The sight of people falling off of ladders, roofs and other high places is often used for comic relief on TV and in the movies. Unfortunately, in real life, these situations aren’t at all funny. There are far too many things that can go wrong when homeowners attempt to clean their gutters without taking the necessary safety precautions.
What Not to Do When Cleaning Gutters
You can prevent potentially life-threatening personal injuries by avoiding these common mistakes when cleaning out your gutters.
- Putting convenience ahead of safety. Reaching the second level of a home to clean gutters can be extremely difficult, and generally requires the use of safety harnesses and gutter cleaning tools. When dealing with a difficult roof, plan for safety, not convenience. Never attempt to place a stepladder on the roof of your home in order to reach the second level. An extension ladder is ideal for a structure two stories tall or higher.
- Not having a spotter. Stepladders can be dangerous because they give a false sense of security. Because they’re braced against the ground, many users feel they don’t need a spotter. Regardless of the type of ladder you use, there should always be a second person there with you to act as a spotter and hold the ladder steady at the bottom.
- Overreaching. Ladders are heavy and awkward to maneuver, so it can be tempting to try to reach out as far as possible when cleaning out the gutters to avoid having to reposition it. Don’t overreach, lean to one side or try to move the ladder while on it. Instead, climb down and move it closer to where you need to work.
- Not inspecting the ladder first. All ladders should be inspected for cracks and broken or loose hardware before being used. Note the maximum load capacity or duty rating of a ladder to avoid collapse.
- Improper footwear. When moving up and down a ladder, remember to wear clean shoes with rubber soles to prevent slip-and-fall accidents.
Taking the proper precautions when cleaning gutters is key to a safe, successful experience. However, for many individuals, gutter cleaning is simply too risky and too physically demanding. For these homeowners, a Gutter Helmet® gutter shield installation is a very wise investment.
Get the Best Gutter Guards in America
With Gutter Helmet gutter shield to keep out leaves and other debris, you won’t have to worry about climbing ladders and risking serious personal injury. To find out more about the best gutter guards in America and to learn about how to clean gutters with gutter guards, call (800) 824-3772 or complete our contact form.
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