Ladder Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

By | Gutter, Ladder Safety, Tips

gutter guard kguard-leaf-free-gutter-guard-system-westerville-ohio-ladder-safety-300x300 When the holiday season approaches, people start their outdoor decorating. Lights fill the decor of many homes. If you hang lights from your roof or gutters, you probably need to use a ladder, which could be a dangerous activity. Here are some ladder safety tips that will keep you from becoming injured while decorating for the holidays.

  1. Check the Weather. Before you go outside and hang holiday lights, you should check your local weather report. If it is very windy, you may lose your balance at the top of the ladder. Also, rainy or snowy conditions can make its rungs slippery. It is best to climb a ladder on a sunny and calm day.
  2. Inspect Your Equipment. Most homeowners only rarely use ladders, and may only bring them out during this time of year. Before climbing, it is wise to inspect this piece of equipment to make sure it is safe.
  3. Choose the Right Size. Depending on your needs, you should choose a ladder that is the appropriate size. If you need to reach your rooftop, you will need a long ladder. It is advised to use one that extends at least three feet more than the desired height so it provides additional stability.
  4. Do Not Over-Reach. When you are on a ladder hanging lights and other decorations, you may find the need to stretch to reach a hook or far away spot. However, over-reaching can make the ladder kick out from under your body. This can cause serious injury. It is best to move the ladder to the area where you need it rather than reaching.
  5. Inform Your Family What You are Doing. If you are outside with the holiday lights, you need to make others aware that you are on the ladder. This is especially important if you are working near a door that may open and cause the equipment to topple over.
  6. Stay Away from the Eggnog. You should never climb a ladder while you are intoxicated. Your balance and judgment may not function properly.

Many people hang holiday lights from their gutters. When spring rains arrive, you may be reaching for your ladder again. Cleaning these same gutters can be a tedious task. For more information about the convenience of the K-Guard Leaf Free Gutter System, contact us today.

Tips for Hanging Holiday Lights

By | Ladder Safety, Tips

gutter guard house-2595330_960_720-300x200 When it is the holiday season, it is customary to think of hanging lights both inside and outside the home. Holiday lights make a statement of your happiness and cheer to bring in the festive season.

Where to Hang Holiday Lights

Holiday lights or outdoor lights can be strung up on trees, bushes and also along the roof of the home or over it.It can be most effective if you decide on a focal point for your hanging lights. They can be along the roof lines or eaves, around pillars, posts, or along deck railings, inside windows and planters and all along your driveway and pathways. Space your lights so that they are at least one and a half feet apart.

Safety First

Safety requires being given a lot of consideration when you are putting up outdoor lights, as electricity can be a killer if it is carelessly used. You also need to make sure that any particular circuit that you are using is not overloaded, as this can lead to blown fuses, that can leave your home in darkness. Use LED lights as these can save you money in electricity bills. You can have holiday lights of different colors, which go to make for a festive air, and if you can install a system where the lights are blinking, it can add to the beauty of your hanging lights.

Make sure that you use the right clips and other fasteners, especially when you are putting them up on a roof or the eaves. Do not use things like clothespins or staples and instead go in for light clips that will not add much to your budget. The wire used must be lengths that are not frayed or have breaks. This is especially important if you are reusing wires from the previous season’s lights. Take the right safety precautions when you are installing the hanging lights at heights, and make sure that you test all the lights before you put away all your gear.

7 Winter Tips For Ladder Safety

By | Ladder Safety, Tips

gutter guard shutterstock_215924530-300x200 Ladders are essential tools, but can quickly become hazardous if not appropriately used. Therefore, it is wise to learn about ladder safety when gathering winter tips this season.

Weather. Never ascend a ladder during snowy, rainy or windy conditions. This is because such weather provides an ideal environment for accidents and injuries.

Ladder Placement. Always secure your ladder on a firm surface. An unstable surface can lead to an imbalanced ladder and ultimately, an accident. Always test your ladder by putting your full weight on the bottom rung. If it shifts or moves, reposition it until it is stable.

Avoid Top Rungs. No matter what type of ladder you have, never step on the top rung, as doing so is unsafe. It is virtually impossible to balance on the top rung and your likelihood of falling is very high if you attempt this maneuver.

Keep Ladders Away From Doors. Never position a ladder in front of a closed door, even if you think no one is inside the home. If someone enters the home through another door and attempts to exit where a ladder is in use, a serious accident may occur.

Three Point of Contact Rule. Among one of the best winter tips regarding ladder safety is the “three point of contact rule.” This means that you should always have both legs and at least one arm in contact with the ladder when working, as well as keeping both hands on the rails when climbing or descending.

Weight Restrictions. Be aware of your ladder’s weight bearing capacity. If you find yourself with a model that is not sufficient for your weight, put off whatever task you were planning until an appropriate model is found.

Never Skip Steps. Finally, never skip or jump the last few steps when descending. Although the ground may seem close, this activity can easily result in a sprained ankle or other injury.

Although nothing can prevent every accident, following the aforementioned ladder safety tips will help you and members of your household to avoid accidents and have a safe and happy winter.

Tips For Choosing The Best Ladder

By | Gutter, Ladder Safety, Tips

gutter guard Screen-Shot-2016-11-07-at-4.02.34-PM-300x226 When you are cleaning your gutters, you will need a solid ladder to get the job done right. There are various pieces of equipment on the market, so it is important to know what to look for when purchasing this piece of equipment. Also, it is vital to learn ladder safety tips so that you avoid injuries.

Choosing the Best Ladder for Safety:

When you perform your seasonal gutter cleaning, you should use a ladder that is tall enough to reach your roof-line with ease. A multi-use ladder is quite versatile and usually reaches up to 15 feet in height. Unfortunately, this type of ladder is expensive and heavy. An extension ladder reaches heights over 17 feet, which means that it is a smart choice for a double-story home. Also, this kind of ladder is light and simple to set up.

Before making a decision, you should consider the ladder’s material. Aluminum ladders are the lightest, but they should never be used around electric wires. If your house’s gutters are near power lines, it is best to choose a fiberglass product.

Ladder Safety Tips:

When you are preparing to clean your gutters, you must follow some safety precautions. To begin, you must make sure that the ground is clear of water, oil, and other slippery substances. The ladder should always be placed on a level surface as well. This will keep you secure when you must reach out to your gutters.

For ultimate safety, you must use your ladder correctly. If you have a hinged ladder, it must be fully opened and locked into position. Also, you should always use care when climbing up and down. Both feet should be on the ladder at all times without making jerky movements.

To avoid the hassles and dangers of using a ladder to clean your gutters, you should consider a K-Guard Leaf Free Gutter System. This patented unit prevents leaves and debris from blocking your home’s gutters. This means that you never have to worry about climbing next to your roof again. For a free estimate, contact a local dealer today.

Fall Safety Considerations For Gutter Cleaning

By | Gutter, Ladder Safety, Tips

gutter guard shutterstock_394933534-2-300x200 Fall is an important time to tackle a variety of home maintenance issues, both inside and outdoors. One task you should not overlook is cleaning out your gutters. Wet leaves and other debris can quickly collect in them, which will make it difficult for rain water and ice to drain properly in the coming months. Here are some simple fall safety tips for gutter cleaning:

Wear gloves. Since you’ll be using your hands to remove some debris and you’ll be spraying water, it’s a good idea to wear protective gloves. This will prevent your skin from becoming damaged, as well as prevent cuts and scratches from branches and prickly leaves. Not only that, but there’s bacteria present from things like bird and rodent droppings, as well. Stay healthy and keep your hands dry and clean with heavy duty work gloves.

Have a helper. Gutter cleaning is not a task that you should tackle alone, since it involves the use of a ladder. When climbing up a ladder for any reason, it’s important to have someone standing at the bottom making sure that it’s secure. Before beginning this home maintenance project, be sure to have a helper who can stay with you, spot you, and lend a helping hand. This will also help to make the job go quicker.

Wear eye protection. In addition to gloves, it’s smart to wear work glasses or goggles. That’s because dirt and debris can come flying out quickly once you start spraying water into the gutters. Keep your eyes dry and safe.

One of the best ways to keep your gutters clean is with gutter guards. By properly installing them, you’ll enjoy clean, effective gutters all year long. This will make the task of checking them each fall much safer and simpler. Keep these gutter safety tips in mind as you prepare to check your home’s gutters this autumn.

Ladder Safety Tips

By | General, Ladder Safety, Tips

gutter guard Screen-Shot-2016-03-11-at-2.05.15-PM-300x224 Here are general ladder safety tips applicable to just about any ladder in your inventory, from the common step ladder to combination and telescopic ladders, brand new or not.

Avoid ladder-related accidents by doing a quick visual inspection of the ladder you plan to use in doing home repairs this spring time. Check for visible cracks, splits and bends that are telltale signs of ladder damage. The steps and the base of the ladder should not show signs of corrosion. If you see rust spots in any part of the ladder, don’t use anti-rusts spray or any temporary fix to avoid risking your life and limb. Instead, buy a new one or borrow when you can.

Use a damp wash cloth and thoroughly wipe the rungs of the ladder clean to remove any presence of grease and oil. Majority of the accidents involving step ladders are slips caused by greasy and slippery steps so make it a habit to always wash any ladder first that you plan on using to ensure your safety.

Never put a ladder on an uneven surface particularly if you are working alone. If it’s really necessary and working it’s the only option you have, put large wooden boards on the ground to give the ladder better footing. Ask someone to hold the ladder when you’re using it for optimum safety.

Never carry light tools by hand when on the ladder. Instead, mount the tools in a tool belt. Not only is it safe, it’s also more convenient and allows you to carry more tools than you can using your hands. Setup a pulley or wench system for heavier tools or materials that are too heavy to raise by hand lines.

No matter what’s written in the equipment manual, always use the ladder one person at a time. Although some ladders are sturdy enough to carry more than one person, any sudden shift in weight distribution or uncoordinated movement could make it a highly unstable and dangerous work platform.

Use a wooden ladder when doing electrical repairs to avoid exposing yourself to the unnecessary risks of being electrocuted standing on a metal ladder that’s accidentally in contact with an exposed electrical wire or overhead lines.

Ladder Safety Tips For Winter

By | Gutter, Ladder Safety, Tips

gutter guard shutterstock_225578146-300x200

Most property owners are concerned with ladder safety when completing home improvement projects or winterizing a dwelling. Although commonly used, ladders can cause a broad range of injuries if improperly handled or if the wrong ladder is used for a particular job. Ladder accidents are more common than you may realize, and for this reason you should follow the winter safety tips below when working on any type of ladder this season:

Choosing the Best Ladder – 

To avoid injury, always select the most appropriate ladder for the job. If you are unsure about which model is best, speak to a clerk at a hardware or home improvement store.

Ladder Safety Tips- 

Never attempt to exceed the ladder’s weight restriction. Most models have a load capacity telling you how much weight is appropriate. Exceeding this load can lead to accidents, as the ladder may give way, causing you to fall to the ground with no warning.

Included in some of the best ladder safety tips is something referred to as the “three point of contact climb.” When this technique is used, your chances of slipping or falling are significantly reduced. As you climb, descend or work, always make sure that at least three limbs at a time are in contact with the ladder. Taking both hands off the rails, even if you think you are standing firmly is always a mistake. Similarly, it is never wise to try to work with only one leg and one arm in contact with the ladder. If you must twist or reach to the point where you cannot keep three limbs in contact with the device, you need to reposition it entirely.

Do not jump or skip the last few steps when descending. Although it may seem like a short distance to the ground, homeowners are usually surprised to discover how many sprained ankles and other accidents result from this maneuver. Never stand on the paint shelf or highest rung, as these are the top injury-causing activities associated with ladders. Finally, do not use any ladder in rainy, windy or snowy conditions, as such weather creates the perfect environment for an injury. Ladder accidents are unfortunately somewhat common, but when the ladder safety tips outlined above are followed, your chances of such an incident are significantly reduced.

Gutter Cleaning: A Fall Necessity For Homeowners

By | Gutter, Ladder Safety, Tips

gutter guard 32280213_l-300x200

With the arrival of fall, many homeowners start looking around for tips on how to winterize their homes, but often forget items such as gutters. Gutters protect your home from leaves, dirt and other wet debris that collects on your roof. However, you may have fallen into the trap of overlooking gutter cleaning until a problem is underway. Fortunately, regular gutter maintenance will protect your roof against damage throughout the year. Below are some essential tips that will help make this task easier:

Safety Considerations:

When inspecting, do not lean your ladder against any part of the gutter. This is because gutters are typically made from plastic or thin gauge metal, which can be damaged significantly by the pressure of a ladder. Using an A-frame ladder to climb to the appropriate height is a better idea.

Cleaning Tips:

Before ascending the ladder, gather materials in a small pail or bag and carry them in such a way that you can still keep both hands on the ladder as you climb. Take a small plastic garbage bag, rubber gloves, and a two inch putty knife. With the plastic gloves on, pick up any twigs, leaves and piles of dirt you wish to dispose of and place them in the small garbage bag. The putty knife can be used to dislodge stubborn patches of dirt or decomposed leaves that have collected in specific areas. Clean each section and never reach beyond the point where you feel comfortable. Rather, climb down the ladder and reposition it for the next section.

When you are finished cleaning, rinse the area with a garden hose to remove tiny pieces of debris that you may have overlooked. After checking the gutters for cleanliness, tap in nails or tighten screws that may have become loose throughout the year.

If you discover that the downspout is completely plugged or slow to drain, give it a strong spray from your garden hose to push out any debris. However, if the downspout reaches directly into a drain, the connection should be undone first so that you do not inadvertently push debris into the drain and create another problem. Finally, if you complete an October inspection and discover roof problems or suspect that it is time for new gutters, be sure to get a gutter system with built-in gutter covers.

Essential Ladder Safety Tips

By | Gutter, Ladder Safety, Tips

gutter guard shutterstock_215924530-300x200

When your house gutters become blocked with leaves and other debris, it is necessary to clean them. This often means climbing a ladder to reach your roof. It is important to follow some safety tips to avoid dangerous falls.

Have a Spotter. Anytime you climb a ladder, it is essential to have a spotter on the ground. This person will help brace the ladder so that it is secure. It is extremely common for ladders to kick away or slip at the bottom. When this occurs, you may experience a terrible injury.

Do Not Overreach. Most ladders are heavy and hard to control. It is often tempting to reach out as far as you can to avoid moving this clunky piece of equipment. However, you should not lean, overreach, or try to move the ladder while you are standing on it. It is essential to climb down and manually move the ladder to where it is needed.

Wear Proper Footwear. When you clean your gutters, it will be necessary to frequently move up and down your ladder. This means it is important to wear the correct type of shoes with rubber soles. The rubber provides adequate traction so that you do not slip and fall.

Inspect the Ladder. One of the best tips for ladder safety is to examine the tool before climbing up. You should look for cracks or loose hardware that my cause the ladder to break. Also, it is important to take note of the maximum capacity so that it does not collapse.

Use Proper Tools. When considering ladder tips, it is important to include the need for proper tools. For example, when cleaning your gutters, you should have a broom, vacuum, and flusher handy. It is also important to be connected to a harness, especially when scaling a two-story home. It is essential to use the correct ladder as well. It is never wise to place a stepladder on the roof. An extension ladder is the best tool for tall structures.

To avoid the need to use a ladder and risk injury cleaning your gutters, you may wish to consider our K-Guard System. Our product is unlike anything on the market and provides strength, durability, and attractiveness to your home. Our patented system covers your gutters and keeps leaves and debris from causing clogs. For more information, visit our website.

What To Know Before You Climb: Ladder Safety Basics

By | General, Ladder Safety

Ladders are necessary equipment for many jobs, but unfortunately, they can also be very dangerous. Ladder danger exists in a variety of occupations, but it’s also something that many homeowners face when trying to tackle various home improvement projects. Improper use can lead to serious injuries, so it’s very important to follow these ladder safety basics before you climb up.

The easiest way to avoid a fall from a ladder is to simply not get up on one.  Investing in a K-Guard Gutter System means that you will never have to clean your gutters again, and you will have one less reason to ever get up on a ladder and risk injury.  Click here to find a local K-Guard Gutter dealer in your area.

If you do find yourself on a ladder, be sure to employ the following safety measures:

Level Ground

The first step is to make sure that the ladder is in good working condition. Check it over visually to see if there’s any damage to any part of it. If everything appears to be in good shape, then you can proceed to set it into position. A ladder must be set up on level ground in order to be safe. Make sure that you have a flat, stable surface that can support your weight. Placing it on soft ground, such as loose soil, stones, sand, or other uneven surfaces increases the chances of it becoming unstable.

Getting Into Position

Once you have the ladder secured on level ground, you can then prepare to climb up and get to work. You always want to have either both feet and one hand, or both hands and one foot on the ladder at the same time. Stay centered in the middle of the rungs as you ascend, slowly and cautiously. Never climb up the rungs backwards, and don’t try to carry heavy tools or other equipment up with you as you go. Always maintain a forward facing position as you’re going up and coming down.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Don’t use a metal ladder near exposed electrical equipment or power lines. If you can have someone spot you by remaining at the bottom of the ladder, it’s a good idea to do so. For ladders that have locks or extensions, make sure that those are engaged and secured.

Falls from ladders are a common cause of injuries. Proper use can prevent you from having an accident on a ladder, so be sure to keep these important safety tips in mind the next time you’re ready to use one.