Now that winter’s nearly over, it’s time to get some routine home maintenance out of the way in preparation for the rest of the year. Cleaning your gutters is one of those jobs vital to keeping your home safe and secure. If you have a ‘DIY can be fun’ mindset, you may decide to take on the task of cleaning your home’s gutters on your own. Before you climb up that ladder, you need to be aware of the dangers of cleaning gutters without the right training, knowledge, and gear.

person on a ladder installing a gutter

Speaking of Ladders…

You probably don’t spend most of your day up a ladder as a part of your daily life. Ladders at home are only used sporadically. This means that ladder maintenance is not a part of your regular routine, which is usually fine to get something off the top shelf quickly. However, a poorly maintained ladder on uneven ground is another matter altogether. Shifting weights for prolonged periods of time can lead to a rung breaking causing slips and falls. 

Positioning a ladder on uneven ground or at the wrong angle can lead to you losing your balance or the ladder toppling over. Ladder accidents are more common than you think, with almost half a million people treated for ladder-related incidents a year in North America alone!

And if you’re not used to going up a ladder, the last place you want to be when you discover you have vertigo or dizziness due to heights is when you’re up near your roof.

Electrical Hazards

Electrical wires can come loose during the harsh winter weather. Placing your ladder against one or accidentally touching one buried in the debris in your gutter can put you at risk of electrocution. You may even damage one during cleaning, which can lead to expensive repairs.


Gutters are naturally wet places. This can lead to all kinds of mould growing within them. Decaying leaves that collect in the gutters are also hotbeds for mould. Without the right protective gear, you can inhale these spores while cleaning, leading to problems like asthma, itchy eyes, or even severe allergic reactions.

Protective Clothing

You need the right protective clothing to clean gutters safely. Thick gloves are a must to avoid injuries to your hands, including bites from rodents that make their homes in the darkness of the gutters. Loose clothing can make it easy to let bugs in, resulting in some nasty bites. Additionally, a sleeve can get caught on rough gutter edges or get snagged on your ladder creating a dangerous situation while climbing.

Small Animals

Drains and gutters can be appealing places for rodents or birds to make their home.  Birds may lay their eggs in the leaves decaying in a gutter. Squirrels may use them as highways between trees. Birds with nests can act territorial if you go near them, while squirrels can give you a nasty nip. Fecal matter from various animals in the drains can carry disease-causing bacteria, so you can put yourself at risk of catching these diseases if you don’t follow the appropriate safety precautions.

As you can see, cleaning out the gutters is not quite an enjoyable day spent on a rooftop. There are several potential hazards that can come your way. Hiring professionals from a reputable company like Precision Gutters Ltd. can help keep you and your home safe and dry. Precision Gutters offers gutter cleaning services to customers throughout the Lower Mainland, Metro Vancouver, and the Fraser Valley, including Surrey, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Richmond, Langley, and Abbotsford.

Get in touch with us at 604-888-5112 or email Precision Gutters at to book an appointment today.