Did you know that gutter cleaning is one of the most dangerous home maintenance tasks?
It’s true. In fact, ladder safety is a serious issue in the United States. According to data compiled and tracked by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 500,000 people are treated for ladder-related injuries each year nationwide. A 16-year study tracking ladder injuries in the US found that more than 97% of them occur in non-occupational settings—like the home. This same research found that over the course of the study, ladder-related injuries increased by 50%.
These ladder accidents cause fatalities and serious injuries; a third of falls result in fractures, many of the legs and feet. And 10% of ladder-related injuries result in hospitalization. Fatalities also occur in falls from roofs and ladders.
According to the CDC study, ladder accidents result most frequently from improper ladder use, including:
- Incorrect extension ladder angle, as extension ladders used to reach upper stories and roofs must be placed at a shallower angle
- Insufficient ladder inspection or structural failure
- Slips, often resulting from carrying objects, overreaching, and missteps
These don’t include on-the-ground hazards like a child or pet colliding with ladder supports, or other on-the-job threats like encountering electrical wiring or cutting your hands on sharp gutter edges and screws.
Even people experienced with using ladders can be startled or lose their balance while climbing a ladder or reaching a bit too far while cleaning gutters.
At Gutter Sense, we’ve heard our share of cautionary tales about the dangers of gutter cleaning. A friend shared with me that his 82-year-old father, determined to clean his gutters, climbed a six-foot ladder to get the job done. Though his fall wasn’t far, it broke his hip. Hip injuries are serious at any age, but the older you are, the more difficult it is to recover. His father hasn’t walked since the accident and unfortunately is confined to a wheelchair.
I’ve also heard from the fire chief of Park Ridge, Illinois that recently his department responded to three ladder accidents resulting from gutter cleaning—in a two-hour period alone.
These kinds of statistics and stories are especially sad because they’re preventable with the right tool and method for gutter cleaning. This is where Gutter Sense can take the risk out of gutter cleaning. It’s a lightweight, easy-to-use tool that lets you clean your gutters from the ground without a ladder. Attach the tool to an extension pole, and you can reach second-story gutters without a ladder.
Gutter Sense also gives you an easier way to get the job done. With the tool, you can reach in, grab leaves, muck, and even small pine needles. You lift and drop and repeat. No more messy hands and clothes, no more cuts, just clean gutters with your two feet on the ground.
We understand the desire to get the job done—your way, on your terms. Climbing a ladder for your second-story gutters is just asking for trouble, though. Leave ladder-climbing out of it, lower your risk of an accident, and get Gutter Sense to get your gutters clean.