Why Climbing on Ladders is a Bad Idea to Clean your Gutters


The importance of regular gutter cleaning and proper gutter installation is widely understood among homeowners and real estate communities. However, many owners take it upon themselves to clean their gutters on their own, which isn’t a huge issue in itself. 

The problem lies when you climb a ladder to get the job done. In theory, it makes sense, but in reality, there are some key reasons you want to avoid doing this when possible, which we discuss below…

Safety Risk

When it comes to any ‘do-it-yourself’ at-home project, safety comes first and foremost. Using a ladder in any situation comes with some safety risks, but these are amplified when it comes to gutter cleaning. The injuries that could happen should you accidentally slip and fall could be life-threatening, to say the least, and it’s certainly not worth the risk.

Weather Changes

If you live in an area where the weather can flip within a matter of seconds, this is particularly relevant. Cleaning gutters takes time, and should you happen to be on a ladder when the sky decides to rain…it won’t be looking too good safety-wise. 

Although we don’t recommend climbing ladders to clean your gutters, we’ve included some tips below in case you decide to do so…

Choose the Right Ladder

This goes without saying, but make surer you’re using the right type of ladder for gutter cleaning. You can’t be using a step-ladder for example, which would be used to hang something on a wall or change a light. You want to choose an extension ladder that’s meant to be used to reach higher places while providing stability and security. You also want to make sure that the ladder is high enough for you to reach the top of the gutter without having to climb with your toes (which could lead to falling).

Proper Ladder Setup

Many ladder falls and related injuries happen because the ladder is not properly secured to the ground. As simple as it sounds, making sure the ladder’s base is set and not wobbly is key to preventing falls.

Wear the Right Shoes 

Non-slip shoes with a strong grip will help minimize the chance of slipping. It could be tempting to wear the most comfortable shoes or sandals you have laying around, but this is a big no. Make sure the shoes you choose don’t have a flat sole, but rather a strong grip with a closed-toe and non-slip sole.

Inspect Your Ladder

If you don’t use your ladder often then you want to go a thorough inspection the same way you’d inspect any equipment you haven’t used in a while. Things to look out for include cleanliness (anything slippery or dust could lead to falls), properly functioning run locks, and secure feet that will stay put in the ground. 

‘Foot Posture’

Whether you’re reaching for a high cabinet shelf or climbing the stairs, you likely use your toes. When climbing a ladder, you want to avoid doing this entirely as it can throw you off balance and cause you to fall on your back, which can lead to serious injuries. Instead, take each step with the middle of your foot.

Final Words

When possible, try to avoid cleaning your gutters on your own and using a ladder. Although if you have to do so for whatever reason, make sure you use our tips and take precautions when it comes to ladder setup, wearing the right shoes, and choosing the right ladder.