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?
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.
I would try to dig a flat spot for each leg of the ladder, but if landscaping does not allow, then attach a sturdy rope to the base of the ladder and then to something sturdy on the house at ground level. That way if the ground does give way under the ladder base, the ropes will keep the ladder from continuing to slide down the hill. Consider two ropes in a "V" shape attached to two anchors. I don't know what OSHA would say about this, but I've seen it in action a few times.
I don't think either is a convenient way to repeatedly move a ladder to clean gutters, and I would consider a telescoping wand gutter cleaner (used with water) or maybe you could rig one up with PVC like this guy except larger diameter and attaching to the leaf blower or the blow port of a shop vac.
protected by Community♦ Sep 11 '15 at 22:10
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