7 Ladder Safety Tips To Help Avoid Injury

You may not think of cleaning out the gutters as a high-risk task, but the fact is that any job around the house that involves climbing a ladder has the potential for injury. Statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission show that each year there are more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries in the United States relating to ladders.

In the fall season, many homeowners are getting outside to clean leaves and needles as summer comes to a close. This commonly involves breaking out the ladder (or getting a new ladder that excels at gutter cleaning) and climbing on the roof. We want you to be safe this fall season so that you can enjoy the cooler weather and beautiful fall colors.

“There is a potential for injury any time someone climbs a ladder,” says Jeffrey Smith, MD, of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA). “While setting up and using a ladder may seem like a simple, everyday task, there are definitely safe and unsafe ways to do it.”

To help avoid injuries due to falls from ladders, the AAOS has developed the following tips for staying safe on a ladder:

  1. Make sure your ladder is sturdy and in good shape. Before using it, inspect it for any loose screws, hinges or rungs that you might not have fixed before you put it away last time. Clean off any mud or other liquids that might have accumulated on the ladder.
  2. Be sure to place the ladder on a firm, level surface. Never place a ladder on ground that is uneven or on spongy, soft or muddy ground. Likewise, during colder weather, never set your ladder on slippery, frozen spots.
  3. Take reasonable safety precautions. Make sure to engage the ladder locks or braces before you climb. If you’re working outside, make sure the ladder will not hit electrical wires, tree limbs or any other obstructions when it is extended.
  4. Remember the 1-to-4 rule: The bottom of the ladder should be 1 foot away from the wall for every 4 feet that the ladder rises. For example, if the ladder touches the wall 16 feet above the ground, the feet of the ladder should be 4 feet from the wall. If you are going to climb onto a roof, the ladder should extend at least 3 feet higher than the roof. If you’re using an extension ladder, the upper and lower sections should overlap to provide stability.
  5. Always reposition the ladder closer to the work. Over reaching or leaning far to one side when you’re on the ladder could make you lose your balance and fall. Your belly button should not go beyond the sides of the ladder.
  6. Wear proper footwear. Ditch the leather-soled shoes when using a ladder – they’re too slippery. And make sure your shoelaces are tied and the soles of your shoes are free of any greasy, oily or wet substances. Pant legs shouldn’t be too wide or too long.
  7. Get help if you need it. Ask someone to hold the ladder while you climb, stay in the center of the ladder as you climb and always hold the side rails with both hands.

Best Ladders For Gutter Cleaning 2017

If you’re looking for the best ladders for gutter cleaning in 2017 you’re in the right place.

You need to be careful when you use certain types of ladders for gutter cleaning because you can damage the gutters (or even yourself) if you’re not careful.

Check out our recommendations for the best gutter cleaning ladders so you can get things done quickly and safely:

Little Giant

little giant ladder in a frame configuration

Little Giant has 13, 17 and 22 foot models. They are made from aircraft-grade aluminum and is rated to hold up to 250 lbs.

The best feature of this extension ladder is that you can set it up in multiple configurations:

  • A-frame
  • Staircase
  • Extension
  • 90-degree
  • Scaffolding

This versatility allows you to use this ladder for much more than gutter cleaning. For most people, the 22-foot model is the best option.

There is also a lifetime warranty so you know the Little Giant will be with you for a long time and be well worth the initial investment.

Check Current Price

They also have a full range of ladder extensions and add-ons to expand your ladder’s capabilities. Check out the Wall Rack and Wall Standoff

DeWalt

dewalt dxl3020-28pt 28 foot ladder
Built-In Tool Slot On Top

DeWalt is a recognizable and reliable brand in tools. Their ladders are equally great.

We recommend the DeWalt DXL3020 Fiberglass Extension Ladder. It’s available in many sizes, starting at 16 feet and increasing by 4 feet until their 40 foot model. You likely won’t need one that tall so I would stick with the 16 or 20-foot versions.

It has a 300 pound capacity, non-marring top (so it won’t scratch), and a quick latch that ensures the ladder is secure when extending it to taller heights.

Xtend & Climb

xtend and climb telescopic ladder

The Xtend & Climb Aluminum Telescoping Ladder is a unique type of extension ladder that retracts compactly and can extend by 1 foot at a time.

It’s made from aerospace engineered aluminium alloy and is rated for safe use by ANSI & OSHA.

Bonus: Gutter Cleaning Ladder Attachments

Ladder-Max Stand-Off Stabilizer

Ladder-Max gutter cleaning standoff bundle

The Ladder-Max Standoff keeps your ladder off your gutters. It also makes them easy to access and within arms reach. Plus it adds extra stability so you stay safe as well!

Ladder’s Little Helper

Ladder's Little Helper for gutter cleaning

Ladder’s Little Helper is a neat accessory that actually sits inside your gutters and helps to secure the ladder from sliding.

It protects you and your gutters and is great for both painting and gutter cleaning. It works with nearly all types of gutters as well.

How To Clean Your Gutters Before Winter (6 Easy Steps)

Gutters

Having a lawn with a lot of trees is like having a dog with long hair: your house and lawn is destined to be covered with leaves.  Now that it’s mid-October, it is time to think about winterization and cleaning out your gutters before any heavy snowfall – my least favorite task.  It is best sometimes to just pull the band aid off quickly.  Don’t think, find something old and long sleeved, grab gloves, and let’s power through this.

What you will need

  • Long sleeved, work clothes
  • Plastic scoop
  • Heavy duty gloves
  • An extendable ladder
  • Trash backs
  • A hose

6 Simple Steps To Clean Gutters

  1.  Extend ladder and place it near the top of the downspout. If possible, buy a standoff stabilizer to attach to the top of your ladder.  This will make it so that you are balanced against the roof instead of on the gutter. Check out our recommended ladders and stabilizers for gutter cleaning.
  2. Fasten a trash bag to the ladder near the top, and begin scooping out leaves near the downspout and work backwards.
  3. After cleaning out the whole of the gutter, we will test for leaks and blockages using the host. Run the hose from the furthest point, towards the downspout. The stream of water will be a good indicator of what to do next.
  4. If the stream flows steadily towards the downspout but doesn’t drain, that means more attention is needed to clean out this funnel. Luckily, there is a hose attachment that can do this. Take the attachment and instead of running it top down, feed it in from the bottom and run water through it to try and clear the clog.  After a minute or so of this, try running the water from the top of the spout.  If it still doesn’t drain, repeat this step.
  5. If step three led to stagnant water in parts of your gutter, they may not be hung correctly. In order to drain, gutters need to decline at the rate of ¼’ per ever 10 ft towards the downspout.
  6. Finally, while preforming step three, keep an eye on leakage. Note the spots where you find a heavy drip.  If the leak is occurring at the seam of 2 gutter lengths, this is fairly easy to repair with gutter sealant along the crack.  Same goes for end cap leaks.  However, if the leak comes from a full on hole and not a crack the repair process will be more extensive.

Clean gutters are the first step to preparing your home for inclement weather.  Need help with the weatherization process? Give Handyman Matters a call at 866-FIX-MY-HOME.

5 Best Gutter Cleaning Tools You Need For 2017

gutter cleaning tools
Try this gutter cleaning robot

The remnants of summer are packed into your gutter.  Probably leaves, shingle particles, and some runaway baseballs or tree branches.

The rainy season is here, and if your gutters are already occupied, you’re likely beginning to experience water damage to your home’s caulk, windows, and wood.

If you’re not one for using your hands to clean out the gutters, check out this top 5 list of the best gutter cleaning tools you need to get the job done in 2017…

  1. Pressure Washer Attachment Turn your pressure washer into a gutter cleaning pro.  Need a pressure washer too? The AR Blue Clean AR390SS is a great choice that won’t break the bank.
  2. Gutter Cleaning Robot – The Roomba is not the only one of its kind.  While it may not quite be AI, these inventions are a fun, hands-free way to clean out your gutter.  Loosen your gutters and drain them into a sack with this helpful bot.
  3. Gutter Cleaning Water Wand Do you have a multiple story home?  Scaling the side of your home on extension ladders can be a terrifying feat.  Gaining altitude while wielding a hose can be even scarier.  Clean your gutters from the safety of the ground with this wand hose extension.
  4. Gutter Guards When there are trees all around your home, there is also likely leaves and debris all around your gutters. If you live in a lush area, there are extra steps you can take to avoid clogged gutters.  Gutter guards are like drain catchers, filtering out larger chunks of debris while letting water flow through.
  5. Extension Ladder Are you trying to save money by cleaning gutters the old fashioned way – with your hands and a hose? It is possible, but only if you have the assistance of a sturdy, reliable extension ladder.  These ladders are the bare minimum for your gutter cleaning.

One of the best parts of fall is getting rid of the dust and grime accumulated during summer. Equip your home to have a successful, worry-free winter!

Flooding, water build up, wood rot, and other expensive repairs will be a thing of the past when you have clean gutters.

If all this sounds like a lot of work, or you just want someone to take care of your gutter cleaning so you can stay on solid ground, check out our new Clean & Cover Package.

Things to Consider When Repairing or Replacing Gutters

We sometimes take those old gutters for granted. They perform an important job by providing a clear route for rain to run off of your home; that is of course if the gutter is in good condition and is not clogged by debris and leaves. Many homes still have the old sectional gutters that are produced out of pre painted steel, vinyl or painted aluminum.

The problem with these gutters is that they are formed in segments and the seams at those joints tend to leak, which of course defeats the entire purpose. In addition, they don’t typically offer the extra clog protection needed and desired in this day and age. That takes professional gutter protection system installation but the results are well worth it. Many people are frightened off because they fear the costs of gutter replacement and installation. However, the expense of doing nothing can be very costly, as well.

A great gutter system can enhance the beauty and value of your home. The most popular gutters today are seamless. These gutters are typically produced from aluminum but can also be manufactured out of pre-painted steel or copper. These gutters are actually produced on the work site while the contractor is installing the new system. This is not by any means a DIY project. Leave this one to the professional.

One of the biggest decisions you will make about your new gutters would be who to have install them. When this happens you want an independent contractor who is not bound to any particular brand or product. You want a company that offers you options, variety, and all at a fair price. You need a company that stands behind its work. Find that company and your new gutter experience will be a successful one.

In addition to the new gutter, you want to also consider a gutter protection system. There are basically three popular versions of this product available. They are the Solid Cover with side slots, the Leaf Screens or Mesh, and the Gutter Guards that snap in. If you are going to have a new gutter system installed, you might as well do it right. If you take the time to choose a good independent contractor for the job they will provide you with the guidance you need for the best possible product for you and your home.

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