Cleaning your gutters is one of the most important parts of roofing maintenance that you can complete, and thankfully can be done without any specialized tools beyond a ladder. Failure to do proper gutter cleaning can lead to roof leaks, basement flooding, landscape erosion, and a whole host of other issues which may be more expensive and difficult to fix. However, cleaning gutters itself can be a dangerous act, as falling from a tall height can cause serious physical harm to yourself. Understanding some of the best ways to say safe while you are cleaning your gutters can help make it easier for you to complete this important maintenance task and reduce the risk of injury to yourself.
Gloves and Goggles
One of the most important things that you can do while working on your gutters is to wear a set of rubber work gloves and a pair of safety goggles. Gutters are made out of metal, which can become sharp if broken and could pose a threat to your hands and fingers. Further, animal feces and other foreign materials (and even insects and animals themselves) may be present in your gutters, which could cause you home if they come into contact with your skin or eyes.
Secure the Bucket
Make sure that whatever bucket or other similar container that you are working with is secured, either on the roof itself or on another nearby flat area where it is unlikely to fall. If it's large enough and your gutters are not too high, you may even want to leave it on the ground and drop debris into it. This is because a falling bucket could cause injury to someone passing nearby or could even knock your ladder off balance if you reach for it or if it hits the feet.
If you see a loose wire anywhere near your home's gutters, especially if it's sparking or attached to the power lines nearby, you should immediately get down off of your roof and contact an electrician. Sparking and live wires can be commonly knocked down during severe weather and may end up in or near your gutters in some cases. You should never touch or go near live wires, as they are extremely dangerous and even lethal.
Use a Spotter
Finally, one of the easiest things that you can do to ensure that you are as safe as possible while working to clean your home's gutters is to make sure that you have someone spotting you while you work. Having someone at the bottom of the ladder holding it in place to prevent it from shifting or falling out of balance can help protect you against some of the worst accidents that could occur while up on a ladder.
For professional help, contact a residential roofing expert.