How to Keep Leaves Out of Your Gutters

Gutters play a crucial role in rain run-off and drainage for your house. They control the flow of the water to make sure it ends up in a spot away from your house to reduce the potential of water damage due to precipitation. It is a simple yet effective feature of the our homes that has proven to be almost essential in our Wisconsin climate.

The fact that they are still considered a given in new home planning is proof enough of this. Unfortunately, there are still some old obstacles that continue to plague the usefulness of gutters: debris build-up to be specific. Due to this, unclogging gutters is a required seasonal activity when you own a house. This happens because of debris falling in, and is especially necessary in the falls as leaves start to pile up. These are the biggest offenders when it comes to clogged gutters but there is always the odd surprise too, like a rogue nerf football or bird’s nest – we even found a painter’s rag clogging a gutter one time.

While common sense to most people, it is worth stating that clogged gutters cannot be left that way. Leaving them clogged will result in water pooling within them. If this happens your home is at risk of moisture seeping into the attic and even the foundation of the structure. This will offers a prime situation for mold and mildew to grow, and creates a far bigger problem than clogged gutters. Additionally, the gutters could get weighed down in the freeze/thaw cycle of Fox Valley winters and ultimately collapse to the ground. There are however some tips and tricks every gutter company would give you to reduce this risk.

Trimming Branches

This is often the first thing people due to save their gutters from clogging. It is also the simplest and most cost effective. All it refers to is annually trimming branches away from the roof and gutters so that they are more likely to only fall on the ground rather than the home. It is often unrealistic to remove them all, but doing as many as possible will make a huge difference.

This can actually be a good thing to do for your whole house if there are big trees with heavy branches. Removing these manually ensures that they will not one day fall and severely damage the home. Despite these benefits though, and while it is very effective in regards to gutters, this strategy is unfortunately imperfect. Wind and other factors can do their part to make leaves and twigs end up in the gutters. That being said, it is a good place to start for gutter protection.


Cleaning gutters is one of the most common injuries for homeowners annually.

Gutter Cleaning

One option for keeping your gutters operating is regular cleaning. Scraping out the debris from your gutters and then washing out your gutters with a hose can be effective, but also quite dangerous. A few of the common safety concerns related to gutter cleaning:

  1. Unstable ladder
  2. Contact with electrical wiring
  3. Clothing catching on ladder
  4. Vertigo or dizziness issues

We recommend letting a professional gutter cleaning company do the cleaning OR considering a better solution to keeping your gutters clean like Gutter Helmet.


No Gutters

This isn’t suggested to most people, but there are options available for alternative methods of moving rainwater away from the foundation. It requires a little research, but this is most often seen in regions that see little rainfall and little to no vegetation. Removing gutters would be best in a semi-desert or desert climate. The downside to having no gutters in Fond du Lac or Oshkosh is the rain water falling from the roof will likely splash back onto the home’s foundation and is likely to cause damage over time.

Gutter Guards and Gutter Helmet

The name accurately describes this tool. Gutter caps are solid or mesh covers that can be installed over the top of the gutters and eavestroughs. This allows water to run in properly while keeping out leaves and other debris. These covers are very effective at keeping your gutters clean. The roof itself still will require regular cleaning even with these guards, especially in the roof valleys.

The roof will still need to have branches and leaves removed in order to prevent potential damage. This is preferable and easier to cleaning gutters though. The leaves will not be wet as they often are found in gutters. A good solution for homeowners who find themselves with little time for yard work is to use a combination of branch trimming and gutter guards.


Good luck this Fall as we enter leaf season. If you need help with your gutters or would like to learn more about Gutter Helmet gutter protection systems for Madison and Waukesha, please reach out to us.


Wrightway Home Improvements is the best gutter repair company in the Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, and Appleton areas. We have an expansive service area including Madison and Waukesha for Gutter Helmet, and we are experts in replacing siding, windows, and gutters and installing gutter helmet. If you stay on the safe side this fall, we can help you each step of the way and free up some of your time and mind space for more important things. Find out more about our Gutter options at