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Easy DIY Fall Gutter Cleaning Tips

for Minnesotans
It's autumn in Minnesota, and as the temperature drops and cool winds return, the annual sight of leaves falling from our abundance of ash, birch, maple, and elm trees begins. The colorful display is the brilliant best of nature’s fall season, and—if we wanted to mention a downside—it’s the worst for clogging up rain gutters.

If you have native fir, pine, or spruce trees near your home, you will probably notice some of the older needles being shed to make room for new ones. And, according to the Minnesota DNR, the tamarack tree is unique and sheds all of its needles each fall. So, you're likely to notice plenty of needles dropping from tamarack trees, especially by November.

All these leaves and needles can become a nuisance when they end up in your gutters. Regardless of the type of trees near your home, fall is the perfect time of year to clean out your gutters and prepare them for winter precipitation.
Why Gutters Need to Be Cleaned

Cleaning out your gutters will prevent problems caused by clogs. Branches, twigs, leaves, and needles can become lodged in your gutters and eventually block rain and melting snow from draining properly. This can cause serious problems for your roofline and the foundation around your home. Removing debris from your gutters will allow water to pass easily through your drainage system and safely away, so it doesn't collect and pool on your roof or around your home. If you see piles of leaves or needles sticking out of your gutters, it is definitely time to clean them out. In tree-heavy areas, cleaning out your gutters should be done twice a year, preferably at the beginning of fall and then again at the start of spring. By using the right equipment and following some simple advice, you can make the job easier.

DIY Tips for Cleaning Gutters

Make sure you have the right equipment on hand:

• Ladder: Use a sturdy ladder to reach your gutters. If you live in a two-story home, you'll need a ladder with an extension.
• Ladder Stabilizer:  For added safety, use a stabilizer to secure your ladder.
• Gutter Scoop:  A gutter scoop can help you remove debris. They are inexpensive and can be purchased on Amazon, at Home Depot, and at Walmart. Your local hardware store may also carry them.
• Garden Trowel:  An ordinary garden trowel can help you loosen and remove twigs, needles, and leaves, but be careful not to get so aggressive that you damage the gutter.
• Heavy Duty Work Gloves: Leather, suede, or strong rubber gloves (not thin ones) will keep your hands dry while protecting them from sharp branches and sticks.
• Garden Hose with Sprayer Attachment: A garden hose with a sprayer attachment can flush out small amounts of debris that are not compacted.
• Leaf Blower: A leaf blower can be used to blow out the leaves, twigs, and needles. There are also leaf blower attachments to extend the blower's reach.

Some Words of Caution About Gutter Cleaning

While cleaning out your rain gutters can be a great money-saving DIY project, safety is essential. Be sure you are comfortable with heights and working on a ladder. Avoid dangerous situations and think of your safety first.

When to Call a Professional Gutter Cleaning Experts

If you can't safely reach your gutters, it may be best to hire a professional to clean your gutters for you. With 20 years of experience in the industry, we can clean your gutters and make sure they are ready for another Minnesota winter.

To learn more or get a free cleaning estimate, call us at 612-834-0664. We would be happy to answer any questions about gutter cleaning and maintenance options for your home.

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