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Old 02-02-2012, 04:49 PM   #21
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Hire someone to clean your gutters, please. A friend of mine did that, fell off the ladder and died because he hit his head on the way down. If you are taking a blood thinner you just bought a widow maker.
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:07 PM   #22
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Don't listen to them.
Ladders can be used in all sorts of creative ways.

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Old 02-02-2012, 05:27 PM   #23
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Best way to remove built up debris from the gutter that I've found is to use a leaf blower. Works well and I have the slip on gutters guards in place. If you're going to remove the gutters, consider something like these rain handlers/deflectors instead:

Rainhandler

I don't know you're physical abilities re:ladder use. If you're not physically capable or not comfortable on a ladder, hire out the work.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:01 PM   #24
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Are you sure? I think it applies to fixed ladders (of some length), not movable extension ladders. Per OSHA site...
Based upon this http:lRoofers blast new safety rules as bad for business It appears that the ladder rule is separate from the rule for roofers. Recently when a number of neighbors had roofs replaced after a storm I did not see any such equipment. Of course being in a rural area in Tx OSHA folks may not find it healthy to visit here.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:32 PM   #25
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Taking a quick look at Home Despot , I found a 24' aluminum ladder weights 39 pounds and a fiberglass 59 pounds. The aluminum has a weight rating of 225 (Type II Duty Rating )and the fiberglass 300 (Type IA Duty Rating), so the two I saw weren't in the same rating class.

I suspect the aluminum type will be lighter even for the same weight class.
I have had a fiberglass ladder like this for several years. I am amazed to discover that it only weighs 59 pounds. I thought it weighed at least twice that much and was getting heavier every time I used it.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:06 AM   #26
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Best way to remove built up debris from the gutter that I've found is to use a leaf blower. ....
+1 And start the leaf blower before you get on the roof. That way you don't have to worry about keeping your footing while yanking on the cord. Then climb the ladder, and walk around the perimeter of the roof blowing out the gutters. Takes about 5 minutes.

I do my gutters several times a year, and I'm getting shakier up there as I get older. I have an 8/12 roof pitch - I would not attempt anything steeper than that.

I'd get the 24' aluminum.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:45 AM   #27
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As for stability, I would also buy one of those extenders that hold the ladder in place better..
Get yourself a stabilizer kit (U-Shape) like this one at HD for $25, you're good to go. I have been using it in the last 8 years, and it makes a day and night difference. Of course, always exercise with caution and sound judgement.



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You should have 24 foot minimum for a 2-story, it needs to be placed at a 75 degree angle and extend at least 3 feet above the contact point. Odds are the ground around your house won't be perfectly level, IOW the base will be at low spots in some places.
I totally agree with Midpack. It's always a good idea to overestimate it a little instead of having regret later on.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:11 AM   #28
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I'm with Ha...am happy to pay my guy the $100 and avoid this frightful task.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:57 AM   #29
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I do not think that would work for a two story... and pine needles are not the same as leaves....

BUT.... I just found this... might have to look into this as an option... much safer...

Ultimate Rain Gutter Cleaning Tool
Thanks -- I am going to get one! I've fashioned something like that for clearing the downspouts, but this looks better.

It is hard to know where to draw the line regarding safety and cost. I fell off a ladder once and was lucky not to be more seriously injured.

I have a folding ladder, which works well, and I can store it in the shed. If it weren't for the expense, I'd get a telescoping model.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:23 AM   #30
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BUT.... I just found this... might have to look into this as an option... much safer...

Ultimate Rain Gutter Cleaning Tool
Looks like it would take forever that way, much more time consuming than going up a ladder. But clearly much safer, and for $27.99, probably worth a try.

I posted earlier about ladders, but I'm with the get it done without a ladder crowd. Just too dangerous, especially with a two-story (my next house will be a one-story).
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:37 AM   #31
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+1 And start the leaf blower before you get on the roof. That way you don't have to worry about keeping your footing while yanking on the cord. Then climb the ladder, and walk around the perimeter of the roof blowing out the gutters. Takes about 5 minutes.

I do my gutters several times a year, and I'm getting shakier up there as I get older. I have an 8/12 roof pitch - I would not attempt anything steeper than that.

I'd get the 24' aluminum.
Our low roof pitch makes it easy to walk on. I too use a leaf blower and have bought a cordless one shown here: Amazon.com: Black & Decker NS118 18-Volt Cordless Electric Broom Hard Surface Sweeper: Home Improvement
There is no cord or worry about. It is not as powerful as an electric but does the job and is a lot more convenient around the house. I have 2 batteries also and use the B&D hedge trimmer with the batteries. Best to do when the leaves in the gutters are dry (before rains). Use safety goggles. Save the beer for after the job .

If your worried about the aluminum ladder stability have your spouse stand by and hold the ladder from side-to-side movement as you go up/down. Once I was using a hose up on the roof and the hose pushed the ladder over. DW had to rescue me.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:53 PM   #32
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As one that felt he was always safe on a ladder, trust me, hire it done. As you get older, you not only get weaker you also tend to lose you balance more readily. I've fallen twice now and that's it. Last time caused rotator cuff surgery.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:55 PM   #33
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I have had a Little Giant ladder for 15 years and I love it. Does everything I need and more......
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:01 PM   #34
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Something to watch out for as you guys grow older - - (I'm sure it wouldn't apply to any of you early retirees and other members).

I don't know WHAT it is about elderly men that makes them h*ll bent on spending time doing risky things up on top of a roof. Young guys won't do it no matter how much their wives nag, but older guys value roof time more than sex, I think.

I suppose these elderly men are thinking, "See, everybody? I've still GOT it" but the neighbors are all thinking, "There's that crazy old John Doe, nutty as a fruitcake, galavanting around on his roof again."
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:38 PM   #35
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older guys value roof time more than sex, I think.
You've just given me an idea, but I don't think I can get Lena to go along with it.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:23 PM   #36
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Any chance you have a second story window that opens up to rooftop access? The ones on either end of my house do that so I don't need a ladder.
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:52 PM   #37
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Something to watch out for as you guys grow older - - (I'm sure it wouldn't apply to any of you early retirees and other members).

I don't know WHAT it is about elderly men that makes them h*ll bent on spending time doing risky things up on top of a roof. Young guys won't do it no matter how much their wives nag, but older guys value roof time more than sex, I think.

I suppose these elderly men are thinking, "See, everybody? I've still GOT it" but the neighbors are all thinking, "There's that crazy old John Doe, nutty as a fruitcake, galavanting around on his roof again."
In my case, it's as simple as I can be that cheap given half a chance. But I don't plan to clean my gutters with a ladder again, last time this past Fall.

Though come to think of it, DW didn't object at all, she held the ladder. She even suggested that I get on the 2-story roof instead of cleaning from the ladder only, that made me highly uncomfortable. Maybe I didn't pick up on what she was thinking...hmmmmmmmm
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:05 PM   #38
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I have spent more nights than I care to remember in Operating Rooms helping to put guys back together who fell off ladders .Spend the money !
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:07 PM   #39
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With interest rates so low, a ladder gives you the chance to take advantage if rates ever........Oh...that kind of ladder.

I agree with Ha......
I would suggest maybe renting a ladder to determine the right length. Even at 40 pounds, the length can make it extremely awkard (dangerous) to handle. I needed a 40ft extension ladder to reach my gutters and after renting one and getting it home (an adventure in itself), I realized it takes two people to safely lift it into place....after that paying $100/yr to have the gutters cleaned seems like a deal and I put it into my expenses spreadsheet.

All my neighbors have gutter guards and when it rains heavy, the water just spills over and flood the area below.
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:12 PM   #40
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Choosing to get up there and do the gutter cleaning depends on so many things:

1) Do you really want to do it?
2) Is the personal satisfaction or savings worth it?
3) Are you OK with heights?
4) Are you in good physical shape?
5) Do you have the right equipment?
6) Do you know the safe procedures?
7) Is your roof easy to deal with i.e. is it low to moderately pitched?
8) Do you have the right clothes up there i.e. sturdy rubber soles, etc. ?

Probably more questions I cannot think of.

When I'm up there I'm always thinking safety first.
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