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Gutter or Downspout Repair and Replacement

Gutter Cleaning 101

Aug 31st, 2015 // Blog

Whether you’re attempting gutter cleaning from the ground, up on a ladder, or even on top of your roof (not highly recommended), the truth is you are probably overlooking some critical safety precautions and putting your yourself and close ones at risk of serious personal injury.  Every year, hundreds of thousands of homeowners and their significant others put themselves at risk in order to thoroughly clean out their clogged and malfunctioning home drainage systems. Understanding the functionality of your gutter and how to properly and safely clean it out is key in preventing gutter cleaning injuries and even fatalities. It’s needless to say that the faster you can thoroughly clean out your gutters, the sooner you can continue on with your other tasks and remove yourself from harm’s way. So we’ve made it priority to highlight some the dangers of gutter cleaning without following the proper procedures and to provide some tips on how you can easily and thoroughly tackle your gutter cleaning while protecting yourself and your family.

Why Gutter Cleaning is So Important

When it comes to fall season cleaning rituals, gutter cleaning falls far on the to-do list, mainly because it is tedious, dirty, and usually requires a least a small percentage of safety risks. But gutter cleaning is one of the most important chores you can do for your home. Cleaning out your home’s gutters prevents them from overflowing with water, which can lead to ice dams and in return ice dams can potentially cause extensive issues. An overstuffed gutter can also become loose, causing the trim and siding of your home to deteriorate. Also, leaving dirty debris in your gutter can attract all types of creepy-crawlies, which are bad news for every homeowner or renter.

Gutter Cleaning Dangers to Avoid

Knowing what to avoid is just as critical as knowing how to properly conduct a thorough gutter cleaning.

No spotter – Solely relying on the strength of your ladder is a terrible mistake homeowners make that puts them in immediate danger. Always have a secondary person nearby to watch you while you’re attempting gutter cleaning. Have that person old the bottom of your ladder to secure its base and ensure that it can’t move out of place.

Not having a dependable ladder – using a step ladder on your roof to reach the second level of your home is highly dangerous and should never be done. In order to easily reach the second level of your home, use an extension ladder that is reliable and preferably industrially made. It’s also equally important that you do not attempt to move the ladder while still on it or overreaching while occupying the ladder. Those are common causes of ladder falls and bodily harm.

Wearing the wrong shoes – When using a ladder it’s important that you wear shoes with rubber soles with a strong grip to avoid falling off and to allow for easier transition across steps. Rubber soles are especially important if you have to walk on the roof. Wearing the correct shoes will give you the peace of mind necessary to complete your gutter cleaning.

Going bare-handed – Gutter cleaning is a dirty job and you are likely to come in contact with some unfavorable debris like metal shards, rotting leaves, and animal droppings. Invest in a pair of durable gloves to protect your hands from cuts, moisture and bacteria. Leather gloves are not ideal because of their lack of flexibility and the fact that they shrivel up after being washed. It’s also not recommended that your purchase cotton gloves because they soak up dirty water making your susceptible to bacteria.

Going without eyewear – Eye protection is extremely important when gutter cleaning because you are not always aware of the hazards that lie in your gutter debris. Between various wildlife and pieces of shrapnel, it’s critical that your eyes are shielded from all possible dangers.

These are some of the common hazards that are likely to take place when gutter cleaning and how to prevent them. Remember, it’s always better to have a second pair of eyes close by to help you prevent unforeseen injuries and to help complete the job faster.


For more on best practices for gutter cleaning, contact Bob Bauerle of Bauerle Roofing in Indianapolis at 317-985-2344.

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