Fall is undoubtedly one of the nicest times of year. The temperature drops, the leaves change colors, and we gladly say goodbye to humidity! But as you stop to enjoy the cool breeze, you are reminded of the necessary yet dreaded chore of cleaning out the gutters. And if your home is surrounded by trees, it won’t be long until you’re pulling out handfuls of leaves from your gutter. So let’s take a look at how you can be proactive and keep your gutters free of leaves and debris.
When to Clean Your Gutters
You should clean your gutters semi-annually at the very minimum. The best times to do gutter work are late spring or early summer, and late fall or early winter. And whether you choose to do more or less gutter maintenance throughout the year is entirely up to you, but know that the more you hold off on keeping your gutters maintained, the more issues you will experience in the future. There are some gutter add-ons and remedies to keep the leaves out and to make gutter cleaning less of a hassle.
Leaf Prevention with Gutter Protection
There are several types of materials and products that can prevent leaf build-up in your gutters.
- Mesh gutter guards are common among homeowners and are the most basic form of gutter protection. Mesh guards cover the top of your home’s gutters and are made of metal with tiny holes to let rain water in, yet keep out big leaves.
- Aluminum gutter guards are placed over the gutter to protect it from leaves. This is a solid material with a textured surface. There is a small opening between the edge of the gutters and the aluminum guard. The rain water sticks to this guard due to surface tension and is sucked into the gutter while leaves and other large debris should fall off.
- Plastic mesh foam filters are placed inside the gutter. Water trickles through the filter and leaves and uninvited animals are forced to keep moving.
- Bottle brush gutter guards are placed inside the gutter and are made of thistles that stop the leaves from entering the gutter. The leaves and debris might stick to this material, but the brush inhibits a clogged gutter, so the water is still able to flow through the gutter without any resistance.
The Gutter Guard Debate
There has been a lot of debate as to whether gutter guards are worth the investment or not. While gutter guards keep the big leaves, debris, and nesting critters out of your gutters and reduce the likelihood of clogging, installation can be a costly investment. A common misconception is that there is no need for gutter maintenance after gutter guards are installed, however that is quite the contrary. They simply facilitate with gutter maintenance and make your work a little easier. There is always the option of hiring gutter cleaning professionals who can do all of the dirty work for you. Whichever method of gutter maintenance you choose, know you have several options.