You’ve heard the horror stories about gutter cleaning ladder dangers—the cautionary tales about slipping from the ladder or cutting your hands on screws. Although cleaning the gutters seems straightforward, there are a number of ways this task can go wrong. Any task performed from the roof or great heights is inherently dangerous, which is why gutter cleaning ladder dangers should be taken seriously.
We care about your gutters AND you, which is why we’ve shared this article on gutter cleaning ladder dangers—and what you can do to avoid them.
4 GUTTER CLEANING LADDER DANGERS
Many of us “weekend warriors” can be difficult to deter when we’re in get-er-done mode, so let’s take a moment to look at what exactly these gutter cleaning ladder dangers are. When can you get hurt on a ladder? Consider the dangers of:
- Set Up. Ladders are heavy and awkward—and no fun to carry around. There are plenty of hazards that can cause problems before you ever start pulling muck out of the gutters. Did the kids put all the toys away, or are they littered around the yard? Is the dog out?
- Tools. After you get the ladder set up, you have to carry things up like a bucket for the gutter slop or a hammer or screwdriver for unanticipated repairs. This is when the “dropsies syndrome” can take over—and dropping a tool can cause serious damage or injury to anything or anyone below.
- Hands and fingers. What’s inside those gutters besides decaying leaves and sticks? If you’re lucky, nothing. If you’re unlucky, maybe a sharp screw or downspout edge, which can cut a finger or palm wide open. Even if you escaped unscathed, you could end up catching a sleeve on a sharp edge or projection—and this can put you at serious risk of a fall.
- Descent. Even if you’ve made it this far without dropping a hammer or slicing your fingers, you have to make it down the now-slippery, mucky steps of your ladder, which takes us to our next topic…
Ladders are dangerous. In fact, ladder safety is a serious issue in the United States. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 500,000 people are treated for ladder-related injuries yearly. 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, when people climb ladders to clean gutters. 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.
A CLOSER LOOK AT GUTTER CLEANING LADDER DANGERS
According to the CDC study, ladder accidents result most frequently from improper ladder use, including:
- Incorrect extension ladder angle, as extension ladders to reach upper stories and roofs must be at a shallower angle
- Insufficient ladder inspection or structural failure
- Slips, often resulting from carrying objects, overreaching, and missteps
Even people experienced with using ladders can become startled or lose their balance while climbing a ladder or reaching a bit too far while cleaning gutters from a ladder.
TAKE GUTTER CLEANING LADDER DANGERS SERIOUSLY
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 out 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.
HOW TO AVOID GUTTER CLEANING LADDER DANGERS
Now that we’ve put you completely off the task, here’s the thing about gutter cleaning ladder dangers—they’re absolutely 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 rain gutter cleaning tool that lets you avoid the dangers of cleaning gutters from a ladder. Attach the tool to an extension pole, and you can clean second-story gutters from the ground.
Gutter Sense also gives you an easier way to do the job. 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, and you completely eliminate gutter cleaning ladder dangers with Gutter Sense.