Gutter Cleaning Tips: Choosing Ladders

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 by James Hartkorn

Gutter Cleaning Tips: Choosing Ladders
Image via Jake Stimpson on 

So, it’s time to clean out those gutters, but you can’t seem to find a secure way to get up there. What’s a homeowner to do? Well, it all starts with the right gutter ladder. It has to be secure, durable and able to withstand a lot of weight. It also needs to be tall enough to reach the second story so you can properly clean out your gutters. Let’s go over what type of ladder to use when cleaning gutters as well as some safety tips.

Don’t become one of the 175,000 people who visit the ER after suffering falls from ladders at home, says Consumer Reports. Instead, be wise about the kind of ladder you purchase for a safe project all around. Any ladder you consider should display a label that says how much weight it can support. It’s best to go with one that has a max rating of at least 300 pounds. While you yourself may be under that weight limit, you never know who will use it in the future and it’s best to be prepared.

There are many different types of ladders for home improvement use. Here are some of the main material choices you can easily find:

Wooden gutter ladders: Many people opt for these because they’re affordable, easy to find at any home improvement store. However, they tend to wobble more than other types, so don’t use this kind unless you’re reaching a short height just above your garage door, for instance.

Fiberglass: This type of ladder is sturdy and durable, a good option if you’re going to be reaching higher up, such as to a second story window ledge. However, fiberglass is also very heavy. Make sure you have a buddy with you, because you’re going to have to reposition it at regular intervals around the perimeter of your house. Got power lines near the house? Fiberglass is the safest choice for this job.

Aluminum: This material is lightweight yet durable and can be stored outdoors. It won’t rust, and it’s easier to adjust and carry around as you go about your work. However, no matter which type of ladder you select, you should always inspect it before using it.


Before use, inspect for dents, warping, loose parts and other defects. Fix anything that looks suspicious before getting on it to clean your gutters. Make sure the ladder is properly secured by checking the extension arms and placing a piece of plywood beneath the legs for added support. This is especially useful on grassy or muddy areas.

Still don’t have the right ladder? If you’d rather a professional handle your gutter cleaning tasks, contact one of our experts at LeafGuard by Midlands Home Solutions.

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