As a responsible homeowner, it's important to have a plan for cleaning your rain gutters about twice per year. Tackling this task every six months is generally sufficient unless your property is littered with trees and you find that the gutters are getting clogged with leaves in between the cleaning efforts. When it comes to ensuring that your gutters are clean, you can either hire a gutter contractor or handle the job yourself. If you're the do-it-yourself type, it's possible to successfully complete this job, provided that you take a safety-first approach. The job can be dangerous given the height at which you work, so it's valuable to do all you can to ensure your safety. Here are three ways to achieve this goal.

Don't Work From The Roof

The proper way to clean gutters is while standing on a ladder positioned in front of the gutter. You might be tempted to climb onto the roof; on the surface, this position seems quicker because you'll be able to move freely along the length of the gutter network without constantly moving your ladder. However, working from the roof is dangerous. To do so, you'll not only be positioned at the edge of the roof, but your weight will be leaning forward over the edge, making it easy to fall. Always perform this job from the ladder that you've set up sturdily and is being held by a partner.

Use A Hose

While you can successfully clean your gutters with gloved hands or a gutter scoop, doing so can take time and prompt you to reach too far to either side of the ladder. Avoid this form of danger by using your garden hose with a spray nozzle. Instead of removing individual scoops of leaves and other debris, you can simply position the hose nozzle so that it blasts the leaves out of the gutter. You'll still have to move the ladder throughout the duration of the job, but not as frequently.

Wear The Right Gear

The last thing you need is hurting yourself at the top of the ladder and inadvertently reacting in a manner that causes you to lose your balance. It's ideal to wear eye protection for this job, especially when you're using the hose method. Work gloves are also ideal to avoid cutting yourself on any sharp edges of the gutter or any exposed screws. Comfortable shoes with ankle support and durable soles are also ideal for standing firmly on the ladder.