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By Alliant Credit Union
Come springtime, homeowners can often get caught up in planting spring flower beds or gardens and forget all about another key, but not so fun, spring chore: clearing your gutters.
Experts recommend that gutters should be cleared out twice a year – in late fall to remove fallen leaves and in the spring. Neglected gutters can lead to serious damage to your home’s exterior trim, windows, foundation or basement. So even though it’s a decidedly unglamorous and dirty chore, you really have to make sure that your gutters get cleaned out on a regular basis.
According to Angie’s List, the cost of having someone clean out your gutters starts at around $125 for a small one-story home and increases if your home is bigger and has multiple stories, or if your yard – or your neighbor’s yard – has a lot of tall trees. If you’re afraid of heights, have any balance issues or other physical limitations, or just don’t want to risk a fall to save a couple hundred bucks a year, having a pro clean your gutters is well worth that cost.
But if you’re handy and aren’t afraid of heights – or of working in wet muck – you can tackle the job yourself with just a few tools and a few hours of your time.
Things you’ll need:
Gutter cleaning 101:
A gutter maintenance option that some homeowners choose is to add gutter screens to their home’s gutters. These screens are installed on top of gutters to keep leaves out but let water through. Although the concept sounds like a no-brainer, there are some pros and cons you should be aware of in deciding if gutter screens are a good addition to your home:
Pam Leibfried is a marketing content specialist whose love of words led to a writing and editing career. After a brief stint teaching English, she transitioned to corporate communications and spent 20 years at The Nielsen Company before joining Alliant’s content development team. Early in her work life, Pam’s friend Matt explained the benefits of a 401(k) and her dad encouraged her to start a Roth IRA. Their good counsel prompted her to prioritize retirement savings, which just might enable her to retire early so she can read more and live out the slogan on her fave T-shirt: “I have a retirement plan: I plan on quilting.”