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I'm a new first-time homebuyer who needs to clean out my gutters. They are jammed with fall leaves. My home inspector told me to get a ladder and a leaf blower to do the job. The only problem is that the ground around my home is not level. It slopes away from the house on both sides where gutters are, most steeply in the back but somewhat in the front. Is there a way that I can safely place my extension ladder? I heard using a piece of plywood to create a flat surface might work - other good options?

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if it's sloping away from the house, that's OK, as long as the ground is parallel to the roof (provided it's not too steep). Also, consider being a good neighbor and NOT buying a leaf blower. ;) –  DA01 Nov 6 '11 at 5:12
@DA01 - all the neighbors have leaf blowers (it's a very wooded neighborhood), so I'm not sure that using rakes on the leaves and our hands to scoop junk out of the gutters will make us better neighbors in this case. –  justkt Nov 7 '11 at 1:18
"all the neighbors have leaf blowers" hmm. I'd be moving. ;) Jay is right though, a leaf blower probably won't do much good up in the gutters. –  DA01 Nov 7 '11 at 1:54
DO NOT use a leaf blower to clean the gutters! –  Tester101 Nov 7 '11 at 13:06
@Tester101 - maybe I should ask a separate question, but I'd love to hear why (we actually ended up doing it by hand) –  justkt Nov 7 '11 at 13:08

1 Answer 1

It may be easier to find one place where you can safely place the ladder so that you can get onto the roof. Once you are there you can remove the leaves. Of course this depends on the how steep the roof is and your comfort level of being on the roof vs being on a ladder.

Unless you plan to buy a leaf blower anyway, make sure there are only dry leaves in the gutters. If they're full of decomposing leaves, you'll have to scoop out the gunk and a leaf blower isn't going to cut it.

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While the last homeowner told us he did it from the roof, the pitch is steep enough that it's actually more comfortable going up the ladder (although there is a section of the house where a deck makes it only about a 7 foot climb to the roof). –  justkt Nov 7 '11 at 14:02

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