Just the simple thought of cleaning out your home's rain gutters each fall likely makes you groan. The task is dangerous and the stinky mess clogging up the gutters doesn't exactly have the nicest smell. It's no wonder most homeowners put off this task for as long as possible or pay someone else to take care of it.
If the time has come to deal with your seasonal gutter cleaning and you decided to tackle the job yourself, then following these tips will make the task safer:
Tip: Reconsider DIY If Your Home is Two-Stories
If you live in a one-story home and feel safe on a ladder, that's one thing, but cleaning gutters on a two-story home is a completely different animal. To safely clean the gutters requires either climbing on the roof or using a very tall ladder. For this reason, gutter cleaning on a two-story home is never a safe DIY project. It's much better left to the professionals.
Tip: Gutter Cleaning is Never a Solo Project
Even if you are very experienced using a step ladder and don't see the need for someone to hold it for you while cleaning the gutters, there should still be someone spotting you.
When you are on a ladder it is very easy to get caught up in your cleaning task and reach out too far. This can throw off your balance, or the balance of the ladder, and send you falling to the ground.
When cleaning wet material out of rain gutters it is easy for it to splash down on the ladder and cause a slipping hazard on the rungs.
Tip: Safely Handle the Gunk You Remove from the Gutters
The gunk you remove from the rain gutters contains a wide variety of harmful things, such as:
- bird and rodent waste
- rotting leaves
- chemical runoff from roofing shingles
Since all of these things can be harmful to your health, it is important you safely handle the nasty-smelling stuff that you pull out of the gutters. Wearing gloves and using a scoop will be a great help.
Put whatever you find in the gutters into either a bucket to transfer to your compost pile or into a plastic trash bag where it can be sealed and placed into a trash can without leaking.
When you finish your seasonal gutter cleaning, make sure you take a shower and wash the clothing you had on. This ensures none of the bacteria you may have encountered will harm you.
For more information about gutter cleaning, contact a professional near you.