Cleaning out your home’s rain gutters is one of those chores that isn’t great fun, but is absolutely essential to avoid damage to both the building and the guttering/pipe system. Guttering is designed to capture and move water away from your home, and without gutters the water would seep into the structure and cause decay, damp, or even flooding. Unfortunately, they tend to become littered with leaves and other debris, which build up until they stop rainwater flowing away properly, which can lead to leaks in the downspout or the entire thing freezing up.
Although this is a task that cannot be put off it is crucial you do it with safety in mind, so take a little time to plan and prepare rather than just rushing in to tackle it. Not sure what that involves? No problem, just keep reading as below is a handy guide on how to clear your rain gutters safely.
Troubleshoot things before you begin
Look especially for damaged electrical overhead cables which are touching your roof. Under no circumstances should you attempt to clean guttering if there is exposed electrical cable, which should be repaired by a professional before you proceed.
Ask yourself if you are 100% able and confident enough to climb a ladder. Anyone who is uncomfortable with heights, has balance issues, health issues which affect their ears, or is generally unwell should not ever try to clear their gutters.
Use the right ladder
– Use a sturdy ladder, a 4-legged style if the guttering is low enough. (Any higher and it is safer to hire a local expert, but if you want to go ahead an extension style ladder is good for anything higher.)
– Wooden ladders are less stable than fiberglass versions, so best avoided, but if fiberglass versions are too heavy try some made from aluminium.
– If you don’t have anyone around to help you make sure you at least let someone know what you are planning to do.
– Always check the ladders are not damaged or missing any parts before you use them.
Wear suitable gloves
You do not want to be putting bare hands into gutter debris, which at the very least is bound to have nasties like bird droppings mixed in with the rotting leaves. The best type of gloves are those made from a thick material, such as suede, as they are less likely to be torn open or absorb too much water the way cotton or rubber gloves might.
If you’re interested in learning more about maintaining your rain gutters then check out the blog on City Seamless.
Wear suitable eye protection
Pick up some safety goggles as the last thing you need is angry wasps or a surprised frog making a sudden experience right at your eye level!
Wear the right kind of shoes
Rubber-soled shoes are the way to go, as they are the most slip resistant type around. Even if there’s no hint of moisture in the air it’s best to prepare for the worst and dress accordingly.