Have you checked your gutters recently? Experts recommend that homeowners clean them two to four times a year depending on the types of trees on the property. But before you grab a ladder and start climbing, it’s smart to check your equipment.
Though it may seem like a ladder is just a ladder, not all ladders are equal. Some are better for cleaning gutters while others are too heavy, unstable or cumbersome. So what should you keep in mind when attending to this important task?
The Best Ladders for Cleaning Gutters
When you’re planning your climb, it’s essential to remember that age-old rule: safety first. You want a ladder that can support your weight for an extended period, at least a couple of hours. Anything wobbly or unwieldy should instantly go back in the shed.
Some of the best ladders for cleaning gutters include aluminum, fiberglass and extension.
1. Aluminum: Aluminum ladders are sturdy and can support your weight while you’re in the process of cleaning. The material is also lightweight, making it easy to move around the house. Before use, always ensure the screws and bolts fastening the ladder are tight.
2. Fiberglass: Fiberglass is sturdier than aluminum, making it the safest bet when cleaning the gutters. However, it’s heavier and difficult to move around for an entire afternoon. Once you’ve set your ladder in place, always jump on the first rung a few times to make sure the position is secure.
3. Extension: This type of extendable ladder is great for any job where you’re dealing with varying heights. As you clean the gutters, the edges of your roof might arch or raise. An adjustable ladder will ensure you can reach any spot without hassle. When climbing, remember the three-point rule and keep two feet and one hand on the ladder at all times.
The right type of ladder will make cleaning the gutters a simple and safe Sunday task.
The Worst Ladders for Cleaning Gutters
You might think any ladder will get the job done, but if you’re choosing the wrong type for cleaning gutters, you’re putting your safety at risk. Make the task easier by avoiding orchard, wooden and platform ladders.
1. Orchard: Orchard ladders can be handy when you want to pick fruit high up in a tree. But the three-legged design is bulky and can be difficult to drag around. Plus, some orchard ladders aren’t tall enough to reach a roof.
2. Wooden: Wooden ladders are NOT recommended when cleaning your gutters. They’re often wobbly and tough to balance, especially outdoors on stone, grass or soil. Wood is also susceptible to rot and weak spots, making it less durable than its metal counterparts.
3. Platform: Platform ladders are convenient because you don’t need to prop them up against anything for stability. That said, they’re bulky and hard to lug around. Plus, most aren’t tall enough to reach the gutters of a standard home.
Clean gutters are important, but remember to avoid wobbly or unsafe options that could put you at risk.
How to Clean Your Gutters Like a Pro
According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, around 65,000 people are hospitalized each year due to ladder accidents. Don’t become a statistic. Clean your gutters like a pro with the right equipment for the job.