Water damage is the second most frequently filed homeowners claim, that’s why it’s so important to clean your gutters at least twice a year, once in the spring and once in late summer or early fall.
A debris-clogged gutter can cause a leaky roof or water damage to the interior or exterior of your home. Gutters are an integral piece of your home’s well-being. They serve to control the flow of rainwater to protect your roof, walls, foundation and landscape.
If you do choose to get up on the roof and clean your gutters, make sure to be extra careful and use a safe and sturdy way to gain access to your roof and gutters to clean dead leaves or pine needles.
Basic Ladder Safety Tips:
- When placing your ladder, remember the four-to-one rule: for every four feet of height you have to climb, move the base one foot away from the wall.
- Have someone hold the bottom of the ladder. Too seldom done, this is one of the easiest ways to stay safe.
- Go solo. Only one person on a ladder at a time.It may seem intuitive to climb up and hand someone above you a tool, but don’t do it.
- Stay between the rails of the ladder — don’t lean out and reach too far. Instead, take the time to climb down, move the ladder and climb back up. Also, keep three points of contact with the ladder at all times, either two feet and one hand or one foot and two hands, and always face the ladder while climbing up or down.
- Stay off the top shelf and bucket shelf. The shelf where you store your buckets can’t support your weight and will almost certainly break.
- Don’t stand on the top three rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder. Those should be above the roof or work surface.
When you’re finished with a ladder, put it away immediately. This will help keep someone else from being injured. Workers are required by federal safety agencies to tie off an extension ladder to the roof so it won’t slip. If you’re working on your roof, you should secure the ladder, too.
If you have any challenges accessing your roof, there are many trained professionals in your area who would be happy to do it for you.