leaves in a gutter

Gutter Cleaning Tips

Gutters 101: How to Prevent Gutter Damage Caused by Autumn Leaves

The upcoming fall season is one that many homeowners dread for one reason: cleaning out the gutters. 

Our best piece of advice when dealing with gutters in autumn weather? Timing is key.

Waiting for the fall leaves to accumulate can be frustrating, but the last thing you want to do is spend a saturday afternoon cleaning your gutters and then have to do it again two weeks later—after the rest of the leaves fall. 

But don’t wait too long—gutters cannot be cleaned in temperatures below freezing (unless you’re willing to get out the ice pick!). Unfortunately, this does leave a relatively small window for homeowners when it comes to gutter maintenance. 

Our tips? Watch the trees in your neighborhood and keep track of how many leaves there are left to fall. Keep an eye on the weather and choose a sunny afternoon for the gutter cleanout, both to make the experience less miserable for you and to keep ice from forming on the leaves and making the clean out near-impossible. 

Temperatures above freezing are also essential for a final hose-down of the gutters, something we recommend to ensure every bit of debris is cleared out. The last thing you want is to find out you missed a clump of leaves and it’s causing damage in the middle of a winter storm.

Preventative measures can also be taken to keep your gutters free of debris:

  • In the spring and summer, trim the branches on trees that extend close to your roof and gutters. 
  • Gutter covers are also an option, and while they don’t eliminate the problem entirely, they can significantly reduce the amount of debris that you’ll have to clean out. 

Keep your home free from damage caused by over-clogged gutters by taking these measures to prevent debris and clean gutters before the winter snow.