Gutter maintenance is one of the cornerstones of keeping your home safe and dry. Time and the elements lead to the accumulation of debris from the environments, such as dirt and mulch. This leads to blockage, which eventually damage your roof.
Without gutter protection from leaves, you may have to hire potentially expensive professional cleaners or do it yourself.
But gutter cleaning can get dangerous, so before you haul your ladder out of your garage, make sure you’re armed with the following advice.
Always Use Safety Gear
You may be tempted to just climb your ladder and start working, but putting on the proper gear can prevent injuries and even save your life. Make sure you’re wearing these essential safety gear:
- Work boots: Helps prevent slipping and provide protection from electrical shocks.
- Safety glasses: Inexpensive wraparound safety glasses prevent eye damage from debris and particles.
- Work gloves: Gloves made of leather, cloth, or similarly tough material keep your hands safe from sharp objects and bites.
- Respirator: Moist leaf clutter often hosts mold and other fungi and inhaling their spores could poison you. Wearing a respirator will keep you from breathing in these and other harmful particles.
Beware of Vermin
Unchecked, your leafy gutters could become home to a host of vermin. Some of them damage your home over time and others can attack you and potentially injure you. Beware of the following creatures that may be lurking in your gutters:
- Bees: Because of their relative shelter, your gutters are an ideal location for beehives. Determine if bees have infested your gutters before you start mucking them out, especially if you’re allergic to bee stings.
- Rats: The abundance of warm leaf litter and edible plant matter can attract rodents to your gutters. If you aren’t careful, they could bite or scratch, which may call for medical attention.
- Snakes: Rats and other rodents can draw snakes to hunt in your gutters. Always consult animal services if you’ve spotted a snake on your eaves or suspect that one is living in your gutters.
Beware of Falling
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) labels falling as one of the Fatal Four and was the cause of death of 39.2 percent of workplace fatalities in 2017.
Reduce your risk by following these steps:
- Check your ladder for damage or flaws
- Make sure your ladder is in a stable position before climbing
- When possible, find another person who can hold the ladder, so it doesn’t topple
- Wear safety gear that could reduce injuries from falls, such as a hard hat and boots with good grip
Look Out for Electric Wires
According to OSHA, electrocutions are another leading cause of death. If a live electrical wire, like power lines or your home’s wiring, is touching your gutters, your body forms the perfect conduit between you and a metallic ladder.
Before you touch your gutter, check the exterior and interior of your home and see if any exposed wiring or electrical device is touching them.
Cleaning your gutters is an important part of ensuring the integrity of your home, doing it on your own carries a lot of potential dangers. Although you can always prepare to reduce the risk of injury, you should find more innovative ways that could prevent your gutters from accumulating debris at all. By doing so, you’ll prevent any risk of harm both to yourself and your home.
Get Seamless Gutter Protection Today
Bruce Andrews Seamless Gutters helps you avoid encounters with falls, snakes, and electrocution by installing high-quality gutter protection. With our gutter protection systems, you don’t have to worry debris building up, reducing the need for maintenance.
Read our glowing testimonials today and discover how we’ve helped other homeowners.