Cleaning one’s roof and gutter is often the most dreaded and dangerous household chore, but it’s also one of the most important. If not cleaned on at least an annual basis, your gutters can develop serious water-related issues that can cause expensive problems, like damage to your house’s foundation, basement flooding, and mold growth in difficult-to-reach places. However, if you take proper precaution, cleaning your roof and gutter can be done safely with peace of mind. If problems do develop with your roof, call ARB Construction in Blytheville. We’ll take care of the problem and make any repairs that need to be made quickly and responsibly. Read on for some tips on how to safely navigate your roof and gutters while cleaning.
Find A Partner
If you can, get a partner to help you while you clean. They can help stabilize the bottom of your ladder for extra security, and having an extra set of hands to help you move the ladder along will save your arm strength for cleaning and balancing. If no one’s available to help you, it’s alright and still safe to clean alone. Just let someone know that you will be up on a ladder cleaning, just as a precaution.
Choose A Secure Ladder
There are a couple factors to consider when choosing a safe ladder for your work. For the sake of convenience, or if you’re working on a roof that’s more than a story high, you’ll want to get a longer ladder that has a small shelf strong enough to hold a bucket for you to collect roof and gutter debris in. When it comes to materials, wooden and orchard ladders are not a great choice because they are more prone to becoming unbalanced than other kinds of ladders. Fiberglass ladders are the sturdiest, but they’re also pretty heavy. Aluminum ladders are lighter and also very sturdy.
Protect Your Eyes
Eye protection is key when cleaning gutters because you never know what might fly out of the downspout while you’re cleaning it. Bees, wasps, frogs, rats and even birds are known among professionals for getting trapped in clogged gutters and shooting out of the downspout as it is unclogged. The last thing you want while cleaning is an eye injury.
Protect Your Hands
Similar to eye protection, you’ll want to protect your hands from all the kinds of debris and nastiness you might find on your roof or in your gutters while you’re cleaning. It’s often more than just the dirty, rotten leaves and twigs you might expect; bird and squirrel droppings are also quite commonly found up there. Handling animal droppings with your bare hands could get you sick.
Consider Rubber-Soled Shoes
If you have to walk on your roof for the sake of your cleaning, doing so in rubber-soled shoes is your safest bet. Rubber soles are the least likely to slip and lead to a dangerous fall. For extra safety, consider only doing roof work in the late morning or early afternoon, when the early-morning moisture on your roof has dried up.
Check Your Surroundings
If your home is for some reason situated near a power line cable that connects to your roof, or just situated near power lines in general, keep an eye out and make sure to stay away from them while you clean. You might be shocked to find out what happens when you come in contact with one!
Rule Of Threes
For the most safety and stability while cleaning out your gutters, use the rule of threes: keep both feet and one hand planted on your ladder at all times.
Biggest Debris First
When beginning your cleaning, start with the biggest debris first. This will help further reduce their risk of slipping and falling if you’re on the roof. Focus on roof debris first as rain will eventually wash it into your gutters anyway if left uncollected. Then move on to smaller debris and your gutters.
Unclog Your Downspouts
Once you’ve cleaned your roof and gutters, clear out your gutters’ downspouts. You can test the spouts for clogs by running water down them at full pressure to see if the water backs up. If there are clogs, you can usually unclog them by tapping on the sides of the downspouts. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to remove the downspouts and flush them out from the bottom.
Finish With A Hose
Once you’ve cleaned your roof and gutters and unclogged your downspouts, finish off your job running a little water down your gutters to clear out any debris that was too small for you to clear out and ensure that your downspouts are completely clear.
Remember, the key to any roof or gutter cleaning is your safety. If you’re concerned that something may be wrong with your roof, don’t take any chances. Call ARB Construction, your rooftop neighbors in Blytheville. We’ll ensure that the roof over your family’s heads is as sturdy and safe as you all deserve.