Spring will be here before you know it, and with that warmer weather come fresh, green leaves on trees, active animals, and spring storms -- all of which can really mess up your property if your roof gutters aren't ready. Hopefully you've been keeping up with maintenance in general, but if it's been a while since you had the gutters checked out, it's time to do so again now. You must be sure the gutter is clear and in good condition because spring is not the kindest season for removing rain runoff.

Straggler Leaves

Most of the leaves on your trees should have fallen off in autumn, but for people in warmer climates where "fall colors" show up in winter, and for those whose trees have some tenacious straggler leaves, late winter can often lead to leaf build-up on the roof and in the gutters. Get those leaves out now before late winter and spring rains show up. If you leave them and then forget, you could end up with a clogged gutter and water overflowing onto your landscaping.

Windy Conditions and Debris

Ensure the gutter screen is in good condition, or if you don't have a screen, have one installed. When the spring storms or late winter rains blow in, that wind can also blow small bits of debris off trees and into the gutter. The screens keep that debris out of the main path of the water. You do need to have screens cleaned off, too, but that is a lot easier than trying to chip out a dried mass inside the gutter itself.

Get Ready for Nests

Spring means new animal families, and birds like gutters as potential nesting places. What's worse is that, other than a couple of species, most birds are considered protected when they build nests. If a bird starts a nest in your gutter, you essentially have a big clog that can force water over the side of the gutter. And legally you won't be allowed to remove it until the baby birds have hatched and the nest has been abandoned, several months from now. Get a screen on those gutters and keep checking for signs that birds are trying to set up a home there.

If any part of the gutter is in bad shape, have it replaced so that you don't have to worry about leaks, overflows, clogs, and more. Gutters are essential to keeping your property in good condition. Don't take a chance because you had a mild winter or haven't seen signs of a problem from the ground. Contact a service, like Alaka'i Raingutters & Supplies, for more help.