Leaf Removal Do’s & Don’ts

One of the best parts about spending autumn in the Mid-Atlantic is watching all of the leaves change colors.  Falling leaves, though, present a unique problem for homeowners across the area. They’re much less lovely once they’re on the ground—or in your gutters.  Fortunately, we have many tools for leaf removal at our disposal today. You just need a few tips on how to maximize your efforts!

Do:  Start Early

According to the experts, the best time to start removing leaves is when about 30% of them have fallen. While we haven’t measured it out exactly, early October seems just about right.  There’s enough leaves on the ground to make your efforts worthwhile, but not so many that it’s going to take a few days to make a dent.  After this first removal, you should be able to keep up with a little maintenance every week to two weeks—depending on the weather.

Don’t:  Try to Move Wet Leaves

Although we’ve had really wet weather throughout the year, this is one chore that requires a few consecutive dry days. Not only is it unpleasant to try to rake leaves in the rain, but also it makes it unsafe to use high powered equipment, like a leaf blower. Then, once you’re stuck raking wet leaves, you have to move them somehow.  Trust us, wet leaves are a lot heavier and harder to move than their dry counterparts.  You could also damage your lawn in this process since the ground is so moist and pliable.  It’s best to just wait until the leaves are dry and not so slippery.  Make it easier and safer on yourself!

Do:  Focus on Your Roofline

Allowing wet leaves to gather on your roof and in your gutters can lead to bigger problems down the road.  If they get too heavy, they can weaken the structure of your house, leading to cracks, leaks, and other deterioration.  You should plan on clearing these areas with the same regularity as you would your yard—if not more frequently. Consider your safety, too, when completing this particular task.  It involves a lot of time spent on ladders, so many homeowners outsource this chore to the professionals.  Regardless of who handles this task, they should pay extra attention to any mold left behind.  It needs to be treated separately so it doesn’t spread—even after the fallen leaves have been removed.  At Schaefer Siding & Exteriors, we’re not just about roof/gutter replacement.  We want to help you make the most of your current materials.  Proper leaf removal is just one way to do that!

Don’t:  Waste Time and Money on Garbage Bags

This is one job that’s a little too big for your average garbage bag.  Not to mention, most brands aren’t biodegradable even though the leaves inside them will be.  If you’re using a leaf vacuum or lawn mower, it will automatically deposit them into a reusable bag for easy carrying.  If you’re doing it the old-fashioned way (with a rake), consider laying a tarp down in advance.  That’ll make it much easier to transport them after you’re finished.  While some cities and towns offer a curb service that will take your leaves and other lawn trimmings on set dates this season, you can’t always count on that.  Composting makes it easy to dispose of leaf debris in an environmentally-friendly way. Plus, then you can reuse them to rejuvenate your yard and/or garden!  For more information on composting, check out this article.

 

Although we don’t offer leaf removal services at Schaefer Siding & Exteriors, we want to help our customers as much as possible!  Hopefully these tips will keep your home clear and clean throughout fall.  But if you spot something on your exterior while you’re following this advice, feel free to give us a call.  We’re happy to inspect your roof, gutters, siding, and windows for potential signs of wear and tear.  You can trust our team of experts to give you an honest assessment anytime!

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