Cleaning your gutters almost always implies having to get on a ladder. However, before attempting to do so, it would be prudent to consider a few sobering realities about ladders and gutter cleaning.
Statistics concerning ladder safety
According to LadderGrips (a safety equipment supplier), around 1,600 people are hospitalised annually for ladder-related accidents. Most of the time, the injuries are quite minor. However about 20% of the time, those injuries are severe enough to warrant emergency care.
Now you might think that most people that figure in these kinds of accidents are construction workers or people that do work from high up. Surprisingly, this is not the case at all, and fewer than 3% of injuries from falls take place at work. In reality, nearly all extended hospital stays take place after falls from less than 12 feet. That’s about the height from the gutter of a one-story home.
Before you undertake any work that requires getting on your roofing or scaling a ladder, make sure you can do it safely. Gutter cleaning is no exception and if you do not feel comfy, don’t do it. There are lots of expert services that will clean your gutters. Nothing deserves risking your health and safety.
If you do select to do the work yourself, ensure you aren’t alone. Before you do any job that requires climbing up a ladder, inform somebody what you are doing. Better yet, have someone keep an eye on you while you are cleaning the gutters.
Ladder Safety considerations
Make sure that you set your ladder on even and dry ground. Many serious mishaps are the outcome of a ladder that slips out from below. Never place a ladder on slippery or unequal ground.
There are two primary kinds of ladders — step ladders and extensions ladders. Step ladders are limited to a height of up to 8 feet due to weight restraints and supported on four legs. Users need to make sure that Ensure the ladder is firmly placed on the ground.
As you might imagine, an extension ladder is more prone to slipping than a step ladder. Hence there are additional precautions that users will need to take. For one thing, you would want to make sure that an extension ladder is pitched against a structure that is durable enough to support your weight and that of the ladder. Never tip a ladder versus the gutter as they are not implied to support that weight and can separate from the roofing.
Even a well-maintained house can collect mud in the gutters. Combined with vegetation, moisture and dirt, you could be dealing with a mini compost pile. Before you can begin scooping out all the sludge, you would want to make sure that you have the necessary protective equipment.
The v first piece of protective gear you will need is a quality set of work gloves. It would help if you had these gloves to be thick and water resistant. The gloves not only keep your hands clean but also protect against sharp edges on weathered gutters. Also, the sludge on home gutters is mostly organic material that may contain bird and insect feces crawling with bacteria. You don’t want any of that sludge to come in contact with your skin let alone an open wound. Hence a set of quality work gloves is a must-have.
In addition to gloves, do not neglect to wear protective glasses and respirators. These are invaluable as you pull contaminated material from the gutters which might otherwise get into your eyes and lungs.
Safety Climbing Gear
It is vital when climbing a ladder or onto a roof that you have the proper clothes to keep you safe. Always use shoes with a rubber sole or other gripping product. Gloves should fit well and not be made from a slick or slippery material if the bottom of your boots is damp, dry them thoroughly before climbing.
Likewise, make sure that you don’t have many things in your hands when you climb. Preferably, it would help if you had somebody on the ground assist you. If not, then you can utilise a tool belt or set your tools on the roof before you start working on the gutters.
Should you leave it to professionals?
If you aren’t sure you can securely climb up a ladder and scoop out your gutters, it would be best to leave it to the specialists. Consider the number of ladder-related accidents in DIY gutter cleaning; it makes sense to be safe. Many companies offer gutter cleaning in Sydney and can undertake the job for you at a reasonable cost.