The perils of doing gutter cleaning yourself

Yes, there are perils connected with your gutters. That is, the gutters that surround your house and collect the water when it rains on your roof. Perils (Oxford dictionary: “Serious and immediate danger”) for a person who is not as handy as they might think they are. If your gutters overflow even when rainfall is light, that tells you that there is serious clogging in your gutters. (Clogging: “to hinder or obstruct with thick or sticky matter; choke up”; not the official state dance of Kentucky and North Carolina.)

You might want to get out your ladder and climb up to see what’s up. But if you want to clean your gutters yourself, it might not be as easy as you think.

Instead, think about this.

It might be a good idea to get a professional to do the job for you, especially if you live in a two-storey house. Someone who is daily doing the job, is confident at the top of a ladder, has all the necessary equipment, and knows precisely what needs to be done. Is it worth saving a couple of bucks, just to find yourself at the bottom of the ladder with a broken leg?

Assess your gutters

Preferably you should do this from the ground. If it’s been a while, they might be blocked with vegetation, debris, dirt, feathers, and who knows what, which collect the rain water and will weigh the gutters down, preventing the water from getting away. This may cause them to sag, and if there are any signs of the gutter coming away from the house, you’re in trouble. If your gutters are deformed, damaged or unstable, it’s best that you don’t go up there and attack the problem. Leave it to the pro. He (or she) would have the correct equipment. He (or she) would know exactly how to handle said equipment while climbing a ladder, especially if the gutters are 10 metres above ground. He (or she) is ready for whatever they find up there, since he (or she) has been doing this for a long time.

Gutter stuff

What a mess there could be. And you might have some freeloaders up there which enjoy the mess that has been accumulated. Even snakes, possums, nesting birds … think about the possibilities. PPE (we all know now what these initials stand for) is vital in so many occupations, and this is no exception. I reckon you must be prepared to get your local gutter cleaning expert on the job. Even if your wife thinks you are able to do this on your own, this is the time to overrule her in the strongest way, and insist that the best thing to do is sit back on the porch with a coldie and watch while someone else does the hard work.