Ladder Safety – Staying Safe While Performing Exterior Home Maintenance

Gutter cleaning and window washing – two exterior home maintenance jobs that few enjoy. However, the benefits of performing these tasks regularly will far outweigh the hassle of the labor! Clean windows and gutters do wonders for your home’s curb appeal. Most importantly, unclogged and properly functioning gutters will help ensure rainwater is directed away from your home. Your foundation (and your wallet!) will thank you for your efforts! 

8 Tips to Follow to Wash Your Windows Safely

When the time comes to tackle these chores, safety is a top priority. When it comes to ladder operation, don’t be a Griswold! Follow these tips to make sure you’re safe and efficient.

1. Dress for the part

Wear suitable clothes for the work you’ll be doing. Kick-off those sandals and lace up some boots or tennis shoes. Work gloves are a must, too.

2. Wear a tool belt 

A tool belt will keep your tools handy and help you avoid the potential danger of dropping your tools. It can also result in fewer trips up and down the ladder.

3. Lock your ladder 

Ensure that ladder hinges are locked into place before climbing. It is not advisable to lean your ladder against a surface to climb, rather than unfold the legs. Always open the legs and lock them into place.

4. Level it out 

Don’t place your ladder on an uneven surface. When working on grass or other unstable surfaces, use a support to make sure your ladder doesn’t wobble or sink into the ground. A sturdy sheet of plywood works great. 

5. Choose a good weather day 

Speaking of sinking into the ground, put some thought into the outdoor weather conditions when you work on your home exterior. Try to avoid ladder use right after rain when the ground is still wet and soft. Windy days could be a nuisance as well, making you unsteady on your ladder.

6. Don’t stretch 

Move your ladder frequently and avoid stretching or reaching too far. Tipping can be very hazardous. 

7. Keep cords clear of your ladder 

If you’re using any equipment that plugs in – leaf blowers, etc. – make sure the cords are out of the way of your ladder. Tangled cords can lead to tripping, which can cause injury to yourself, and/or damage to your equipment’s cord or plug.

8. Follow the safety precautions printed on the ladder 

Although your balance may be impeccable, the time to test it is not when you’re 8 feet in the air. Don’t try to use the top rungs of your ladder to stand on.

How to Wash Your Windows

Time to clean! 

1. Start with Your GuttersFirst.

 You don’t want to clean your windows, only to have them splattered with the muck you scoop out of your gutters! For gutters, you’ll need gloves, a bucket to scoop into, and some yard waste bags handy. A hose with a spray nozzle attachment is a bonus for quicker cleaning.

2. Collect Your Window Washing Supplies and Have Them Ready

Ready to wash some windows? Gather up your supplies! You’ll need a bucket of soapy water, a rag or sponge, and a squeegee. For large or hard-to-reach windows, a scrubbing tool with an extendable pole is very helpful. You can purchase these at most home improvement stores. A mop could also do the trick.

3. Time to Start Scrubbing

Make sure you are following the above ladder rules as you work to rinse down each individual window, before using your soapy water and sponge to scrub the grime away. Follow with another quick rinse before squeegeeing away the remaining solution.

Keep in mind, there could likely be a lot of grime on your window exteriors. Be prepared to apply a fair amount of elbow grease and to refill that bucket with fresh, soapy water as needed.

4. Don’t Forget About Your Window Screens!

If your windows have screens, they can be removed and placed in a large storage bin filled with soapy water. You could also use a hose or pressure washer for a more powerful wash.

5. Enjoy Those Sparkling Windows

When the job is done, take a moment to revel in the satisfaction of a job well done and injury-free. Then, go grab an ice-cold drink and an ice pack for your sure-to-be achy muscles. Having completed the work safely does not mean you’ll be without aches and pains!

When In Doubt, Hire a Professional Window Washer

Your best bet for safety and satisfaction in the final outcome of your home’s gutter and window cleaning is to skip the ladder and climb altogether and hire a professional! OP Window Washing will shine up your windows, clean out your gutters, pressure-wash your driveway, and generally spruce up your home’s exterior, all while you enjoy not spending your Saturday (and Sunday, and Monday) icing your achy back and seriously contemplating the purchase of a $2,000 massaging lounge chair. Besides, do you even have a squeegee?