As winter or springs is around the corners and the gutters are still clogged with debris. How to use a ladder to clean gutters, still remains a challenge over safety concerns. If this is your first time cleaning gutters using a ladder, this is the right place for you.
When you purpose to clean gutters, a ladder will be very useful to reach those hard-to-reach places with ease. This is for the case of two-story and three-story buildings.
Alternatively, a ladder will bring you close to your working point and avoid overstretching which may lead to fatigue and also injuries. Unlike when you are not using a ladder, you will be able to complete your fast and also do a smart job.
Though it may appear like a simple process, picking a ladder and mounting it is not enough. There are a few things that you may need to know before you can begin that job.
As a matter of concern, ladder safety should be a priority when cleaning gutters. However, you may also need several tools for successful gutter cleaning.
How to Use Ladder to Clean Gutters-Best Guide
Below is a list of tools you need to clean gutters.
- A ladder-extension or step ladder
- Hand gloves
- A garden trowel
- A bucket
- A scoop
- Garden hose
- Stand-off stabilizers(if you are using an extension ladder)
One more thing, before you can settle for that ladder to clean gutters, there are a few factors that you need to know. This will enhance safety and efficiency when working
1. Choose the Right Ladder
It is unfortunate that 90 % of ladder accidents happen because of using the wrong ladder on the job.
In this case, when choosing a ladder to clean gutters, you can either opt for an extension ladder or a step ladder. Alternatively, you can also opt for a multi-positon ladder that you can configure to suit your job.
If your gutters are near electrical installations, I would recommend a fiberglass ladder because of its non-conductive ability. You can also opt for an aluminum ladder if you need a lightweight ladder and a more affordable ladder too.
2. Choosing the Correct Ladder Height
Having the right ladder height is not only important but also safe when you are using a ladder to clean gutters. This will help you avoid overstretching to reach to gutters as you try to push the debris away.
As a matter of fact, this will not only lead to fatigue but is also a safety hazard that should be avoided.
First, to determine the ladder height is getting a ladder that is 3-5 ft. above the gutters.
Secondly, the standard height of the building will help you understand the ladder to get. For Single-story the standard height is 10-12 ft. while for a two-story building is 18-20 ft.
3. Inspect Ladder before Use
Before you can begin using the ladder to clean gutters, inspect the ladder first. You can check the ladder of any damages and dirt such as oil that can easily lead you to fall when working.
4. Setting the Ladder at the Right Angle
If you are using an extension ladder, be sure to set the ladder at the right angle as you clean gutters. Setting the ladder at 75 degrees angle will make it more stable and minimize possible chances of slip.
Alternatively, for an extension ladder, using a 1: 4 ratio formula will help to determine how to place the ladder. In this ratio, for every 4 ft. high the ladder extends, move it one foot away from the wall.
For the case of step ladders, secure them by stretching the rail spreader to their maximum limit.
As you use the extension ladders, I recommend the use of ladder stabilizers or gutters guards to protect gutters from ladder damages.
You can check 6 best ladder gutter guards in 2022 for the best ladder guards.
5. Levelling the ground
As you set the ladder, prepare a level ground to lay the base of the ladder. This is to enhance stability and minimize any chances of slipping and also injuries.
Alternatively, you can use the ladder levelers to stabilize the ladder as you set it up.
6. Maintain A 3 Point Contact
When you are done setting up the ladder and all the safety precautions observed, you can safely climb up the ladder while maintaining a 3point contact.
With the 3-point contact at least 3 points with at least one hand being free. This will help you keep balance when cleaning gutters.
7. Cleaning the Gutters
With all the safety procedures observed, you can be assured of safety as you clean gutters.
If you are using an extension ladder, keep it close to the gutter to avoid overstretching yourself to reach the debris.
When cleaning the gutters, do not step on the topmost rungs, if you really want to be safe and stable when working.
For extension ladders, stand on fourth or fifth top rungs while for stepladder stand on either third, fourth, or fifth rungs for maximum stability.
Similarly, make sure the ladder extends at least 3ft/1 meter above the gutters for convenience when working.
For more stability, you can tie the ladder at the base to a support or use spotters to hold the ladder base as you climb to reach the gutters.
We recommend you remove the debris in small portions and avoid overstretching as this could lead to a fall.
Avoid applying more pressure than the ladder can hold. In any case, we encourage you to remove the debris when it is dry for convenience.
Use the provided bucket to empty the debris and the scoop to remove the debris.
When you are done, you can flush the gutters using the hose and some water to clean the finer debris.
Related Content: How to Raise an Extension Ladder
Congratulations on learning how to use a ladder to clean gutters. Remember, your safety should always come first as you undertake this task.
From ladder selection to ladder set up as illustrated above, those simple instructions will enhance your safety though they cannot guarantee you 100% safety.
Always check the ladder instructions for more safety guides.
Well done and keep safe.