Safe Gutter Cleaning
October 31, 2014 Steven Murphy
Gutter cleaning is something that you should make sure to do from time to time. Gutters might seem like un-important parts of your home, but actually they have many important uses. For one, your gutters are crucial for steering water away from your home and that is their number one use. If your gutters do not provide this service – because they are blocked or damaged, then this will have negative repercussions for your home resulting in the water overflowing onto your roof and/or onto the floor an walls of your property. This can then cause you to lose heat – as the water on the property uses the heat energy from your home in order to evaporate – and this in turn will cost you a lot of money in energy bills. Further it can cause damage to your walls and foundations through mold and corrosion, and it can leave water marks across your windows. If the gutters fall down due to heavy blockages then this can even be dangerous and risk serious damage or injury.
The problem is that cleaning your own gutters can be dangerous and this is why it is often better to use a professional service, and particularly if you are elderly or if you are not confident with heights.
If you do need to go up to your gutters yourself for whatever reason however – in order to make small changes or remove small blockages yourself, then there are several ways that you can do this more safely and that you can make sure you don’t fall and injure yourself.
One is to avoid reaching a long way. This is a big mistake people make who are trying to clear a lot of the gutters without getting down to move the ladder. It is worth taking the time to do so as leaning can throw you off balance and cause the whole ladder to fall and injure you. Alternatively if you want to make the process quicker and stay safe you can use a long implement that allows you to reach further down the gutters.
You should always have someone with you to hold the ladder and never attempt to clean gutters on your own. As well as helping to hold the ladder, they will also be able to get help in case of emergency.
Always check the weather before attempting to clean gutters and of course be sure that it is not raining which would make it slippery (as well as filling the gutters) and that it is not windy or dark which can also make an accident more likely. It is better waiting longer and doing the job safely and properly than trying to quickly fix it when it is wet.
Once your gutters are cleared you should consider implementing gutter guards. These are essentially sieves that attach over your gutters and let water in while keeping leaves and other things out. This will keep you safe from falling in the best way possible – from doing away with the need for you to go up the ladder at all in the first place.
The main danger when doing your own gutter cleaning is falling from a big height. That is why many people use professional gutter cleaners.
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