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— Fall foliage is beautiful - until it has to raked or removed from the gutters.

Trish Ouei, Benton County extension storm-water educator for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, has learned that lesson now that she’s moved into a new house that was unoccupied for a year.

“The new house actually has trees around it,” she said. “It is also causing me additional work on something that I have never had to think about before - clogged gutters.

“There were a lot of leaves in there from last year and all this rain has caused the gutters to back up,” Ouei said. “Luckily,there was no damage to the house, just water flowing over the gutters instead of down them.”

There are a few keys to remember when clearing out the gutter:

- Be sure the ladder is level and stable.

- Know where power lines are.

Begin with the downspout and work back. “Make sure that the water is flowing easily out the downspout to make sure that there is no clog inside it,” she said. “Or all your work will be for naught.”

Ouei said there is another positive side effect of gutter cleaning: “you can compost the leaf debris. Some of my debris was already compost.”

Ouei recommends twice-a-year gutter cleaning to prevent home water damage.

News, Pages 9 on 11/11/2009

Print Headline: Fall leaves mean extra work

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