First of all, A ladder can damage your gutters, but how? Well gutters are usually made from lightweight materials. They are very easily damaged, making it hard to directly lay your ladder up against them, when your body weight is pushing down on them, they might bend, break, and possibly fall off.
Table of Contents
- 1 Where to Place Ladder When Cleaning Out Gutters?
- 2 Alternatives to Using a Ladder When Cleaning Gutters?
- 3 Final Thoughts
Where to Place Ladder When Cleaning Out Gutters?
It is not recommended to place a ladder against gutters directly because it can damage them or it could potentially cause your ladder to slip resulting in a fall. Use a ladder stabilizer to place the ladder against the roof or siding of the home.
A ladder stabilizer is an attachment to a ladder that creates a wide support option at the top, sometimes they are referred to as ladder stand-offs. They help stabilize and provide the user with much more space during use. Some stabilizers are wider and longer than others, for cleaning gutters a longer one could be best. I put together a list of the 10 best ladder stabilizers for cleaning gutters, feel free to see what one would work best for you.
Another ladder placement option is placing the ladder against the wall below the gutters, but this depends on how far the wall is from the gutters. My rule of thumb is, if you cannot see into the gutter you are too far away. This would mean you are leaning too much to clean out the gutters, putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation.
Before getting into some important related questions, placing a ladder when you are cleaning out your gutters is an important decision. It might not be thought about often but choosing the correct ladder placement could save your life.
What Are Gutters Made Of?
Gutters, also known as eavestrough, are made from various materials, but the most common types being used today are aluminum and vinyl. Other materials that gutters are made of could be copper, galvanized steel, cast iron, zinc, and other types of plastics.
What Size Ladder to Clean Gutters?
Generally, when you are cleaning a gutter you would use an extension ladder. However, this would depend on the height of the gutters.
If a gutter is below 8 feet using a platform ladder would work fine, but when a gutter is above 8 feet you should use an extension ladder. An extension ladder ranges anywhere from 16 feet up to 40 feet. When placing the extension ladder to clean gutters, it should be at least 3 feet above the working space and it is recommended to not stand within the top 3 steps on a ladder.
Typically, a one-story home is a minimum of 8-10 feet in height so choosing an extension ladder is the best choice.
Best Type of Ladder for Cleaning Gutters?
The best ladder for cleaning gutters is an extension ladder. It provides the user with a longer reach and works great leaning up and against a house. Of course, use ladder stabilizers and make sure the ladder is set up properly for safe use.
How to Use a Ladder Without Damaging Gutters?
To quickly recap, using an extension ladder with a ladder stabilizer is the best way to prevent damaging your gutters. Ladders directly up and against the gutter will cause damages such as bending, cracking, or completely falling off the house.
1. Use a ladder stabilizer
2. Place ladder against wall below gutters or against the roof with stabilizer
3. Do not place any weight of the ladder or your own body weight on gutters directly
These 3 tips are the quickest answers when it comes to cleaning gutters and ladder safety.
Cleaning Gutters and Ladder Safety
I want people to understand the importance of ladder safety. There are a few types of ladder accidents that happen regularly that can easily be prevented.
Firstly, choosing the wrong type of ladder is a major one. In certain situations, a step ladder is better than an extension ladder, but be aware of the proper and improper usage.
When cleaning gutters at heights where you can only reach when standing on the top step, you have the wrong size ladder. A step ladder, or any ladder really, is not meant to be stepped on the top 3 steps. If you can’t reach 3 steps down move to an extension ladder of proper size.
Using ladders incorrectly is also easily prevented. If you have a ladder read proper instructions and do some simple research. Maybe ask someone to help teach you the proper use techniques, this can be a major help. Altering a ladder could result in injuries.
Placing the ladder is something many people have difficulties doing. You may live on a hill or just an uneven surface, when you place your ladder the surface must be flat and secured.
Also be aware when you place your ladder people will not be walking near it potentially knocking it over. Setup proper boundaries if needed!
Alternatives to Using a Ladder When Cleaning Gutters?
Scaffolding could be a safe alternative to using a ladder. Scaffolding is a platform-based structure easily put together by 2 or more people. Built with steel pools and wooden planks, scaffolding and proper safety precautions could make cleaning gutters very easy.
Scissor Lift and Other Mechanical Lifting Devices
Lifting machines could make a great alternative to a ladder. If you have access or don’t mind the renting fees associated using a lifting machine could make cleaning gutters easy and safe. Lift up and above the gutters and simply clean them out, if your machine has wheels, simply roll along with the gutters for an easy clean.
Using water to flush out a gutter could save you from using a ladder. These attachments are simply connected to a pressure washer and have a hook on them, making it easy to clean gutters. Just make sure you don’t shoot the water back towards yourself!
The AgiiMan Gutter Cleaning Tool for pressure washers, available on Amazon, is a great kit for cleaning out gutters.
This tool is simply attached to an extension pole and does not require a ladder or water. It is best used for lightweight leaves and such. Many users love this alternative because it is a cost-effective and very safe option. See the Gutter Sense Cleaning Tools latest price on amazon by clicking here.
Cleaning gutters may have seemed like a super simple activity, but when a ladder is being used safety precautions arise. When you are placing yourself at these heights you must make sure the ladder is placed properly.
I hope you found the tips you were looking for when wondering where to place ladder when cleaning gutters. I also included alternative solutions that are great options for people who don’t want to use a ladder.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.