If the Farmer’s Almanac prediction noted in an August 26 story on turns out accurate, then Iowans can expect a rather harsh winter this year. Sandi Duncan, managing editor of the Farmer’s Almanac, said, “It’s going to be a very cold winter, in fact, we’re using the words ‘piercing cold’ in your neck of the woods, with normal snowfall. So, it’s going to be one of those rough, old-fashioned, very chilly, very cold, snowy winters.”

This means some homeowners in Des Moines, Dubuque, or any other part of Iowa have some time left to prepare their gutters before snow fills these up. Yet some homeowners are probably also asking how they can best clean their gutters in preparation. Fortunately, experts have shared a few tips on just how they can clean gutters in Des Moines or elsewhere.

One tip is to clean them frequently before the cold season, if not throughout the year. While homeowners really ought to do cleaning at least once a year, one expert goes on record on Angie’s List, saying they should perform this task at least twice. This is especially the case for homeowners whose houses are next to overhanging trees, which in turn may send detached branches and leaves accumulating in the gutter system. Homeowners who live in heavily wooded areas also need to do this task more often. Regular cleaning will help make gutter systems more functional and durable.

Another tip is to inspect the gutters when it is raining. Another expert says that this would let the homeowner check the gutters for any leaking or overflowing of water as well as damage or cracked caulking in the seams. Spotting such flaws would enable homeowners to get them fixed before heavier snows can do more damage.

If inspecting and cleaning gutters feels like a big job, then the last tip is to call in the professionals. Gutter cleaning is risky because a homeowner might slip and fall off the ladder or roof. Gutter professionals, especially experienced ones from Waddle Exteriors, know the ins and outs of cleaning these systems in the safest and most efficient manner.

With September drawing to a close, time is running short for homeowners to clean their gutters or even install a gutter topper in Dubuque, Des Moines, or elsewhere in Iowa. The sooner they get started on these precautions, the better.