Since your gutters are located at least ten feet in the air depending on how many stories your house is, you will need a ladder to get the job done. Getting on the ladder, working on it, and getting can be very dangerous. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are thousands of people treated for ladder related injuries in emergency room across the country. The kinds of injuries sustained include broken bones, bruises, and cuts. There are even hundred of deaths each year because of ladder injuries. These possible injuries and casualties are the reasons why you should learn proper ladder safety procedures.
The first ladder safety tip to follow is to make sure that you sit the base of the ladder on level ground that is solid. You want to avoid placing the ladder in soft or muddy earth because the legs could sink into the ground unevenly causing the ladder to be unbalanced and easier for you to fall off. Ground covered in gravel or mulch can also be hazardous because those loose pieces could cause one or both of the legs to sweep out and the ladder to fall with you on it. Finding a spot next to your home that meets these criteria can be difficult at times. You need to wait for the weather conditions to be right so that you will have hard ground. If there are too many hills or too much landscaping directly next to your house, you might have to resort to using scaffolding or hiring a gutter cleaning service unless you get a convertible ladder system like a Transforma ladder.
A second ladder safety rule has do deal with how close or far away from your home you should put the base of the ladder. You will need a tape measure to make sure you do this part correctly. Measure how high the top of the ladder will be or how high your gutters are. Divide that number by four. That is how many feet away from the wall the base of the ladder should be. For example, if your gutters are twenty feet in the air then you need to put the bottom of your ladder five feet away from your house. In order to reach the top of the house, the ladder will need to be at least twenty and a half feet long. This four to one ratio is a good rule of thumb to practice.
A third ladder rule to follow is the three points of contact rule. Between your feet and your hands, you must always keep at least three parts of your body in contact with the ladder at any given moment. That means while you are climbing you cannot be holding anything in your hands. But how will you get your gutter cleaning equipment up the ladder? I usually put my gloves on before I climb and then tie a garbage bag with my gutter scoop and brush in it to my belt loop. The rope will extend as I climb and then I can pull the bag up once I get to the top. At the top, I can put my gutter cleaning tools on the roof while I am not using them and keep the garbage bag tied to my belt or to the ladder. While you are scooping or scrubbing your gutters, never let go with more than one hand at a time.