Public enemy number one when it comes to gutter debris build-up is leaves. This natural element seems to magically find its way from its branch perch onto the roof of your home and into your gutters with ease, and frequently so. No where is this more true than in the lush Lower Mainland of BC. While you may love the natural beauty afforded the landscape of the yard and neighbourhood surrounding your home it can be a burden on your gutter system. The same trees that create a picturesque surrounding feed your eaves, creating a dam within your gutters, clogging them during bouts of rainfall and ultimately result in overflow and detriment to the exterior of your home and its base. To keep your gutter system, and home, in the clear, you need to take measures today.
5 Ways to Protect Your Rain Gutters from Leaf Build-Up
1. Prune All Roof-Level (and above) Tree Branches Surrounding Your Home
This proactive measure is your best step towards keeping leaves from falling on, or being blown onto, the roof of your home and into your gutters. Trim branches on the roof-facing side of the tree, pruning them back to at least eight feet away from the eaves edge. While the other side of the tree/s may pose less of a threat you may also consider trimming the branches on the backside down as well, to further reduce the risk of wind catching their growth and transporting leaves towards your roof.
2. Regular Gutter Cleaning and Maintenance
Leaves are naturally sticky. Whether it’s from sap or moisture, loose leaves will cling to anything that comes along their airborne path. If at any given moment there is debris (pine-needles, twigs, or even a lost backyard softball) in your gutters leaves will find it, cling-on, and as if to summon its friends from nearby branches will collect until a large cluster forms and clogs your gutters. Prevent this from happening by inspecting and cleaning your gutter system on a weekly basis. If you happen to simply notice anything in your gutters on a casual pass do not wait until your “scheduled” cleaning day, attend to it right away.
3. Regular Roof Sweeps
Cleaning out your gutters can often be accomplished with a tall ladder and assistance from a family member down below (never climb up without support!). However, keeping your roof free of leaves is also essential to keeping your gutters in the clear. This may sound like a high-climbing challenge but there are practical tools available for this task. Visit your local home and garden centre and inquire about a roof-rake appropriate to your roof material (shingles, etc.). This pole-like and easy to use mechanism is a saving grace for keeping leaves off of your roof.
4. Prevent Leaf-Nests from Pests
Ever notice a purposeful-looking clump of leaves within the gutters of poorly maintained homes? You may have seen a leaf-nest. While we all know that birds tend to take to twigs when it comes to the architecture of their family “homes” some species add leaves to the mix, especially when trying to wedge a nest into a less traditional nook or cranny, such as gutters. But it doesn’t stop there, squirrels (of which there are no shortage in the Lower Mainland) are the primary builders of leaf-nests, and have no qualms about setting up shop in your gutters. To prevent this dramatic scene from reaching fruition you will want to install eco-friendly bird and rodent repellents near your gutters. These can range from decoy predators (life-like owls, etc.) to offensive (to birds/squirrels) sound waves and smells. Your local home and garden store will have a solution for this as well.
5. Install Gutter Guards That Are Designed to Keep Leaves Out
Finally, the most effective way to keep leaves from entering your gutter system is to block all entry with gutter guards that are fitted to your installation. WeatherGuard Gutters, for example, offer an unparalleled level of protection with our Leaf Protection system. This system comes in vinyl and aluminum options, dependent upon your existing gutter set-up and preference. The system has a mesh-like surface that allows rain to sporadically enter the gutters and efficiently flow through into the downspouts while keeping leaves at bay. If you reside within the Lower Mainland of BC and are ready to take the next step to keeping your rain gutters free from leaves we encourage you to contact us at your earliest convenience.