How to Keep Leaves out of Your Gutters

Keep Leaves out

Are your gutters so crammed with dirt and leaves that you're contemplating getting rid of them altogether? If so—we strongly suggest you reconsider!

Gutter-less homes only work well in very arid climates far from deciduous trees. Your gutter system is important—and is able to do its job best when your gutters are clear. Here are a few ways to fight against the buildup of annoying leaves:

1. Gutter Guards

Gutter guards are the covers attached to the top of your gutter. Gutter guards are designed to let water through while keeping leaves and debris away. There are many different types of gutter guards, including those with mesh, those with brushes, those made with nylon to prevent freezing, etc. When considering if gutter guards are the right solution for you, consider the size of the screen or mesh. If the holes are too large, leaves will fall through. However, if they are too small then the guard will get clogged every time it rains and cause moisture damage. If you have a serious leaf problem, don't buy the first gutter guard your see. Ask a professional which solution will work best for you. Look for guards that you can install on your old gutters so you don't have to replace them all.

2. Trimming Branches

If you have plenty of deciduous trees near your house - or hanging over your roof - then there's another clear solution you could try. Trimming these branches will cut back on the leaf overflow going into your gutters. It will also help keep your home safe from fire hazards, and your roof clear of moss and wind-related damage.

3. Curved Gutters

Curved gutter solutions seek to cover your gutters entirely, with only a small slit facing away from your home. The waters' surface tension causes rain to fall in this slit, while leaves and dirt mostly avoid it. This requires replacing your gutters, which is an expensive prospect. It's also only effective in areas with relatively low rainfall. If you like the idea of curved gutters, then ask a local roofing contractor of they would be effective. We have to say, though, that the Georgia climate isn't exactly suited to this solution.

4. Routine Maintenance

If you have the right-sized ladder and aren't afraid to use it, you can easily clean your gutters yourself and save money (this is also a great time to look for any signs of damage on your roof after a storm). If you cannot clean your own gutters, many home improvement contractors will be happy to do the job for you with their pro vacuums and tools: Average prices rarely exceed around $250 for a large residential house. Although it's a very hands-on approach, with this solution your gutters stay healthy and you don't have to worry about residue buildup over time.

Photo Source: Flickr

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