Can i use a step ladder to clean my gutters?

UK Home Improvement

Can I Use a Step Ladder to Clean My Gutters?

It’s almost summertime, so you may be looking to spruce up your home’s exterior to make your outdoor space even more beautiful. Maybe even feel like doing a bit of DIY to keep your house’s maintenance up to scratch. 

One of the most common DIY cleaning jobs is gutter cleaning, and if you have a single-storey property, you can easily do this with the help of a trusty step ladder. You should clean your gutters twice a year – once in spring and once in autumn. If you have a multiple storey property, however, you may need the help of an extension ladder so you can reach your gutters.

Always remember – when you clean your gutters using a step ladder, it’s important to stay safe to avoid any injuries. By the end of this blog, you should be an expert in gutter cleaning using a step ladder!

What Size Step Ladder Should I Use to Clean My Gutters? 

To efficiently clean your gutters, you should firstly establish the height of your property to find out which step ladder you need. 

In most cases, a 10 or 12-tread step ladder is tall enough for cleaning the gutters of a single-storey building. If you have a multistorey building, then you may need to invest in an extension ladder so you can safely reach the height you require.

What Type of Step Ladder Should I Use to Clean My Gutters?

There are a range of step ladders on the market so you can clean your gutters efficiently and quickly whilst staying safe.

For instance, the best ladder for guttering should have a wide step depth for stability, a guardrail for extra support, and a large tray for tools, buckets, equipment, and other appliances. All of which are included in this particular ladder!

How to Stay Safe Using a Step Ladder

Inspect Your Step Ladder

Before you use your step ladder for guttering, you should inspect it to ensure that it is up to the task. The most important things to check include:

  • The stiles (side rails) – are they bent, damaged or beginning to buckle? 
  • The feet – are they damaged, worn, or lacking substantial grip? 
  • The rungs – are any of them bent, lose or missing?
  • The locking mechanisms – are they in good working order?

If you find any defects on your step ladder, the safest course of action is to first clean it, if that isn’t the issue then you’ll have to fix it or have it fixed by a professional. If all else fails you’ll have to buy a new ladder. Please remember it is extremely dangerous to use a defective ladder when working at height for guttering. Put simply, it’s not worth the risk.

Never Overreach

It can be tempting to just go that little bit further, but this is one of the most dangerous things you can do when using a step ladder to clean your gutters.

If you end up overreaching and creating a weight imbalance on your step ladder, you could very easily topple the ladder and injure yourself. 

It’s never worth the risk. It may be inconvenient to have to reposition your step ladder, but it’s definitely the safest option. You should always keep your waist parallel to the rails of the step ladder to ensure that your weight doesn’t shift and cause an imbalance.

Never Clean From the Roof

You may think that the easiest way to clean gutters is by accessing them directly from the roof. We can guarantee you that this is not the case, so never go up to your roof to clean your gutters. One slip or trip and you’ll wish you’d never even thought of the idea – trust us. 

Maintain 3 Points of Contact

This may well be one of the most important rules to follow when using a step ladder! When using a step ladder, you should always maintain 3 points of contact, typically using your feet and hands. This is to provide maximum support and stability when working at height. 

If you find that you need to use both of your hands, as a last resort, you should keep both of your feet on the same step of the step ladder, and then use the ladder frame to support your knees/chest for a third point of contact. 

Avoid Working Side-On

Always position the step ladder facing the work you’re carrying out, instead of working side-on. Working side-on is not only awful for your back and muscles, but it also increases your risk of falling and reduces your risk of stability.

And there you have it! We hope that this has helped you figure out how to use a step ladder for guttering and the best practices to keep in mind while doing so.


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