Gutters play an important role in protecting your home from water-related damage. When it rains, water will travel down the side of your home's roof and into the gutters where it's dispersed to the ground below. Over time, however, gutters will accumulate leaves, branches, pine needles and other debris. You can clean your gutters by removing debris such as this, but you should follow these safety tips to protect against injury.
#1) Use a Ladder
Don't attempt to clean your gutters by climbing on the roof. Instead, use a ladder to reach and access the gutters for cleaning. Climbing on the roof may sound harmless, especially if your roof isn't very steep, but there's always a chance you could slip and fall. With a ladder, on the other hand, you can safely access the gutters while standing in place.
#2) Wear Eye Protection
While the risk of eye injury is relatively low when cleaning gutters, it's still a good idea to wear eye protection. Without eye protection, you may get debris in your eyes. And when you're standing 10 feet or higher off the ground, this loss of visibility may cause you to fall and injure yourself.
#3) Move Ladder Frequently
You should move your ladder frequently when cleaning gutters. In other words, don't try to clean too much gutter space while standing in the same area. Doing so means you'll have to extend your arms farther away from your body, thereby shifting your center of gravity. As your body's center of gravity shifts to the side, you may fall. By cleaning a small amount of gutter space and then moving your ladder, you are less likely to fall.
#4) Follow Rule of 3
What is the rule of 3 exactly, and why should you follow it when cleaning gutters? The rule of 3 states that when using a ladder, you should maintain three points of contact at all times. Whether it's two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot, maintaining three points of contact will help stabilize your body so that you are less likely to fall from the ladder.
#5) Wear Non-Slip Shoes or Boots
The right footwear will lower your risk of injury when cleaning gutters. Don't just wear any shoes or boots but, instead, choose footwear with a non-slip outer sole. Non-slip shoes or boots will increase the amount of traction your feet get with the ladder. You should still follow the rule of 3, but the right footwear will further lower your risk of injury when cleaning gutters.