You don’t have to watch your gutters overflowing and think that its only up-to you to go up and unplug them. You can play it smart
It is raining heavily, your gutters are overflowing and pouring water directing to the surface near your homes foundation. You realize the damage that the continuous pounding will cause to your foundation and the urgency to re-direct the flow away from your house.
Picking a ladder to go up and clear the clog is the first thought in your mind. However as we age, it is advisable to avoid climbing ladders because recovery from slips and falls is much slower and less effective.
According to Geriatrician Jorge Con MD, et al ,people over the age of 50 face an increased risk of serious injury from a slip and a fall of the ladder.
Why Ladders are more dangerous as you age
As we progress in age the body’s hormone production ability drops, making most people susceptible to developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by low bone mass and individuals are at risk for breaking body parts like hip, spine, shoulder or wrist, Dr Jorge et al explains. Falls from ladders accounts for a significant number of hospital visits and it’s the number one reason why people end up in nursing homes.
So if you are over 50 or have a history of osteoporosis, its best to have someone else regularly clean the gutters for you.
If you must do it, do it wisely
If you really have to clean your gutters, be very methodical, use ladders safely ,wear proper footwear with good traction and take it slow.
When climbing a ladder, keep your hips centred within the rails. Don’t overreach too far to the left or right to pick up the leaves or other debris.
Always maintain three points of contact with the ladder: two hands and one foot or one hand and two feet.
Don’t stand on the top step or the very top of the ladder.
If at any time you feel uncomfortable ,unsteady or hesitant, stay off the ladder .It is not worth risking serious injury or worse.
Always be prepared
The onset of the rainy weather doesn’t mean you have to suffer anxiety and stress . Schedule regular gutter cleaning to keep your gutters and downspout performing at peak levels.
- Jorge Con, MD ,Randall S. Friese , MD(…) and Andrew L. Tang, MD ( Published Online 2014 Jun 2) The Journal of Surgical research ,Falls from ladders : age matters more than height