Autumn leaves are for most people a welcome sight, signalling the end of a hot summer and the start of cooler weather. However, for those with gutters installed on their homes, autumn leaves will never be a welcome presence inside gutters, as they can cause many big problems with the potential to deal devastating damage to your home.
The Dangers of Debris
The equation is simple for those of us with gutters: autumn leaves = blockages. Leaves and other debris in your gutters stop water from running smoothly as it should, and this will always lead to overflowing. Think water constantly spilling forward off the edge of your home, or worse, leaking down into basements, where in the worst case homeowners face flooding and damage to the infrastructure of their home.
The combined weight of the debris and the pooling water can also lead to gutters ripping away from the building, especially in cases where they have been poorly attached. These blockages also occur in downpipes and drains, meaning that there’s no possible way for additional rain to safely filter away from your home.
Moisture, mould and mildew
When it comes to cleaning your gutters, you can never leave it to do as part of your spring clean, unless you want to be cleaning out mouldy and rusted gutters. If you let autumn leaves remain in your gutter into winter, the inevitable rain that comes with the cold season will gather around the dry leaves and turn them into moist and watery mush. This wet environment will quickly give rise to mould and mildew, which are nothing less than weapons of mass destruction when it comes to your gutters.Having mould in and on your gutters will not only make them unsightly, but also can get into downspouts, onto roofs, and can degrade and corrode the protective finish on your gutters. On top of that, mildew can cause serious problems of wood rot and staining for any wood on your roof or overhanging eaves. The water that gathers around this mould and mildew can also cause serious staining problems for any walls that it runs down as it overflows.
Fight back against autumn leaves
Your best option to combat the devastating effects of autumn leaves in your gutter system is cleaning out the gutter: either with regular cleaning throughout autumn, or a thorough clean at the end of the season and before the rain. You can do this yourself, or you can hire a professional such as Three65 Spouting to do it for you.
It’s important to remember that downpipes will also gather some of the autumn leaves and have to be cleaned at the same time – in fact, you’ll be more able to clean these yourself as you don’t even need to leave the ground! Most downpipes can be cleaned with a hose and by clearing the strainer inside.
Another tip is to remember to prune back trees and bushes around your home, as these are the cause of the problem. Doing this regularly or before autumn will minimise the autumn leaves that can invade your gutters and cause these terrible problems!
Leafguards: The Best Defence
At Three65 Spouting, we recommend taking a preventative approach to problems caused by autumn leaves, by installing clog-free and custom-made leafguards that stop leaves from gathering in your gutters. With multiple leafguard options to match all gutters, leafguards can completely minimise your gutter maintenance as you know it, and can also reduce the chance of birds or rodents getting into your roof space. Installing gutter guards is a simple process requiring minimal tools.
Now you know about the problems that autumn leaves can create, there’s no excuse not to get cleaning, trim your trees or order a custom-made leafguard, before you get back to enjoying autumn with a home protected from damage.