A lot of new homeowners do not realize that cleaning their gutters is an important process that they need to go through and complete several times a year. However, although it looks relatively simple, if not done safely and properly, it could lead to some serious and life-threatening injuries, ones that have made washing drains the most daunting and dangerous household maintenance task.
Cleaning the drains on your roof is extremely important for the overall condition and health of your house, and if you leave it clogged and dirty, you might experience some serious water-related problems including damage to the foundation, problems with the structure, mold & mildew growth, your basement flooding, and so on.
These house problems can be quite annoying, however, they are also incredibly expensive to fix, which is why you might be wondering – what are the top safety tips that I can utilize? Luckily for all people searching for an answer to this question, this article can help. Let’s take a closer look:
1. Firstly, Learn How to Position Your Ladder
The very first thing that you must learn is how to properly position your ladder. To begin with, you should invest in one that is sturdy and that could easily hold a bucket where you’ll collect all the debris from the gutters. You can opt for purchasing fiberglass or aluminum ones since they are the sturdiest out there.
You should ensure that the area where you’ll place it does not have any rocks or debris since placing your ladders on such things can cause them to be unstable, which can result in you falling. You should also tell someone that you’ll be getting up there or ask someone to be with you while you are working on your drains since they can help you if some tools fall or if you fall and injure yourself.
2. Keep Your Hands Safe
Once you are done with the aforementioned tip, you’ll need to protect your hands. Hence, you should purchase a high-quality pair of gloves that won’t only protect your hands from the dirt, but that will also protect you from bacteria and mold. You should consider getting thicker gloves such as ones made from suede.
3. Your Eyes Need Protection Too
Keep in mind – you never know what can come jumping out of your drains. It is not uncommon to see frogs, bees, or even rats rushing out of the gutters when you begin removing all the debris, which is why you must ensure that you wear safety glasses in order to prevent injuries to your eyes.
4. Rubber Shoes Are a Must
You might want to get on your roof in order to flush the drains, and if so, you must purchase rubber boots. Why? Well, rubber soles will prevent slip and fall incidents. Additionally, you should not walk on your roof during the morning hours since it might be moist, hence, wait until the sun rises and then get on your roof.
5. If Afraid of Heights, Hire a Professional
If you bought all the equipment you need and if you tried washing your gutters but found out that you are completely uncomfortable with working at heights, you can always opt for a professional company such as gutterspecialists.co.uk. Such companies will clean your drains safely and properly, and they can also tell you whether or not something needs to be repaired.
6. Get a Nozzle For Your Gardening Hose
All of us have a garden hose in their backyards, however, in order to make everything easier for yourself, you might want to purchase a nozzle for the hose, one that will have a pistol-grip trigger. This won’t only help you with flushing the drains, but, it will also allow you to hang the hose over the ledge while scooping the debris.
7. Choose a Plastic Scoop
To make everything easier, safer, and less time-consuming, you should purchase a plastic gutter scoop. Of course, you could use an old spatula for doing so, but a plastic scoop will prove to be more efficient. Remember, you should never use a tool made from metal for scooping the debris since it will surely scratch and/or damage the drains, which can create additional problems.
8. Protect Your Head And Body
Besides protecting your hands and eyes, you should also protect your body and head. Scrubbing drains is a dirty job, which is why you’ll want to wear old clothes that you no longer need or that you use for DIY projects. Ensure that the shirt you are wearing has long sleeves since it will protect you from both dirt and bacteria.
Additionally, you should not forget to protect your head. If you slip and fall or if you do not position your ladder properly and fall, you can injure your head, which is why you might want to wear a plastic, construction helmet. You can purchase it in almost any hardware store and it can be reused over and over again, which means that you can use it for other DIY projects as well.
9. Always Have Someone With You
No matter if you are planning on getting on your roof or not, you’ll still be working on a ladder, which is why you must ensure that someone stays with you while you are going through the entire process. Why? For starters, if a tool falls down, you won’t need to go down the ladder to get it, instead, someone can hand it to you.
Also, if you accidentally slip and fall down, they’ll be able to help you and if needed call an ambulance. On the other hand, if you are alone and fall down, you might be waiting for hours until someone notices you, which can result in some terrible consequences. Hence, ensure that someone is with you.
10. Never Overreach!
Last on our list, but not least important is the fact that you should never overreact. Instead of trying to reach farther down, you should get down, move the ladder, and then work on a new area. Not doing this can result in an accident, which is exactly what you are trying to avoid.
Cleaning your gutters is often a time-consuming and daunting house maintenance task, however, it is crucial that you go through the cleaning process several times in a year since it can prevent your house from getting damaged – which can result in thousands of dollars in repairs.
So, now that you are aware of all the safety measures you should implement when cleaning the drains, you should not lose any more of your time. Instead, you might want to start gathering all of the equipment and tools you’ll need, especially the ones that will keep you safe while cleaning your gutters.