Gutter cleaning is an important, albeit tiresome and mundane process for home maintenance. Fall is generally the time when people get the gutters cleaned out to prepare for the snowy or rainy season ahead. If there’s no proper flow of rainwater through the gutter, it could lead to the pooling of water, thus damaging the roof, gutter, ceiling, walls, resulting in costly repairs.

It is the safest option to employ a professional gutter cleaning service such as ourselves. However, if you do decide to do it yourself, listed below are some important safety tips for this tedious task.

Ladder Safety is Paramount

Use the buddy system to the fullest wherein you have someone to stabilize the bottom of the ladder in case of any mishap. At the very least, always inform someone when you use the ladder for gutter cleaning. A safe and sturdy ladder goes a long way. Also, preferably opt for one with a small shelf strong enough to securely hold a five-gallon bucket for collecting gutter debris.

While an extension ladder is an excellent choice for a two-story or taller structure, a four-legged step ladder works well for single storied structures. An orchard ladder only has three legs for support and is prone to losing balance, making it a less than ideal choice. A wooden ladder is not recommended as well because of its tendency to get wobbly. Fiberglass ladders may be the sturdiest, but they are also the heaviest. This may not seem like an issue in the beginning but after hours of gutter cleaning, moving heavy ladders can cause muscle fatigue.

Before climbing, inspect your ladder thoroughly for loose screws or bolts, or any defects. If you are using a step ladder, ensure that the extension-hinge arms fully extended and lock in place.

Use a Garden Hose

Utilize a garden hose with a pistol-grip trigger spray nozzle. It allows you to adjust water pressure by using just one hand. Handling the aforementioned nozzle is easy when you are moving the ladder or using a gutter scoop. It can be hung over the front edge of the gutter, and you can find it at any hardware store.

Get a Gutter Scoop

The best overall method for gutter cleaning is probably to scoop out the leafy debris. Plastic scooping tools are an excellent choice. They have a thin front scooping edge and form themselves to the bottom of the gutter trough, making scooping out of the toughest debris easier in any gutter system.

Metal scooping tools aren’t recommended because they can damage and scratch the bottom of the gutter and seams.

Protect Your Hands

Protect your hands from dirty and rotting leaf debris, often containing bird droppings, by using gloves. Gloves can also protect you from unwelcome cuts from torn metal shards of an old gutter.

Cotton gloves soak up dirty water which exposes the skin to bacteria. Leather gloves tend to shrivel up after being cleaned and dried. Additionally, they aren’t very flexible. Rubber gloves aren’t recommended as they can be torn by the metal shards. The best choice is thick, suede gloves which are superior to any other material for gutter cleaning.

Protect Your Eyes

You never know what might fly out of the downspout during gutter cleaning, making eye protection essential. Industrial glasses or masks may the right choice to avoid an eye injury because of rats, frogs, wasps, and bees clearing out at high speeds.

Clean Off The Roof First

Make sure that the roof is clear off all the debris. This will protect you from falling debris if the wind stirs up. Additionally, if the roof isn’t cleaned, the next rain may wash all the debris into the gutter, leading to clogging again.

Be Careful Of Power Line Hazards

Before gutter cleaning around a power line cable, visually inspect the electric cable where it connects to the roof first. Ensure that the protective wire insulation hasn’t rubbed off. If the cable seems to be damaged, get it fixed by a professional. Do not clean gutters with an electrical wire problem especially if it’s raining, as water is a conductor of electricity.

Conclusion

Scheduling semi-annual gutter cleaning, during Spring and Fall, is a great choice to prevent blockage, and for easier cleaning. It eliminates the risk of water damage from rainwater runoff. It also decreases the possibility of rust corrosion.

For gutter cleaning in San Ramon, employ our professional services to save you the hassle of cleaning gutters, and to protect yourself from the possible hazards.

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