Tips for Dealing with Your Leaves this Fall


October is a fun month. Pumpkin patches and apple orchards are popular spots for families and friends to hitch a hayride, explore a corn maze, or grab some fresh apple cider to drink while listening to live music on a farm. And, of course, we can’t forget about Halloween candy and costumes. As the leaves change and fall to the ground and the temperatures start to drop as we finish out the month of October and lead into November, many home maintenance projects tend to pop up around the house. Keep your home and family safe and sound this October by following these tips for properly disposing of the leaves around your property.


Getting Your Yard Ready

Make sure your yard is safe for kids to walk across if you’re going to be handing out candy for Halloween! Fill in holes, and remove anything lying around the yard that could trip anyone. If you have trees in or near your yard, you’ll most likely need to get out the rake or leaf blower. Once you rake or blow the leaves into piles, it’s time to get rid of them before the wind picks them up and strews them across your lawn again. Check your town and state ordinances to determine how to properly dispose of them. Some options for getting rid of leaves, depending on the area, may include the following:

Bagging: Check local regulations to make sure you know what types of bags are allowed and whether or not your town offers bag pickup.

Vacuuming: Some towns send a leaf vacuum truck around to suck up piles of leaves left by the curb. Check with your town for pickup dates. If this is an option for you, remember to keep piles away from cars, fire hydrants, and storm drains.

Burning: Leaf burning is a fire hazard and air pollutant, but some people prefer to dispose of their leaves this way. If this includes you, be sure your town allows leaf burning, and find out what days and hours are designated for this. When burning, it’s smart to keep the pile small and to make sure you are burning in a clear, open area away from houses, trees, and other structures. Try to pick a day with little or no wind, and always keep water, sand, or a fire extinguisher nearby. Never leave your burn pile unattended.


Cleaning Out Your Gutters

Your gutters should be cleaned and inspected twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall. It’s that time of year when homeowners should either have a professional come out to clean their gutters or do the work themselves. If you have not yet had your gutters cleaned this fall and live in the Ames or Ankeny area, contact Hedrick Construction in Huxley to do a thorough and professional job for you.

Failure to maintain your gutters properly can lead to thousands of dollars in repair costs. When gutters and downspouts are clogged with leaves and other debris, water cannot flow freely through and onto the ground, away from the house. Blockages in the system can cause water to seep into the roof or flow improperly out of the gutters along the siding or near the foundation of the home, which can cause a great deal of damage. When you do have a professional come out to inspect your gutters (or when you clean the gutters yourself), consider adding gutter covers for additional protection. They will keep out debris, allow water to flow freely during heavy rains and storms, and reduce time spent on future gutter cleaning and maintenance.


Clearing the Roof

When clearing the leaves from around your house and yard, don’t forget to take care of any leaves and debris that may be sitting on top of your roof. They tend to accumulate in areas of the rooftop that are flatter or blocked from the wind.  Debris that is not cleared can prevent moisture from evaporating.  This prolonged moisture exposure can lead to deterioration and rotting. Check out the blog, It's Important to Have Your Roof Maintained Regularly, for good tips on cleaning your roof properly.


Always remember, keeping your roof and drainage system clean will improve the performance and extend the life of your entire roofing system. Contact Hedrick Construction this fall for any of your roofing, siding, or gutter maintenance, replacement, or installation needs!