The danger of DIY gutter cleaning

I know we are coming at this with a biased perspective, but we also know the hidden dangers of what appears to be a simple task of cleaning your gutters yourself.

Many home owners – young and fit… some not so young and not so fit as well – will look at their single story home and figure how hard can it be to put a ladder up against the wall and grab a bucket and scoop their gutters cleaned by hand.

Now, we won’t even touch on the ineffectiveness (and messiness) of cleaning your gutters by hand, but let’s talk about safety.

Many home owners start with simply the wrong type of ladder that is not tall enough for the work they are about to perform.  Did you know that a ladder should extend past the roof line by at least 1 metre?  Also that if on a step ladder, you should never stand on the top of the ladder?  There is usually even a warning label urging you to not go beyond said point.

Then our DIY home owner – with the wrong ladder or even with the right ladder – doesn’t secure the ladder.  It is on unstable and an uneven surface and not attached to the property in anyway.  We always secure our ladder to the property at the gutter level and this can be done in a number of ways.

Next, when the home owner is at the top of the ladder, they decide to reach out as far as they can to avoid having to move the ladder several times to make their way around the property.  If you have the wrong sized ladder, on uneven ground, that is not secured to the property AND then reach out too far, you are absolutely destined to lose your balance, push the ladder in the opposite direction to where you are reaching and this all ends up with you falling to the ground.

Falling just a couple of metres may not seem like a big fall, but trust us, that is far enough to do some really serious damage.

We had a customer who simply did this to grab out a few small tree branches after a storm and this exact situation happened.  He ended up not being able to work for 6 weeks after that fall and was lucky not to have any permanent damage to his back. 

Don’t risk a fall, give us a call.  It really isn’t worth the risk to your own safety for what seems like a simple task, but is also potentially a really dangerous task if not done with right. 

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