5 Dangers of Gutter Cleaning at Home

Debbie Warford
Debbie Warford
Published on September 15, 2021

Fall is here, and cleaning the gutters on your home, while necessary, is far more dangerous than many people are led to believe. The average homeowner doesn’t spend much time on a ladder, which makes them especially susceptible to falling or injuring themselves. 

According to Porch.com, ladders are responsible for nearly 200,000 emergency room visits per year. So if you’ve decided to clean your rain gutters yourself, then be sure to avoid these 5 common dangers.

Electrical Wires

One of the most dangerous aspects of gutter cleaning relates to electrical wiring. Accidentally coming into contact with an electrical wire can lead to serious injury and even death. Placing your ladder on a wire or grabbing onto wires for stability is extremely dangerous. Before cleaning your gutters, be sure to inspect the area for any electrical wires near your roof that could put you at risk.

An Unstable Ladder

The most frequent accident that happens when cleaning rain gutters is falling off one’s ladder. To avoid this happening to you, inspect your ladder for signs of deterioration or damage. More often than not, homeowners only pull their ladders out once or twice a year, and the rest of the time they are in storage. Improper storage can make ladders more prone to rotting or breaking. If after inspecting your ladder, you’ve decided it’s safe to use, find an even spot on the ground to position the ladder. 

The Wrong Clothing

You might not believe it, but improper clothing can lead to accidents when cleaning your rain gutters. Clothing made of materials that catch easily can cause it to get stuck, creating a dangerous situation where you’re forced to unstick yourself without falling off the ladder. We recommend wearing durable clothing, such as denim, as well as gloves and eyewear for extra protection.

Vertigo or Dizziness

When on the ground, cleaning your rain gutters might seem like a great idea, but a few rungs up the ladder and you may be thinking differently. Whether dizziness, vertigo, or a fear of heights sets in, being at the top of a ladder can cause a physical reaction in some. Before climbing up the ladder, consider how you’ll feel at the top and consider whether you’ve ever experienced dizziness or vertigo in the past. Additionally, you’ll want to think about your age because as we get older, we often lose mobility and thus are more prone to injury. If you’ve experienced vertigo before, have issues with your mobility, have a fear of heights, or simply have little experience climbing a ladder, you may want to leave cleaning your gutters to the professionals.

Rodents and Mold

One final danger associated with gutter cleaning relates to rodents and mold. Dark, humid places, even those filled with leaves, branches, and other debris, can attract small animals like rats or birds, or lead to the growth of mold or fungi. If your gutters are infested with either, touching or even breathing the air around your gutters can be a health hazard. For this reason, wearing gloves, a mask, and proper eyewear are crucial. 

As you can see, gutter cleaning isn’t as simple a task as you might think. You could perfectly do it yourself but to keep yourself safe from injury, especially if you have a multi-story house, we recommend hiring a professional who will have your gutters looking brand new in no time.

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