Now that the leaves have (almost) fully fallen from the trees, homeowners all over Maryland are preparing to clean the gutters of their homes. Gutter cleaning is an essential maintenance task that helps keep your home protected from the damage that winter can wreak on it. However, it is also a fact that many homeowners don’t practice basic safety techniques when cleaning their gutters. Follow these tips to ensure you stay safe while engaging in this critical home maintenance task!
Most of the injuries sustained during gutter cleaning could have been avoided with some basic ladder safety precautions. Always use a sturdy ladder whenever you have to work on your gutters or roof. Wooden ladders tend to be the least safe – you should choose a fiberglass or aluminum four-legged ladder as these are the most secure. For extra safety, use a ladder with a small shelf at the top – you can place a bucket on this shelf to place leaves and debris from your gutters.
Using a Garden Hose
A garden hose is an indispensable gutter cleaning tool. Attach a spray nozzle with a trigger to wash down your gutters and clear up any blockages. Don’t use a power washer – the water pressure from these can damage your gutters or other parts of your home, plus it isn’t safe to use one while on a ladder.
You never know what kinds of bacteria might be present in your gutter debris. Wearing proper protection ensures that you protect your body from this bacteria and any other dangers that might be lurking while you clean. For your hands, thick, suede gloves will hold up to heavy usage and won’t soak up water. Always wear a pair of safety glasses as well to protect your eyes.
Use a Scoop
Gutter scoops are specially made for cleaning gutters and can be a great help for you this fall. However, take care to ensure you use a gutter scoop made of plastic, as opposed to one made of metal. Metal gutter scoops can scratch up the bottoms of your gutters and lead to deterioration and rust.
Hire a Professional Company
Alternatively, you may decide to have someone else come out to clean your gutters for you. There are companies out there that will clean your gutters and prepare them for the winter season, but make sure that they are fully licensed and insured before contracting their services.
Consider Gutter Guards
Tired of the effort and work that you have to put in to keep your gutters fully functional every year? Gutter guards are a great solution! They block most debris from even getting into your gutters, making your semi-annual cleaning routines much simpler in the future!
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