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Gutter Cleaning Sarasota is essential to maintain the value of your home and limit costly damage. The best time to clean your gutters is in the fall, and it is recommended that you wash them twice a year.
A clogged gutter can overflow and cause staining or discoloration of your exterior walls. This will require expensive repair.
Gutter cleaning requires climbing a ladder, and it’s important to follow ladder safety rules. This includes avoiding leaning or overreaching, as well as using the ladder on dry, level ground and positioning it away from hazards such as doors or windows. It’s also a good idea to have a spotter to help you stabilize the ladder if necessary.
You’ll want to wear heavy-duty work gloves when you clean your gutters, as the debris can be rough on your hands. Rubber-soled shoes with good traction are also helpful in preventing slips on the ladder. A dust mask will protect your lungs from the coarse dirt and other particles found in the gutters, and eye protection will shield your eyes from debris or stray branches that could fall from the gutters during the cleaning process.
Before starting to climb the ladder, make sure it’s secure and stable by bracing it against a tree or other sturdy object. Once you’re on the ladder, use a garden trowel or scoop to remove clumps of dirt and other debris from the gutters, aiming for the top rim of the downspouts and the bottom of the gutter run. Once you’ve removed all the visible debris, use a hose to rinse away remaining dirt and clear out clogs.
You can also clean your gutters from the ground by hand with a ladder or other tool like a brush. However, this is a messy task and may take longer to complete than cleaning the gutters from a ladder. In addition, a ladder is necessary to reach high areas of the gutters, making this method difficult for many homeowners to do on their own.
Proper Ladder Position
Cleaning gutters is a strenuous job that requires proper ladder positioning. It’s important to maintain three points of contact with the ladder at all times, and avoid overreaching or leaning. This can increase the risk of falling off the ladder, which can be dangerous and expensive. Ladder accidents are the number one cause of home maintenance-related injuries. Fortunately, many ladder-related injuries can be avoided by following some simple safety tips.
When using a ladder, be sure to place it on solid, level ground and keep the base of the ladder a safe distance from the wall of your house. If possible, choose a combination ladder that has a stabilizing system to ensure stability and prevent tipping. Additionally, a ladder standoff can help spread the pressure of the ladder and provide additional stability.
Choosing the right ladder height is also important for gutter cleaning. Depending on the size of your building, you may need to use an extension ladder to reach the heights necessary for cleaning the gutters. For a single-story home, a ladder with a maximum height of 6 to 8 feet should be sufficient. For a two-story home, an extension ladder with a maximum height of 20 to 24 feet is often recommended.
If you need a ladder to access gutters that are even higher, consider purchasing a telescoping ladder. These ladders are similar to extension ladders, but they have multiple moveable sections that extend in a cascading fashion and lock into place when you need to adjust the height. This type of ladder is ideal for working at varying heights and is easy to set up, reposition, and take down. Additionally, a telescoping ladder can easily fit into the garage or shed for storage when it’s not in use.
Protect Your Eyes
While gutter cleaning may not be the most strenuous chore, it does pose a certain degree of risk. It is essential to use caution and abide by the three point rule (two feet on the ladder at all times). It is also important to wear proper attire for the job.
A dust mask is a must to protect your lungs from particles stirred up during the gutter cleaning process. Similarly, wearing rubber-soled shoes will give you the best grip when working on the rungs of the ladder. It is also recommended to have a buddy stand below you while you work to keep an eye out for uneven ladder footing, careless passersby or even falling debris.
Gloves are a must to protect your hands from dirty, rotting leaf debris that is often rife with bird, pigeon and squirrel droppings that contain bacteria. Additionally, gutters can be filled with twisted, loose bits of metal that could poke or tear your fingers. A thick pair of gloves will prevent these injuries as well.
Lastly, a garden hose or pressure washer is useful for rinsing off the gunk you’ve removed from your gutters. Start at the opposite end of your downspout and work your way towards it, scooping up leaves, dirt, gunk and deposits into a bucket or tarp placed below you for easy disposal.
If you are removing gutter downspouts from your roof, it is a good idea to have a buddy present for safety. It is easy to lose your balance and fall off the roof while attempting to remove a downspout. A buddy will be able to steady the ladder and help you get back on safely.
Protect Your Hands
Gutter debris contains a number of nasty materials that can cut, sting and scratch. Gloves make handling dry leaves, twigs, pine needles and other prickly materials easier. They also protect your hands from the bacteria-laden debris like bird, pigeon and squirrel droppings, and can prevent painful cuts from metal gutter shards.
You should wear rubber work gloves while cleaning your gutters. The thick gloves will help you feel the clogs and can save your hands from scratches, stings and even infections. A garden trowel or gutter scoop will help you remove the larger debris from the troughs and can speed up the process. A hose can be used to wash away smaller particles from the gutters.
It’s a good idea to spread a plastic tarp under your workspace to catch the dirty, damp debris that will fall during gutter cleaning. It will also help to keep it from staining your lawn or landscaping.
If you’re going to be climbing a ladder, it’s a good idea to get someone to hold the bottom of the ladder so it won’t sway. Avoid overreaching when you’re cleaning gutters; it can throw off your center of gravity and lead to a fall.
Gutters that aren’t properly cleaned can cause water damage to a home, especially in the basement. They can also stain the siding and deteriorate the appearance of roofing shingles. It’s important to clean the gutters twice a year and especially before winter. Keeping up with this maintenance will reduce the risk of blockages during the cold weather when ice can freeze and crack the gutter troughs. It will also reduce the chance of rainwater spilling over the side of the gutter and into the house.
Wear Rubber-Soled Shoes
Gutters protect your home from water damage by preventing soil erosion, basement flooding and fascia decay. Clogged gutters, on the other hand, can result in a host of expensive problems like roof leaks and basement flooding. If you are looking for an easy home improvement project that is relatively inexpensive, consider hiring a professional gutter cleaning company to take care of the job for you.
Professional gutter cleaners are equipped with high-powered ladders and specialized tools that make the process quick, painless and effective. They know how to safely work from a ladder and are trained in safety and hazard awareness. They can also identify and correct issues that might be dangerous to you or your family, such as loose gutter sections or clips.
When tackling the task of cleaning your own gutters, wear rubber-soled shoes that provide good traction. Those without good traction can easily slip and fall off the ladder, potentially injuring themselves.
Gutter cleaning involves a lot of bending, squeezing and scooping, so it is a good idea to wear gloves for both your hands and eyes. Gloves help prevent dirty, rotting leaf debris from sticking to your skin. This type of debris often contains bird, pigeon and squirrel feces that are covered with bacteria. Eye protection is necessary because you never know what might fly out of the downspout when you are removing a clog. Some homeowners have experienced rats, frogs and bees flying away at high speeds.
You can reduce your risk of injury by repositioning the ladder frequently and not trying to clean too much at once. Overextending can throw off your center of gravity and cause you to lose balance, so it is important to clean only as far as you can comfortably reach before repositioning the ladder.