Ladders are useful to have, but they can also be dangerous if used without proper precautions. In fact, professionals who install replacement gutters use safety equipment as an additional precaution. Gutter Helmet® of Eastern NY shares tips on how to make ladders safe when you conduct home repairs and gutter cleaning.
Don’t Skimp on the Ladder
To safely use a ladder, you have to use a safe ladder in the first place. Make sure you are using the right type of ladder for the job. For example, if you are looking for a straight ladder for gutter cleaning or roof inspection, your ladder must extend at least three feet above the point of support, which, for most roofing work, is the roof’s edge. Also, make sure your ladder has the correct weight rating. Additional features such as safety hooks and prong feet or spikes may well be worth the extra few dollars.
Position the Ladder Properly
Whether you’re just checking if your heated gutters are working, or if you need to spend the entire afternoon cleaning your gutters, always make sure the ladder is properly angled. Follow the 4-to-1 rule: for every 4 feet of ladder height, the base should be 1 foot away from the wall. Therefore, a 15-foot ladder’s base should be anchored 3 feet and 9 inches from the wall.
Bring All Your Tools
You will want to spend the shortest time on the ladder as you can, so organize your tools and try to bring everything you need in one climb. A tool belt or small toolbox is enough to carry most of the tools that you need.
Have Someone Assist You From the Ground
Get someone to help you from the ground to hold the ladder steady, and perhaps to help you check on your work. If you need something ought up to you, never let them climb the ladder while you’re on it. Remember, only one person should be allowed on the ladder at any time. Never have someone toss you anything from the ground; either you climb down, or rig a rope and pulley with a bucket as your delivery system.
Of course, you’re most safe when you don’t need to use the ladder at all. Gutter Helmet is a gutter protection system that eliminates the need to clean your gutters. To learn more about Gutter Helmet, call Gutter Helmet of Eastern NY at (866) 252-9400 or fill out our contact form.