Cleaning out the gutters is a job that everyone seems to want to avoid but it’s important in order to help prevent water overflow from going into your house, your trim and siding rotting, and your gutters falling (which is a bit of a safety hazard in and of itself!). It is recommended that people clean out their gutters at least once in the fall and once in the spring, more often if needed!
Keep these safety tips in mind while you clean out your gutters:
-Let someone know you’ll be working on a ladder. Also have someone who can steady the ladder for you while you’re working.
-Inspect the ladder before you use it to make sure that it is still usable.
-Look for an even patch of ground to set up the ladder on if you can.
-Keep both feet and one hand on the ladder at all times and don’t lean too far over. Get down off the ladder and move it along the gutter to reach parts of the gutter that are not easily within your reach!
-Wear thick gloves, safety goggles, long sleeves, and rubber soled shoes. Not only is there a lot of debris in gutters that could be harmful if it fell into your eyes, but there are also a lot of wildlife that take advantage of the debris, such as wasps! Rubber soled shoes can help prevent slips and falls – this is especially important if you need to actually get on top of your roof for any reason.
-Scoop out as much of the debris as you can with hands or a plastic scoop (metal scoops can cause damage which can lead to rust) and then use a pistol-grip spray nozzle to clean out the rest. These nozzles are easy to use one handed and can hang on the gutter or ladder when not needed. Spray toward the downspout.
-Rake off or power wash the roof first to prevent the debris from falling into your gutters later and save yourself from having to clean out the gutters again sooner than you’d otherwise need to.