Autumn has arrived and with it comes the beautiful changing of leaves. The not so beautiful part of this natural process is when the leaves fall into your gutters and inevitably clog them. One gallon of rainwater weighs eight pounds, and a home with clogged gutters will end up holding thousands of pounds and overflowing on the sides of the house.
This can cause extensive water damage during the fall and winter. On average, water damage will cost a homeowner $2,386, far less than the cost of gutter cleaning or replacement.
Avoid this disaster by taking these measures against leaves clogging your gutters.
- Fine Mesh Covers
This hand gutter cover can be installed under the roof’s shingles, or it can be fastened to the fascia and the gutter by bending the back of it upwards. The second option is slightly more complicated, but it adds strength when snow and ice inevitably follow the leaves. Fine-mesh covers have very small holes, so they keep out everything except for the smallest debris. Needles and seeds are too big to get into it, but shingle grit could clog it up. These gutter guards need occasional cleaning, but they are easy to blow or brush clean and they will certainly save time over clearing out leaves again and again.
- Surface Tension Covers
Surface tension gutter guards are more visible than an option like fine mesh, but they are very durable when facing snow and ice. They’re installed so that the slope of the guard follows the slope of the roof, fitting under the shingles. The rainwater clings to the rounded edges of the guard and falls into the gutter, while leaves and other debris fall off the edge. Small debris occasionally gets in, but it is usually small enough to wash out of the downspout without clogging. These guards can be cleaned with a spray from the garden hose now and then, but otherwise do not need much maintenance if they’re properly installed.
- Tree Pruning
If you don’t like the sound of installing guards over your gutters or are put off by the maintenance, you can take a proactive measure by pruning your trees before the leaves start to fall. Trim the branches on the side of the tree that faces the roof, pruning them back to at least eight feet away from the edges of your roof’s eaves. Trimming the other side of the tree is not completely necessary, but it will reduce to risk of the wind catching more leaves and bringing them into your gutters.
Taking these simple proactive measures will save you the sticky, stinky hassle of clearing leaves out of your roof’s gutters. Install a guard or trim or trees at the beginning of the season, and you’ll be able to sit back and relax during those Sunday football games.