11 November 2008

My Mind Is in The Gutter

photo of Koko laying on his cat carrierI spent a few hours on Saturday playing in the mud and getting wet. Was I gardening? No, I was cleaning the gutters around our house. It had been 9 years since they had been cleaned (Okay, we moved into the house 9 years ago), and I figured it was time for them to have a bath. Naturally, I had to pick a cold, misty day to do this. (I have yet to do anything outside this Fall on a nice day. Those usually come the next day). Anyway, I saw a bunch of eaves sticking out from above the edge of the gutter and I figured they should be cleaned.

Okay, 15-20 minutes tops to scoop-out the leaves and then back to my football game. You see, it was halftime and I wanted to get back in time to see the rest of the game. Two and a half hours later, I come back into the house wet and muddy. What started as a home improvement activity to keep me away from the refrigerator for 30 minutes, turned out to be a major undertaking that kept me from seeing the end of my football game. Here's what happened...

I grab the ladder and the trash bag-lined pail and climb up to grab my first handful of leaves. What I got was a handful of leaves and sludge. Yup, the entire 16-foot length of the gutter was coated with a 1/4"-1/2" layer of sludge. So, starting from the end nearest the downspout I began to scoop the sludge and leaves, slowly working my way down to the other end. Once completed and to make sure that everything was sparkly and shiny, I grabbed the hose and washed down the gutter and then sprayed the water down the downspout to unclog anything that may have been stuck there. I then did the same thing to the two other gutters that surround our abode. Sure enough, they each had a layer of mud or sludge coating the bottom.

The moral of this story is: you may have more than leaves in your gutters. The layer of sludge not only slows down the flow of water to the downspout, but it also adds an enormous amount of weight to the gutter. Please be sure and check your gutters and make sure that you have a clean and unrestricted flow of water to and through your downspout (make sure that the water drains away from your foundation). An overflowing gutter can create a source of ice dams (in colder climates) and can contribute to, among other things, leaky roofs and rotting wood.

Oh, I missed the rest of the game, but my team won!


  1. We get palm fronds in ours!

    Sniffie and the Florida Furkids

  2. In know what you mean about doing something for just 20 minutes of half time and it taking much longer. I usually go on the computer at halftime and then miss half of the 3rd quarter! My husband likes to take a walk, sometimes I'll go with him. We never missed the whole last half of a game though, but then we don't go climging up cleaning out our gutters either!

  3. I know what your talking about I cleaned out the front gutter and check out what I got out of them. http://www.smokey-n-tiger.com/2008/09/cleaning-gutters.html

  4. Furkidsmom: From what I found up there, that's about the only thing we don't get:)

    Karen &Gerard Zemek: Well, I figured it would be a quick 20 minute job. I had no idea of the mess that awaited me:-)

    smokey-n-tiger: I stopped by, that was a lot of gunk. It's amazing what accumulates up there:)

  5. I always thought that it was impossible to do anything when a football game is on - at least that's why my hubby says! Hence the reason our gutters are dirty!

  6. BeadedTail: It usually is impossible, but since we were up by over 21 points, I figured I wouldn't miss much if I were a few minutes late. Unfortunately, I missed the entire rest of the game. So, I guess it is impossible...I'm rambling, I need sleep:)

  7. Cute picture of Koko!

    I'm wondering ... do we have gutters? ;-)

    Thanks for the good wishes for Lux ... we'll keep you posted.

    His Mom

  8. Yes.. hehehe, I enjoy the story...also informative

  9. I am dreading the day we clean the gutters. Our yard is FULL of trees so we do the gutters about twice a year. Right now we are still trying to rake all the leaves in the yard. I guess gutters will be next.

  10. Lux:Thank you, I'll let him know. Best wishes for Lux:)

    Noobeler: Thank you very much and thanks for stopping by:)

    Your Fun Family: I waited until all the trees had dropped their leaves as well. I wish our yard was big enough to have a lot of trees. The leaves I have to deal with come from our neighbor's yard.

  11. Gandalf and Grayson: When we first moved into our house, they didn't have any gutters along the sides of the house. I eventually had to have some installed, but before I did, it sure made a mess. I would think they would have at least put a partial gutter over the front door.

  12. Gandalf and Grayson25 December, 2010 15:32

    We need gutters. Our house does not have them so when it rains, it pours right in front of the front door! How convenient, huh?

    Edited to remove dead link. Comment originally published on...
    13 November, 2008 15:51


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