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Why DIY Gutter Cleaning & Maintenance is Risky

When leaves and other debris get stuck on your roof and in your gutters, this can be a cause of annoyance and will undoubtedly leave you tempted to do something about it.

As tempting as it may sound to bring out your ladder and do the cleaning yourself, you will soon realise how much of a hazard and hassle it actually is.

Many are not aware of this, but this kind of exterior housework actually requires a lot of attention to detail and expertise in some areas.

Attempting to do something you’re unfamiliar with, such as gutter cleaning, can result in a trip to the ER or worse.

And with the summer season now wrapping up and the wetter seasons coming up, it’s a good idea to get your gutters prepped and cleaned – by a professional of course.

So, to encourage you to get professional help with looking after your gutters, let us tell you about some of the issues or obstacles you can come up against when you take on the task of cleaning your own gutters.

Ladder falls

If you think your ladder is placed securely against the wall, think again.

Falls from ladders are one of the most common accidents that happen to homeowners who attempt to clean their gutters on their own.

To put things in perspective, around 1600 people end up being hospitalised each year by ladder falls in Australia, and about 60% of these accidents occur at home. This is also only the number of people who end up going to hospital for the fall.

To add insult to injury, many of these falls are likely to have been able to be prevented if proper equipment was used or if they had more experience working on ladders.

If you are going to use a ladder at any point, not just for gutter cleaning, make sure you inspect your ladder first. Make sure that all steps are stable. Secondly, make sure that it is properly propped up against the wall.

Though, if you’re thinking about using your ladder for gutter cleaning, we do think it’s a job best left to the professionals.


If it sounds like climbing a ladder is a no-brainer, think again.

Some people don’t realise that they may be suffering from dizziness, vertigo, or may even have an aversion to height as they climb up a ladder.

Dizziness can also be caused by fatigue and from not eating enough, so if do need to work on ladders or from a height, it’s best to make sure you’re well fed, and not too tired.

Dizziness, especially once you’re up the ladder, can cause many issues such as ladder falls, and unless you’re up on roofs or using ladders regularly, you probably won’t even be aware that you experience dizziness.

Electrical wires

During heavy rains, storms, or even natural wear and tear can cause some electrical wires might come off loose. Even the power lines can get damaged without your knowledge.

It’s not always obvious when these things happen either, so it’s best to work with a professional who is likely to be more aware of whether damage like this has recently occurred in the area. They will also know the signs of any wire or electrical damage, so they will likely be able to spot any potential issues or dangers much sooner than you.

Remember, people who work in these more dangerous fields undergo extensive training to ensure that they only use safe practices. This is to protect themselves and you as well. We recommend speaking to a qualified sydney electrician if you feel there is any damage externally or internally in your home when it comes to electrical wires.

Vermin and mould spores

The gutter and roof may be housing some unwelcoming guests in your home – namely pests like vermin, rodents, and insects, and bacteria like mould.

Dark, humid spaces are prone to such pests and if you clean the gutter with your bare hands, you’re exposing yourself to infectious diseases such as leptospirosis.

A professional gutter expert knows the signs of infestation and also how to manage them. Sometimes the infestation may be small, and sometimes it might be so large that it requires the intervention of a pest exterminator.

However, regular gutter maintenance and cleaning can help prevent this from occurring in the first place, as it helps to make sure these places are not as inviting for pests and bacteria to grow and breed.

Asbestos in Guttering

It is possible that guttering for a home could contain asbestos, especially if the home was built before the 1990s. Asbestos was commonly used in building materials, including guttering until its use was phased out due to health concerns.

If you suspect that your guttering may contain asbestos, it is important to have it tested by a professional. Asbestos can be hazardous to health if it is disturbed and the fibres become airborne, so it is important to take appropriate precautions if you are planning to renovate or remove the guttering.

If you are unsure whether your guttering contains asbestos, you may want to consider contacting a licensed asbestos removal contractor for advice. They will be able to assess the situation and provide you with guidance on how best to proceed.

Get the Job Done Professionally

As you can see, gutter cleaning and maintenance is so much more than getting some leaves and twigs out of your gutters. It’s not about propping up a ladder and then doing some cleaning here and there; without the proper tools, precautionary measures are taken, and a helping hand, you run the risk of hurting yourself.

Calling professionals to do the job for you is always the best choice. They have the proper equipment, years of experience, and they know how to effectively clean out home gutters.

The job may be quite hazardous, but don’t worry – reputable companies have their employees trained and insured so that in the event something goes wrong, they’ve got it all figured out.

You may also consider investing in leaf guards while you’re at it. They protect the gutters by creating a barrier for debris without affecting the water flow. This makes it easier for gutter cleaning in the future as it requires one to simply hose off the collected debris. Leaf guards come in a variety of materials with different levels of durability.

If you want to talk to an expert about your gutters, give us here at Gutterline a buzz on 02 8677 3373 or get in touch with us by using the form at the bottom of the page.

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