It is generally safe to lean a ladder against a gutter, but ALWAYS make a logical decision as to whether or not YOU think the guttering can withstand the force of a ladder leaning against it.
Gutters or guttering on houses is designed to be very strong and to withstand years of abuse from the weather and seasons.
It is known of course by the manufacturers of gutters that they will inevitably need to be cleaned out at some point in their lives .
Guttering surrounds the edges or the perimeter of a house, it does a great job of collecting rainwater that falls on the roof, collecting it and transporting it to a drain pipe or water butt.
So therefore, it is built to be pretty strong and for ladders to be leaned against it.
When it is safe to lean a ladder against a gutter
If the house you live in is new or is fairly new less than 10 years old, you shouldn’t have any worry as to whether the gutter is strong enough the support your ladder.
If you house is older than this, first do a visual inspection of the guttering to see if it looks stable. Lean the ladder against the gutter and apply gentle pressure – look for any movement, wobbling or signs of weakness.
If you see any of the above, be cautious and consider not leaning the ladder against the gutter.
If your gutter seems strong and sturdy. Find a balanced position for the ladder leaning against the gutter and step onto the first rung of the ladder. If it still seem ok, proceed to climb one rung at a time.
Always be observant of the gutter and the brackets that hold the gutter in place. At the first sign that the gutter could become dangerous, safely climb down the ladder and either find place where you can safely climb without having to lean against the gutter or consider using a different ladder.
When should I not trust that I can lean a ladder against the gutter?
If you guttering or house is quite old – if the plastic of the guttering is tarnished, looks brittle or worn in any way. Take EXTRA care when planning to lean a ladder against it.
When a ladder is leant against a surface, a percentage of the climbers weight is pushed through the ladder onto the object it is leaning against.
When guttering is particularly old or potentially damaged – this force and pressure of the ladder could cause the plastic gutter to crack or break.
If there is any wobble or movement or sounds of cracking or crumbling when you place the ladder against the gutter and step onto the first rung then do not continue and try to find an alternative way to access the gutters.
Worst Case Scenario.
The gutter cracks when you are on the ladder which is leaning against it. You loose your balance or footing and fall.
If any damage is caused to he guttering, whether on your own property when doing DIY or on a clients property if you are a window cleaner for example. It would be a pain to have to repair or find a new piece of guttering to replace a cracked portion.
Gutters on a house serve in transporting large amounts of water away from the property. A crack or leak in guttering can allow water to gather or to pour onto an area of the house – possibly leading to a damp area if not rectified.