Look Out: The 4 Most Common Risks of Rain Gutter Cleaning

May 03, 2017

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Senior man making a rain gutter cleaning
The trees have shed their leaves, rain has fallen, and all the debris has now deposited into your rain gutters. It's time for you to pick up a ladder, put your gloves on, and start unclogging them before the next rainy season strikes. You prepare yourself for the job and pull out the ladder from the basement. But once the day comes and you are outside under the hot sun, you begin to realize how dangerous this task really is.

Most people ignore how dangerous this type of housework actually is and overestimate their ability to come out unharmed from a safety oversight. However, many people end up in the emergency room due to injuries caused by home improvement projects because they don't take sufficient safety measures. Rain gutter cleaning is one of those activities that carries a high risk of injury. Heights, loose wires, tiny animals that live in debris, and defective ladders are just some of things to watch out for.

If you are still determined to go through with your rain gutter cleaning by yourself, make sure to take precautions against these 4 common dangers:
  • Ladder falls.  Man cleaning rain gutters at home This is, by far, the most frequent accident that happens when cleaning rain gutters and other activities that involve with ladders. In fact, and according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 90,000 people have been critically injured and have required emergency medical care for falling off ladders every year. What makes this number more worrisome is that, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics has revealed, more than half of these accidents could have been prevented with proper inspection and usage of the equipment.

    Make sure that your ladder isn't showing signs of deterioration or damage before heading outside to clean your rain gutters. Also, take all the necessary precautions when placing the ladder; have someone help you by passing the tools to you, holding your ladder steady at the base, and be sure to have the proper ladder for the height you need to work at.

  • Dizziness. After confirming your ladder is safe to work with and you have the supplies to clean your gutter, you may look up towards your roof and think that everything will be fine… and then you go up the ladder. Some people can be acutely affected by heights and losing balance on a high ladder is a very dangerous situation.

    Before attempting to clean your rain gutters, first check if you have ever experienced vertigo, dizziness, or other conditions that could affect you while working at high heights—your life could depend on it.

  • Electrical wires. Heavy rain can be a bit disruptive and after the rainy season, some wiring and power lines can get damaged. It is especially dangerous to work on a wet roof and with aluminum or steel gutters filled with damp debris and suddenly see a loose wire hanging over your shingles. Both water and metals are great conductors of electricity, so. while getting ready to clean your gutters, be sure to check for loose electrical wires near your roof that could compromise your safety.

  • Vermin and mold spores. Dark, humid spaces filled with leaves, branches, etc. usually attract animals like rats and birds and foster the growth of mold and other fungi. If your gutters are infested, there are many diseases you could expose yourself to just by picking up debris with your bare hands.

    This is why it is crucial to never forget to use gloves while cleaning your gutters—to prevent coming in contact with harmful bacteria, mold, and diseased rodents. We recommend using suede gloves, which are more resistant to sharp objects.

Since cleaning your rain gutter can entail such risks, it is best to be as well equipped as possible to accomplish the task. If you think you may be ill-equipped, consider hiring a professional to avoid the dangers entirely. There are many advantages to hiring a professional rain gutter cleaning company. First, you avoid any exposure to danger, and you need not worry about techs' safety because they are covered by their employer's insurance. They have all the equipment they need to get the job done in a swift and efficient manner, reaching places you might forget about.

Also, consider purchasing leaf guards for your rain gutter system. These act as a barrier for debris without obstructing the flow of water, preventing clogging while also making it easier for you to clean your gutters by simply hosing them off. They come in a wide variety of materials and increase the durability and efficiency of your rain gutter system.

If you are looking for reliable professionals to clean your rain gutters, repair old ones, or install new ones, Rain Gutters Solution has the perfect team of experienced technicians. Feel free to call us at (305) 270-7779 or fill out our contact form to get a quote. Consider subscribing to our newsletterfor information on our latest offerings, and follow us on Facebook at Rain Gutters Solution, Twitter @RainGuttersSolution and Instagram @GuttersSolution to get the best tips and recommendations about all things rain gutters.

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