It’s fall, which means your gutters need cleaning.
That is, of course, unless you’ve invested in flo-free leaf guards which keep all the debris out of your gutters. But if you haven’t? You’re out of luck. There’s debris up there.
Some people will enjoy their Saturday and hire a professional to come out and clean their gutters. For those of you who still want to DIY it though, we want to make sure you’re safe.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of simple ladder safety tips. Unless you have special gutter-cleaning equipment which doesn’t require you to get on a ladder, you’re going to have to take a climb.
Please familiarize yourself with these tips before beginning your scoop-and-toss routine.
Make sure your ladder is up to the challenge.
You want a safe, sturdy ladder that’s in outstanding repair. A fiberglass, A-frame step-ladder is great for most homes. You get a ladder that does not conduct electricity but which is also very sturdy, and the right height for the work you’re going to do.
Check the weight rating, and be honest with yourself. Don’t get on a 200 pound ladder if you weigh 285 pounds. Find one rated for 300 pounds. The ladder won’t tell anyone.
Set up the ladder correctly.
A ladder that’s been set up incorrectly is an accident waiting to happen. Always read the directions.
You should place your ladder on a flat, sturdy surface. Leg levelers can help you if you’re working on a section of roof where the ground is a little uneven.
The ladder should be completely dry before you climb. You should only try to clean your gutters in clear, dry weather. You shouldn’t even climb if it’s very windy out, as the wind can threaten the stability of the ladder.
Never climb higher than the third rung.
You need a little bit of ladder to support your body. Remember the 3-point rule of contact. Either two feet and one hand need to be on the ladder, or one foot and two hands.
If you have to climb any higher than the third rung you have a ladder that’s too short. Go back and get a taller one.
It’s never too late to clean your gutters the easy way.
Getting a little wigged out by all this ladder safety talk? Given ladder falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in the United States that’s probably worth worrying about.
Having someone come out and clean your gutters costs way less than going to the hospital for a fall. It’s also probably a lot less stressful, a lot more fun, and a lot less expensive than you think it is.
If you’d like to stay off the ladder just give us a call for a free estimate. We’ll be happy to help!