At times, what you can’t see from the ground will be left in disrepair. The roof shingles battered by a downpour are letting rainwater in. Termites are slowly eating away at the wood beams or even the floorboards. The dirt piling up in the toilet tank is getting stinkier by the second. The chimney has lost a few bricks. And the waste that clogged the pipes is staying there for a while.

You know what else might be broken and can cause you problems? The gutters. They are way up there on the roof. If you do not do regular maintenance on them, they must have been gathering soil, leaves and other dirt for quite some time. The downspout can be blocked too. Way worse is if there is a pool of still water breeding mosquitoes that can pose a health hazard to your family. Or, it is partly detached from the roof and is waiting for the day when gravity pulls it to the ground and causes an accident.

Sure, cleaning the gutters can feel like a steep hill to climb, at times literally because of the height. But, the longer you put off the cleaning, the thicker the layer of leaves and soil will be, and the worse the damage can be. If getting yourself up there is a scary thing to do, then you can call for a gutter company that is experienced in eliminating your gutter issues so you can spend your time on other important tasks.

But if you are ready to get the ladder up your roof and start solving the problem yourself, then you need to ensure you’re doing it safely and the right way. Otherwise, venturing into a project like this might cause you injuries that can have you confined in a hospital for days. To get you started, here are some things you need to be mindful of:

Prepare your tools

You need more than just your bare hands to get the dirt out of your gutters. You need to fill that tool box with the right tools to sweep away the clutter that got stuck up there. The list includes a ladder, bucket with a metal handle, garbage bag, scooper, garden hose, brush and gloves. For faster processing, get a scooper that is deeper and has a long handle so you can get more dirt in each scoop.

Safety in using a ladder

Do not try to climb your way up onto the roof and risk falling to the ground or causing damage to the roof. Use a ladder, check that it is level, know its load limit and make sure it is free from slippery materials. Position it on an even and stable surface, and away from any electrical hazards.

Dry or wet

There are two situations that you might be in once you’ve reached the gutter. One is when it is dry and the other is when it is wet. Dry leaves, twigs, accumulated soil and other debris can lead to a faster chore but a wet one can cause you a bit more trouble. You have two options under these two circumstances. You can either scoop the dirt and drop it on the ground, or bring a bucket, scoop the gutter contents and drop them in the bucket.

That stinky residue

After you remove buckets or bags of debris from your gutters, the next thing to eliminate is the residue, mold and rust that has accumulated on the gutter’s surface. At this point you might be exhausted and want to wrap up your cleaning. But you can’t ignore it, even though it might seem like a small problem. Sooner, it can cause you bigger problems. Get your brush and scrub away the residues until the gutter is cleared of anything that can clog or damage it.

Use technology

If you want to invest in advanced technology, you can purchase automated machines like a robot that can do the cleaning for you. As a caveat, always check the reliability of the product. Read the reviews. Ask about the warranty on replacement, repairs and maintenance. It is best to get the best value for your money, after all.

Make gutter cleaning part of your annual home maintenance activities. You can do it as regularly as twice a year so the debris won’t be overflowing out of your gutters and causing damage to your property. The first time doing it may be difficult. But as time goes by, you’ll get the hang of it.