It’s that time of year -right before the weather shifts to freezing temp. With November comes shorter days and cooler nights, but also the seasonal planning for the holiday in just a few short weeks. So you’re probably finalizing you arrangements for the thanksgiving holiday -or maybe you’re more concerned with the impending freezing midwestern temperatures. These are the reasons why November is the month in which home and garden magazines publish their ‘to-do’ lists, before the holiday season and the freezing temperatures arrive. Houzz.com publishes a very thorough seasonal home and garden maintenance list and home safety checklist to prepare both inside and outside of your home.
Now that the leaves have mostly fallen
You’ve probably been waiting until the last of the leaves have fallen before raking and cleaning out your gutters. In fact, many of the trees have lost most all of their leaves by now. However, there are a few varieties of trees (Maple, Oak, Pear, etc.) that haven’t lost all their leaves. If you’re like many, your plans to clean the gutters are more dependent on the weather forecast and weekend plans than waiting for trees to drop all their leaves. Weather Underground forecast for this weekend looks favorable to complete your outside to-do list. Although the forecast is chilly, it will be sunny -a perfect fall day.
Most to-do lists suggest first removing the leaves and debris from your roof first. If left on the roof, this debris can clump into larger masses, getting wet with rain and snow, and then leech water through the shingles. This causes unwanted damage to the roof. After removing debris from the roof, cleaning gutters is recommended to promote water flow from the roof to be distributed away from the base of the home. If left uncleaned, the rain water can freeze in the gutter, which causes ice dams that force water inside your home. The frozen water can also become increasingly heavy, weakening the integrity of the gutter (look for our upcoming series on the ill affects of ice). Once you’ve cleared the gutters, the final step is to remove the leaves from the lawn.
How to get rid of all those leaves
City Street Department
Many cities have a street department that removes the leaves left in front of the home. Here just a few cities in north central Indiana that offer leaf removal (City of west lafayette; City of Carmel; Indianapolis; Lebanon – link is for 2015 fall schedule).
Composting leaf debris is another great alternative for leaf removal. While there are many methods for doing this, one of the easiest is to ‘chop and bag’ the leaf clipping with your lawnmower. This of course, works best when leaf coverage isn’t too heavy or damp. So it’s advisable to do this often and getting started before all the leaves have fallen.
Leaving the leaves in place
Another alternative, if your leaf coverage isn’t to dense, is to leave the leaves in place. The structure, formally knows as a leaf, breaks down into a loose ‘lace-like’ texture that eventually decomposes quickly into the soil. Leaf mulch in bare soil will be pulled down into the soil by earthworms. This is mother nature’s way of returning nutrients to the soil.
So Much to do
With so much else to do this season prepping your home for freezing temps and rapidly approaching holiday season, why not consider making your schedule a little less hectic by having Gutter Covers of Indiana install caps over your gutters. Our gutter caps are guaranteed to perform above our competitors’ allowing you the extra time to finish the rest of your November ‘to-do’ list. Happy November!