Gutter Cleaning Safety during an earthquake

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Can we clean gutters when there’s an earthquake?

It’s no secret that the people of Melbourne were shaken by a magnitude 5.8 earthquake this week. The initial striking point of the tremor was near Woods Point at a 12km depth, with reports coming in from residents all over Melbourne of the quake being felt and causing damage. There have also been people in other states claiming to have witnessed a disturbance. Residents of Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide and even Tasmania have taken to social media to share their accounts.

Some reports have been stating that this was the biggest earthquake to happen on-land in Australia since 1997, but as it turns out, we’ve actually experienced a magnitude 6 or higher quake every 6 to 10 years, on average. This is based on information we’ve been collecting for the past 150 years. So, although it’s scary, it’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last time, that we see an earthquake like this in Australia.

So, when an earthquake hits, what are the safety precautions we take as Melbourne gutter cleaners, and can we still carry out gutter cleaning when there’s an earthquake? Yes! Read on to find out more…

What are seismologists saying?

Seismologists have given warnings to avoid cleaning gutters for a while after an earthquake, likely due to the chances of smaller aftershocks occurring. In this particular instance though, our gutter cleaning technicians were up on roofs of Melbourne homes, and they felt a shake, but they were absolutely ok. Our ladders were securely tied on and effectively didn’t move an inch.

The quake started, stopped and our guys were able to carry on as normal, finishing their jobs without issue. Roofing is actually one of the sturdiest parts of a home. Roofs will only go down if the entire house collapses. A relatively small quake (compared with higher Richter scale events) isn’t cause for concern and we’re happy to continue cleaning gutters in the aftermath. Our gutter cleaners reported “a bit of a shake” from up on the roofs.

The building industry was recently halted by the state government Covid rules. Ironically a record breaking earthquake hit Victoria shortly after.

How to stay safe while cleaning gutters when there’s an earthquake

At Grayson’s we have an extensive list of health and safety rules that we live by when we’re up on a roof. One of the biggest and most important rules we teach is that staying seated while working on gutters is imperative to safety. We also never stand up while working close to the edge or walk along the edge of a roof. Put simply, always STAY SEATED when you’re near the edge.

This comes into play during an earthquake because the lower you are to the surface you’re on, the lower your centre of gravity will be. This makes it easier to maintain stability.

How does having clean gutters help in an earthquake?’

The follow-on benefits of having clean gutters and clear water flow can really help your home in an earthquake. Blocked gutters can lead to all kinds of structural damage in homes. From timber rot to foundational damage, you definitely don’t want something as easily fixed as a blocked gutter to result in additional earthquake induced damage. Keeping your gutters clear means stronger foundations!

Which gutter guard is best for earthquake prone areas?

You can decide whats best for your home, but after a bit of contemplation,we pondered as to whether our Triple-G gutter mesh was the best option in our product range. It’s sturdy and is not permanently fixed to the gutter, this means that if the house moves, the gutter mesh will have the freedom to move with it without tearing. You’ll likely save money on gutter protection repairs, allowing you to set more aside for any damage that may be caused to your home in the event of a quake.

It is important to note though, that our gutter mesh is not normally guaranteed against earthquake damage, simply because we don’t often see them here in Australia.

So, will the Melbourne Grayson’s Gutter Cleaning team continue cleaning gutters in the days following an earthquake. Absolutely! We’re sure that any other construction tradies who have been halted by COVID lock downs will be working again soon to. This earthquake seems to have resulted in the need for urgent repairs  by builders.

Builders who were recently forced to stop work due to Covid-19 rules, are ironically being urgently called out to fix construction damage. Don’t be shocked by this photo, this scale of damage only occurred on a few buildings.

Either way, we are confident that our safety techniques and skills will keep us safe and sound, so we’re not afraid to get stuck into it and continue helping our fellow Melbourne residents keep their homes clean and safe. Earthquakes are dangerous and common in many parts of the world, but in Melbourne’s recorded history they’ve always been rare and mild.

Reach out today if your home is in need of a gutter cleaning service and we’ll dispatch our friendly technicians to your door as soon as possible. Of course, we’re still practicing COVID Safe methods, so you can rest assured your health and safety is at the top of our priority list.

Contact us via the details below…

Phone: 1300 472 976
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