As long as you're not uncomfortable with heights, cleaning your own gutters is something that you can get done on your own home. This twice-annual maintenance task will ensure that the gutters work properly by carrying rain water out through your downspouts and away from your home. Doing this job yourself requires that you make safety a priority -- given that you'll be using an extension ladder and standing several feet above the ground. If you don't feel up to the task, it's best to hire a gutter cleaning service to get the job done for you. Otherwise, keep these ladder safety tips in mind and you'll have no trouble completing the job safely.
Never Work Alone
Even though only one person is likely be actually cleaning the gutters, it's important to always have a partner assist you with this task. The job of your partner is to hold the ladder firmly with both hands and keep one foot on the bottom rung to help hold the ladder in place. He or she can also pass your cleaning tools up to you with the ladder's rope and pulley to allow you to climb with the use of both hands.
Always Stay On The Ladder
As much as you might be tempted to climb onto the roof and clean the gutters from this position, it's safer to remain on the ladder. Provided that the ladder is firmly in place, it should be stable -- the same can't be said about walking around on the steep pitch of your roof.
Don't Lean To Either Side
You should strive to keep your body in the middle of the ladder's rungs and avoid shifting your weight to either side. While leaning left or right might seemingly help you get the job done quicker, it also puts you at risk of falling or having the ladder slide out from beneath your weight. It's better to descend and move the ladder.
Stay Off The Top Rungs
While you should never stand on the top of an A-frame ladder, you also need to be vigilant about staying away from the top of an extension ladder. Check the advisory sticker on your ladder -- depending on its length, it will recommend how many of the upper steps you should avoid using.
Keep Track Of How You Feel
Cleaning your gutters isn't a difficult job, but working at this height and in the full sun can lead to fatigue. If you're beginning to feel tired, it's time to climb down and take a break. Doing so is preferable to getting tired and slipping. When you're done your short break, you can continue cleaning the gutters.
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