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  /  Gutters   /  The risk involved in cleaning your gutters
risk

The risk involved in cleaning your gutters

There is a risk involved in cleaning your gutters. Gutter cleaning is a hazardous task fraught with danger. Most people are not accustomed to working at heights; they often do not have the proper safety equipment to clean gutters.

The average homeowner is often without a:
• Ladder balancing mechanism
• Safety harness
• Safety rope tied into to a secure point
• Aide of a co-worker

Gutter Cleaning Safety Tips

Be aware.
Before cleaning your gutters, inspect the area around your home. Is the ground too wet or too unstable to place a ladder? Is your gutter system too high or complex for you to comfortably reach it? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, wait and hire a professional to do the job.

Ladder Safety

Only use a tall ladder to reach where you need to clean and keep it within a comfortable distance of the spot you are cleaning. A too-short ladder could cause you to overreach and lose your balance, leading to injury. Take care to keep three points of contact with the ladder, such as two hands and a foot, or two feet and a needle.

Leaning too far over to one side increases your risk of falling off the ladder. If you are using cleaning tools while on the ladder, carry them in a bucket or bag and avoid getting them tangled on the ladder as you climb.

ESafe Clothing

Always wear hard sole, non-slip shoes. Wear safety gloves to avoid pinch point injuries when setting up and disassembling your ladder. Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing as it can become entangled with the ladder. Wear clothing appropriate for the temperature; you don’t want to be cold or over-heating.

Electrical Wire Safety

Look up to see if electrical wires will be in your path before positioning your ladder. Always keep ladders at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines. Wires should never be contacted or touched under any circumstances; overhead power lines are not insulated to prevent electrical shocks.

Dizziness and Vertigo

Be careful not to get up too fast when climbing up or off a ladder, as it can cause dizziness and vertigo, with could mean a dangerous fall.

Ladder Injuries Increase with Age

The dangers of gutter cleaning become more acute with increased age. People aged 65 and older are more likely to get into an accident due to decreasing balance and advanced illnesses. According to The U.S. Consumer Product Safety, people aged 65 and older accounted for half of all deaths associated with a ladder in 2002. They also accounted for 16 percent of emergency room visits involving ladder-related injuries but 39 percent of those hospitalized for these injuries. Therefore, if a person feels nervous about cleaning their gutters, hiring a professional gutter cleaner is in their best interest.

 

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