The Must-Do Safety Guidelines for Cleaning Your Gutters
- Choose the right ladder for the job. For single-story houses, use a four-legged stepladder. You’ll probably need an extension ladder for two-story homes. You will also want to invest in leg levelers for your extension ladder, since most ground around the home is uneven.
- Never rest the ladder on your gutters as they are not designed to hold up to that kind of pressure. The additional weight can cause them to scratch, dent or collapse. Invest in ladder stabilizers. We use the Werner 97P ladder stabilizers, these cost between $75-$100 each online.
- Watch out for electrical lines. Many homes have a secondary above ground electrical line attached to the home. Unfortunately, these are often only inches away from the gutter. Check with your utility company to install an insulating rubber blanket or have your power disconnected while working in that area of your home.
- Wear thick work gloves to protect your hands from dirt, animal waste, sharp debris and other hazards. Heavy rubber gloves or latex coated gloves will provide the best protection.
- Wear protective eyewear or goggles to prevent eye injuries. Please do not minimize this as a host of animals and insects can be living within the debris.
- Use rubber-soled shoes so you don’t slip on the ladder.
- Avoid getting on the roof. Be very cautious if deciding to do this. There are harnesses and equipment that can be used if pursuing this option in order to reduce the danger.
- Have a helper. The best way to keep the ladder sturdy is to have someone hold the ladder while you’re on it. Another safety precaution is to keep three points of contact (both legs and one hand on the ladder) at all times. Never reach to the side, since this can cause the ladder to shift.
- Attach a bucket securely to the shelf of the ladder with a lanyard to collect debris so you can use both hands.