Safe ladder practices are important when cleaning out your gutters. Most households will own a portable ladder for easy access to the roof.
The potential for injury on a portable ladder is significant. Ideally, using scaffolding or elevated work platform would be best when cleaning your gutters. However, we understand that the humble, portable ladder is a staple in the home, so we’ve put together a list of safe ladder practices to ensure that a simple household chore like gutter cleaning doesn’t cause you harm.
Safe ladder practices for cleaning gutters
- Portable ladders shouldn’t be used for working at heights above 6 meters.
If you live in a two story house, or a place with a high roof, think about investing in a scaffolding system or even an industrial ladder. Industrial ladders must comply with industry standards, are stronger and able to balance better.
- Portable ladders must be supported at the base and sitting on a stable surface.
We recommend a concrete surface as pavement or soil can be uneven. If you must balance your ladder on an uneven surface, prop it up with a sturdy support such as a plank for stability.
- If you are using the extension function to clean gutters higher on your roof, ensure that both the top and the bottom of the ladder are secured.
- Avoid using ladders in wet or windy conditions, unless control measures account for these conditions.
- Don’t erect your portable ladder on a slippery or wet surface.
- To ensure your ladder won’t move, all metal ladders should feature rubber, non-slip feet.
- Make sure you there are no power lines close to the gutters you are cleaning, particularly if you are on a metal ladder as it will be a conductor.
- When erecting the ladder, make sure it is a good distance from any hazards such as sharp objects, machinery or chemicals, should your ladder fall.
- Never erect your ladder on balconies and other raised surfaces.
- Don’t lean your ladder against your gutter.
Instead, rest it on the wall underneath the guttering. Guttering is not strong enough to safely support your ladder and could break.