Every fall, pine needles seem to materialize out of nowhere, coating just about everything. With the impending snow or rain, this can cause a headache. Clogged gutters are never fun and cleaning gutters is the bane of a homeowner’s existence. Getting up on a ladder on anything other than a single story is a risky endeavor. There is no absolute best way to keep pine needles out of gutters, but there are some steps to take that will help.
Gutter Guards Help Keep Pine Needles Out of Gutters
Gutter guards have become all the rave. The issue here is not all guards are created equal. Traditional guards are great in keeping large, gutter clogging, debris out. These feature larger diameter holes that won’t stop small pine needles. The only solution here is to use micro-mesh gutter guards. As the name suggests, the mesh on these is small enough to prevent pesky pine needles from reaching your gutter. There is a drawback with gutter guards. In areas with more than just pine trees, these will catch leaves on top. Once this happens, your gutters cannot function as needed due to the leaf coverage. While this sounds good in theory, there is still a fair amount of maintenance needed.
The benefit of gutter guards is they make gutters easier to manually clean. Installing gutter guards is the best way to keep pine needles out of your gutters if those are the only debris present. They are not exactly easy to install, and traditionally require a contractor. If you can afford this cost, they are a great option.
Gutter Ground Wands
While not exactly a best way to keep pine needles out of your gutter, wands make cleaning a breeze. These come in many forms, but ultimately, they offer a safe and convenient way to clean gutters. Wands and snakes are used from the ground to wash debris away. This prevents a homeowner from having to climb a ladder. Also, because you can walk along with it, it is a much faster option as well. These utilize high pressure water streams to essentially shoot pine needles from the floor of the gutter. Wands and snakes are much less expensive than gutter guards, which make them an attractive option for homeowners with an hour per quarter year to spare.
Get Rid of the Issue at the Root
The easiest, and possibly the best way to keep pine needles out of gutters is trimming. By trimming back overhanging branches you will ensure pine needles aren’t even in the vicinity of your gutters. Like gutter guards, this should be handled by a professional. Arborists will know exactly how much to trim back without damaging the tree. Also, arborists will have the safest solutions to removing these branches.
While there may be no “best” way to do it, there are several options at a homeowners disposal to keep pine needles out of their gutters. Keeping gutters clean and free from debris is an important task to ensure the health of your roofing system. This should be done as part of your fall cleanup and spring cleaning routines yearly.