Rain Gutter Cleaning Safety Tips
As autumn leaves start to fall, they’ll eventually end up in your rain gutters. If they’re not cleaned out before the winter, they can lead to clogs and freezing that can damage your roofing. B&M Roofing always wants our customers’ roofs to be as durable as possible, so we encourage you to make rain-gutter maintenance a part of your autumn chores list. Because we’re committed to safety with our crews, we also want you to tackle rain gutter cleaning in the safest way possible. Follow our rain gutter cleaning safety guidelines to keep yourself safe as you muck out your gutter system this autumn.
Wear Proper Safety Gear: Before you even pull the ladder out of storage, take basic precautions to protect yourself. Always wear thick gloves to protect your hands from getting shredded by metal shards and the edges of the gutter, as well as to keep bacteria away from your skin. We recommend heavy suede or acrylic gloves for durability. As with any other home improvement project, protect your vision with safety eyewear.
Be Ladder Smart: Each year in America, more than 164,000 people are treated in the emergency room for falls from ladders, according to the World Health Organization. Don’t join the crowd! Avoid using a three-legged orchard ladder, as they’re often unstable. Instead, climb an aluminum or fiberglass four-legged step ladder or an extension ladder. Regardless of your ladder choice, make sure it’s set on level, stable ground, and, if it’s not a step ladder, rests at the angle recommended by manufacturers.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Rain gutter cleaning safety starts on the ground. Before you climb on your roof, survey the area to make sure you’re not walking into a hazard. Be mindful of nearby power and phone lines, tree branches as well as any weather conditions – wind or rain – that may contribute to accidents.
Clean The Rooftop First: A single-minded focus for clearing your gutters and downspouts may seem the best way to get through your task quickly, but it’s critical you clear the rooftop before you begin to work. Use a broom or a rake (always work with the grain of the shingles to avoid damage) to clear the rooftop of leaves, branches and other debris. Walking on an angled roof can be dangerous enough without the added hazard of unstable footing.
Chose Your Hose Wisely: For best results, attach a pistol-grip nozzle to your hose when you clean your rain gutters. These nozzles can be operated with only one hand, and with an auto-shutoff spring, you won’t drench the roof while you’re not using the hose.
Rain gutter cleaning safety is always more important than roofing maintenance, so if you don’t feel comfortable cleaning your gutters, don’t get yourself into a situation where you feel unsafe. Contact a handyman instead of risking your health.