As summer slowly ebbs away into fall, and the songbirds, green leaves and warm southern breezes, begin to leave replaced by the crisp fall air, my thoughts turn to playing in the gutter. Oh no, not just any gutter, the most important one of all, the rain gutter.
Rain gutters generally get clogged by falling leaves and other airborne debris. Most of it accumulates in the fall, and by spring, many a gutter can be running slowly at the exact time it needs to be working at itís best.
When gutters are full and not functioning properly, water can actually rise above the gutter edge and slowly seep beneath shingles. Once water gets past that first line of protection, it will begin to accumulate in low spots causing leaks, and worse still, it will begin to cause the wood underlay to rot. When that happens, a major repair bill is not far behind. Needless to say, a few minutes spent each fall after the leaves have fallen, will keep your gutters running free, and this is one of the most important things that can be done around the house.
This is where the fun begins. Back in the days of my childhood, my friends and I would routinely have hose fights. We would pretend the hose nozzle was a super duper laser water cannon, and we would blast each other silly as well as blasting the evil alien bushes and trees that surrounded our backyards, saving the world each time. These very same principles apply to clearing out the clogging alien leaves that stop up a helpless gutter.
All youíll need is a hose with nozzle, a sturdy ladder on solid footing, and a pair of gloves. Find where the gutter begins, make your way up to a suitable safe spot to aim the hose, and fire along the length of the gutter. Nozzles create enough pressure to literally sweep out most leaves and debris, even the impacted ones, sending them rushing towards the downspout. Generally, so much water weight will build at the drain hole, that even smaller twigs will be forced down and out. Most larger sticks can literally be blasted right off the roof with your water cannon, sending them flying off the roof and straight to the ground.
Plan a task like this for a warmer late fall day, because you are almost sure to become a little wet. Then all you need to do is get yourself into a safe position, make sure your aim is good, and blast away!
The debris that carries on down to your lawn can either be raked up, or better still, mulched by your mower as long as the larger sticks are removed.
So if you ever thought that there was no way to be a kid again, try this. On the next warm fall day after the leaves have fallen off the trees, grab your laser water cannon, sneak up on some evil aliens living in your gutter, and blast them into oblivion! It makes me smile every time, and Iíll bet you will too.