6 Reasons why gutter cleaning is dangerous
- Working at height
- Ladder Training / Experience
- Unsuitable equipment
Working at height is dangerous!
The first reason why gutter cleaning is dangerous is simply because working at height is the single biggest killer in the construction industry. Ladders are particularly dangerous, and are responsible for most deaths in the construction industry.
Using a ladder to access the gutter is dangerous!
The risk of falling from a ladder dramatically increases when the user/operator does not have sufficient training, and/or has a lack of experience using ladders and ladder safety equipment. When using a ladder to clean out gutters, the risk of falling increases further, as gutter cleaning tools and a bucket are required, which can make climbing and using ladders more difficult.
Some people experience dizziness when ascending ladders, Rain Gutter Solutions say “Some people can be acutely affected by heights and losing balance on a high ladder is a very dangerous situation.“
Many homeowners do not have a suitable ladder and ladder safety equipment to allow them to access the roofline and clean out the gutters safety. Old untested ladders pose a real risk to the untrained eye.
As many falls from ladders are from user error, sometimes falls from ladders can be caused by other people, the weather and even wildlife.
This brings us onto the second reason why gutter cleaning is dangerous. Other people, children and pets can easily knock ladders causing the user to lose balance and fall if not tied off and isolated appropriately.
Birds that may be nesting in the eves could be spooked and fly out if disturbed while you are cleaning out the gutters which can startle and knock you off balance while working on a ladder.
The same can be said for bees and wasps nests which may not be obvious until disturbed. Like birds, wasps also tend to nest in the eves and enter between gap in the soffit boards. You can learn how to destroy wasp nests here
Cleaning gutters without personal protective equipment is dangerous!
The next risk involved with gutter cleaning may not be obvious, but the risk is high, and if it happens, it could be extremely dangerous. Gutters can contain unpleasant debris, crawling with a soup of bacteria. Bird poop, dead birds and insects, rotting leaves and vegetation are just some of the everyday things that are part of the slurry in your gutters. Exposing yourself to this is not recommended without suitable personal protective equipment, such as gloves and a mask. Always be careful not to cut your hands while cleaning out gutters and never clean gutters where existing cuts or grazes are present. Bacteria and germs from the gutter debris may enter through open wounds and cause nasty infections that could lead to more serious health problems. Tetanus is a serious infection affecting the muscles and nervous system and can cause serious breathing problems and can ultimately be fatal. Tetanus is caused by an infection with the bacterium Clostridium tetani, which is commonly found in soil, saliva, dust, and manure. The bacteria generally enter through a break in the skin such as a cut or puncture wound by a contaminated object.
Finally, The Happy Roof Company say “Coming in contact with electrical wiring while cleaning out gutters, whether it’s by accident or in the case of trying to prevent a fall, can be extremely dangerous.“
It’s important to check for overhead wires, electrical wires running across external walls and even electrical wires that might be running in your gutters from CCTV systems etc…
Gutter cleaning is dangerous full stop!
We always recommend seeking a gutter cleaning expert with the right tools and equipment, knowledge and expertise to clean out your gutters safety. Uk Gutters say “It is necessary that those employed to complete the work are experienced and hold the appropriate qualifications”
If you do decide to clean your gutters yourself, we strongly advise you use the correct tools and equipment, wear appropriate PPE and ensure you have somebody competent to assist you.