"If there’s a world here in a hundred years, it’s going to be saved by tens of millions of little things. The powers-that-be can break up any big thing they want. They can corrupt it or co-opt it from the inside, or they can attack it from the outside. But what are they going to do about 10 million little things? They break up two of them, and three more like them spring up!"
- Pete Seeger, in YES! Magazine

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Clean Gutters

The project:
Clean several years' accumulation from the gutters while visiting rainy Washington.

30 minutes

Why bother?
It rained for most of the first four days we were in the great Pacific Northwest this trip. There was a lot of water, not to mention the winds. While the Big Red House is equipped with rain gutters, they weren't draining through any of the downspouts. Instead, the water was filling the gutters and overflowing, creating interesting, but destructive and very noisy, waterfalls at various points around the house. It bugged me enough that I borrowed a tall ladder from the neighbor across the street to check it out.

My younger daughter stood at the bottom of the first downspout to let me know when the water started draining. Well, with the first handful of leaves and muck removed from immediately above the drain, the gutters flushed like there was no tomorrow. I couldn't have missed it, even from atop the ladder.

I continued around the house, removing what turned out to be more than five years' accumulation of leaves and moss, grass and soil from the gutters, sometimes filled flush with the top edge. I only wish I'd had a better ladder - and a good nozzle on the hose for a 100% complete job, but I think this effort will last the gutters for a year or more.

Worth it?
ABsolutely. That first flush was rewarding. Knowing that the rest of the cleanout will help keep the drains running through winter was a bonus. Mom's kiss on the forehead and thanks were great rewards, too! :)

Photo courtesy Eric Schmuttenmaer under Creative Commons License.

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