Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Life in the Gutter

This is our first house with gutters. Sure, apartment complexes we’ve lived in had them, but our first house did not. They were too expensive to add to the building package, and we never got around to adding them ourselves. But this house came with them, thus the reason we have them now.

Gutters are great most of the time. They keep you from getting soaked in a sheet of water when you try to run out the door, and prohibit rain from running off the roof with such force that it creates a trench in the yard, thus leaving water standing for days so the dogs can continually get their feet muddy and track it on the somewhat clean floor.

But they’re not so great when they get clogged, which recently happened to us. Our neighbor has a tree that is, um, dead. As a doornail. (Note to self: call insurance agent to see whose insurance pays if it falls on our house.) So, the very dead tree is constantly shedding tiny twigs and during storms, small branches. It’s quite bizarre to look out the window after a storm and see the dog dragging around a huge stick when we don’t even have a tree in our backyard. I digress. Anyway, the tiny twigs that the very dead tree has been shedding fall on our house (and into our yard, of course) and eventually had the gutter on that side of the house completely clogged. There was nothing but a few tiny drops coming down the downspout. So, that means we get to clean it out! Yay!

I donned my “chore clothes” one evening, and made a trip to Lowe’s, one of my favorite shopping places of all time. I purchased a kit of “special” tools to clean gutters and some gutter guards. I made my way home, and Husband and I drug the necessary equipment to the back yard.

Husband climbed up on the roof and began scooping tiny twigs and leaves, while I stood on the ladder and held the bucket. Meanwhile, Non-English Speaking Neighbors are out on their back porch (where else would they be?) and began watching as we cleaned. Cheap entertainment.

Finally, the twigs were all cleaned out, and it came time to put the gutter guards on. The problem is that our roof is pretty steep and our ladder is pretty short. Therefore, the only way to get these gutter guards securely in place was for me to lay on my stomach on the roof, scoot down toward the gutter and attach them, with Husband sitting further up on the roof, giving instructions and holding my feet. I’m sure that by now, the Non-English Speaking Neighbors were quite amused with this whole ordeal. We finally got the gutter guards on and now the gutters are forever protected from tiny twigs from the neighbor’s tree.

We both ended up with a few scrapes from the shingles (which I tried to get sympathy for – no luck there), and I’m sure our neighbors got quite a bit of amusement out of the whole ordeal. I don’t care, though. At least the gutter is clean and will stay that way.

Oh, and I went ahead and called my insurance agent. In case you need to know, your own insurance pays for it, even if it is someone else’s tree. Stupid insurance rules! Pin It

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