DIY: Ladder Safety and Gutter Cleaning​

We are back with another DIY project for you! When I think of springtime the first things that come to mind are flowers, rain, and spring cleaning. It is a good time to get outside and clean up porches, windows, and garages. One project that can appear daunting to even an experienced DIYer is gutter cleaning.

Experts recommend cleaning your gutters every spring and fall, but if there are pine trees near your home you may need to check on them every three months. Between leaves, our lovely Carolina pines, and other debris, gutters can easily become messy and clogged.

The actual cleaning of the gutters is not a very difficult process. Whether it’s cleaning by hand, hose, wand, or blower there are a number of effective methods. Cleaning by hand is the most common method that we see used by homeowners. Be sure to have gloves on, and remove the debris tossing it onto the ground or into a trash bag. If you do toss it onto the ground be sure to collect it and throw it away afterwards so it does not attract insects. If there are clogs or dirt that you think rainwater will not be able to remove, a hose can also be used to give the gutters a final rinse out. Not too bad right? However, for most of us our gutters are not at ground level, so a ladder is essential.

Being a roofing company, we take ladder safety very seriously, and like to consider ourselves experts on the subject. We recommend using an aluminum ladder with stand offs. Stand offs go on either side of the ladder and provide added stability as well as prevent any damage that the ladder could cause to your gutters or shingles. After setting up the latter make sure you kick the feet out if you’re on sod. This is an important step when you are working in an area with a softer ground like sod or grass. If you are working on the concrete, then it is best practice to leave the feet as they originally were with the flat side down.

“Experts recommend cleaning your gutters every spring and fall, but if there are pine trees near your home you may need to check on them every three months.”

Before you hop on the ladder, be sure to have a friend to hold the ladder at the bottom as you climb. Once your ladder is set up properly, you can focus on safe climbing. It is best to climb starting with one foot, followed by the opposite hand, then the other foot followed by the other hand.  While you are on the ladder, always maintain at least three points of contact.

As with any home improvement project, stay within your comfort zone. If you do not feel comfortable with this project, we recommend seeking out a licensed gutter cleaning contractor. Anytime we are on a job site, we wear our full safety gear. Although it is not essential for typical home projects, we recommend always taking every step possible to be safe.

Gutter cleaning can be a time-consuming chore, so many homeowners purchase gutter guards as an alternative. They have a net like design to allow water to flow through while still preventing debris from getting into your gutters. If you are interested in learning more about the awesome Rain Drop Gutter Guards, contact us today!

By Alex Manring

Alex has worked at Baker for 5 years! When not at work, she loves spending time outside with her Goldendoodle and her husband Cole, hanging out with her family & friends, trying all the new restaurants in Raleigh, and watching a good movie!