balance and it then might teeter and fall over. It’s safer to climb down and move the ladder to where it needs to be instead of trying to grab something that is out of reach.
– Anti-slip soles are shoes are of the utmost importance. You’re going to be using water to clean out your gutters and if it gets on the ladder rungs, you could end up slipping and falling. Rubber soles are best.
– Have a buddy with you at all times. Having someone at the bottom of the ladder helping you out is critical. They can pass items to you without you having to worry about holding onto the ladder as well as other things. They can hold onto the ladder to make sure it doesn’t move or teeter. And of course they can call for help if you get stuck or something goes wrong.
Remember, safety is the more important then anything else.