Fall Leaves Could Mean Full Gutters

A cornucopia of color may be beautiful on the trees this Fall, but they could make an ugly mess in your gutters come season's end. Image credit: Photogen
A cornucopia of color may be beautiful on the trees this Fall, but they could make an ugly mess in your gutters come season's end. Image credit: Photogen

Fall is one of those seasons when Mother Nature is at her best. The trees that line valleys and mountains all over the South are transformed from a rolling sea of green to a cornucopia of color – fiery reds, warm oranges, bold yellows, and chestnut browns. As the season progresses, those leaves will fall from their lofty perches to the Earth below. Homeowners often enjoy the time-honored tradition of raking the leaves in their yards as the neighborhood kids take turns jumping into heaping piles.

But those are just the leaves we can see. As they make their autumnal descent, leaves also have a nasty habit of getting caught up in the rain gutters and downspouts that line the home. Just because we can’t see them from the ground, doesn’t mean they are not there. Gutters filled with leaves means they can’t function in the way they were intended. The leaves serve to clog and slow (or completely halt) drainage during a heavy rain. In turn, the water that is backed up in the gutters and downspouts may cause costly damage to a home’s foundation, wood trim and roofline. Therefore, it is imperative – particularly if you live in a heavily wooded area – to clean your gutters before the season’s end.

The best time to clean one’s gutters is ideally after most if not all of the leaves have left the trees. This is usually late fall – sometime in November.  If tackling this project on your own, tools you will need include:

  • Sturdy ladder
  • Gloves
  • Gutter scoop (a garden trowel works just as well)
  • Bucket
  • Spotter to hold the ladder

While you’re up there, be sure to check around the gutters and roofline to look for problem areas, such as wood rot, missing shingles, holes, corrosion on the gutter, leaks, and compromised hangers that hold the gutter in place.

A great shortcut is to wait for a dry day when the leaves will not be as moist and to place a special leaf blower attachment at the end of a downspout. This will help blow the leaves up and out of the downspouts and at the edges of the rain gutters. No matter which method you use, you may want to check the effectiveness of your work by running the hose and creating your own mock rainstorm.

We never recommend cleaning gutters from the roof – this method forces you to lean forward repeatedly, increasingly the likelihood that you might fall off the roof. If you know you struggle with heights, you may want to hire a gutter cleaning company to come out and get the job done for you – quickly and efficiently.

For more home maintenance tips, be sure to check the Highlight Homes blog often. To learn more about Highlight Homes, we invite you to visit us online at www.highlighthomesga.com. When you’re in the market for an excellent design-build home improvement company – look no further than Highlight Homes of Georgia. We welcome your calls at 678-873-9234 – call us TODAY to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

Fall Leaves Could Mean Full Gutters