Spring is a great time to get your gutters ready for summer. In addition to new budding branch and leaf debris, there is likely to be a lot of accumulation in your gutters from the winter months. Overloaded gutters can cause water to overflow, eroding the landscape and causing water damage to the home. Gutter cleaning assures your gutters are clear and free to do their job. If you plan to tackle the task of gutter cleaning yourself, there are some important things to keep in mind.

Safety while doing the job should be your first and foremost concern. Getting up on a ladder to do work is always a potentially dangerous situation, but this is especially true if you have a multi-level home, or a home that is situated on an uneven lot, or area with a steep grade. Make sure your ladder is in good, stable condition, and that you have a spotter with you at all times.

Exercise caution when you are cleaning gutters around a power line cable that drops from a utility pole to the roof of the home. It is advisable to use a fiberglass ladder when cleaning gutters near power lines. Do a visual inspection of the electrical cable where it connects to the roof to ensure that the protective wire insulation hasn’t worn off. If the cable appears to have any damage, before doing anything else, call the power company.

The following are a few additional tips for doing the job safely:

Organize your tools. Make sure your ladder is equipped with a table attachment or a place to secure a bucket for collecting the debris that is in the gutters. It is a very good idea to use a scoop and wear gloves, in case any sharp sticks, roof materials or large spiders are lurking in the mix.

Use a water hose with a pistol-grip trigger spray nozzle. Since the grip of the handle can be secured over the front edge of the gutter, you will not have to worry about holding on to it while doing other things. After removing all of the large debris with a gutter scoop, spray a stream of water toward the downspout.

While gutter cleaning is a necessary job, it can be somewhat hazardous. If you have any doubts whatsoever about your ability to do the job safely, please leave gutter cleaning to the experts!