Fall’s mild weather is a great time for completing outdoor home maintenance tasks like cleaning your gutters before the colder weather arrives. Spend your next weekend outside preparing your home for the coming winter. A good way to get started is by following our easy tips on how to clean gutters safely and efficiently.
How To Clean Gutters Safely On A Ladder
Since gutters are up high along your roofline, they can pose a risk to your safety. Learning how to clean gutters safely should be your first priority before you venture outside to begin your chore.
Practicing ladder safety is an important aspect of cleaning gutters. There are a few rules to keep in mind when using a ladder on the side of your home to reach your gutters. Use a sturdy, stable ladder with a shelf that can hold a five-gallon bucket that’s been filled with gutter debris. For a single-story house, a step ladder with four legs works best. For a two-story house, you will need an extension ladder and preferably someone with you the whole time.
Make sure to let other people in the house know that you’ll be cleaning the gutters so they can keep an eye on you and lend a hand if you need any help.
Wear slip-proof boots when you are on a ladder cleaning the gutters. This will reduce your chances of slipping and falling.
Protecting Your Body
Learning how to clean gutters wearing the proper safety gear should be your second priority. The first layer of protection you will need is a proper set of gloves. The debris inside of your gutters will be full of bacteria from bird droppings and squirrel droppings. You do not want to expose your skin to this.
Gloves also protect your hands from getting cuts and wounds from sticks and other sharp debris within your gutters. Thick suede gloves are the best type of gloves to use for cleaning gutters. Rubber gloves can be poked by sharp sticks and develop tears. Cloth gloves will absorb water that’s full of bacteria and hold it against your skin. Leather gloves are often too tight around your fingers to provide optimal maneuverability. Wear a long sleeve shirt to protect your arms.
Wear safety goggles to clean your gutters so you’re eyes are protected from debris that may come loose while you’re working.
Become More Efficient
Your third priority should be to learn how to clean gutters quickly and safely. You don’t want to be standing on a tall ladder for long periods of time. Use a garden hose with a pistol-grip squeeze nozzle to blow large and stubborn debris out of your gutters after you have cleared out the surface layer of debris. A gutter scoop is also a useful handheld tool that can be purchased at your local hardware store.
Invest in Gutter Guards
You can buy several different kinds of gutter guards that keep larger debris like sticks and leaves out of your gutters while still allowing them to catch water as they should. Installing these devices will help your gutters stay clear for longer and reduce the amount of time you have to spend each time you clean your gutters.