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Sometimes Even Gutters can Bite You

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Recently had a large U-shaped house with a garage behind connected to side of house with a covered portico. So I started on the left side with the garage and worked my way around the house basically following the sun. Got through with the left side and moved on around to front of house and then the right side. House was completely guttered with the downspouts all drained underground to the woods behind the house. Easy right. We did spray all the plants,  of which there were a lot, as we moved around the house just in case of any over-spray. When I came back around the house on the left side, probably about 45 minutes later, the portico had a junction which was leaking like a sieve. I won't say streaming, but a really serious drip. The nearest downspout was about 20' away. By the time I found it, there was a puddle of roof mix about 3/4" deep by a foot in diameter. Junction was the low spot for probably 30' plus of gutter.

So I immediately flooded the heck out of it with water. A lot. Then about 15 minutes later I hit it with plant wash and then sprinkled some gypsum around. Told the homeowner's wife what had happened and then called him that night and told him that it would probably kill some of his grass. He was really cool with it and said 'Great, that's less I've got to cut".  But not wanting to leave lt like that, went back to check on it a few days ago and just to check everything out. Ouch! So I put more plant wash on a bigger area (probably 4' diameter now) and spread a lot of gypsum. I'm going to give it a few weeks and if it doesn't recover, going to go get a bag or 2 of topsoil and spread new seed. I'm just not going to leave it, no matter what homeowner says, going to make it right.

So my question is, how would you have handled the spill? You can see in the middle of the image where it was puddled initially. I think I made a mistake flooding it. Should probably just scooped it up and maybe even dug it out some and just treated the initial spot. Thankfully it wasn't a corner over one of their huge bushes and was just over grass. You can bet that even with gutters I'll be keeping a closer eye on the corners from now on.

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OMHO, the damage was done before you started to correct it.  I would only have watered until the water stood, let it seep down, and repeated the entire process, to rinse the salt. Then, when I went back, or before, I would have used some fertilizer made for acid loving plants. 

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The key is to catch it before it becomes problematic.  The ground tech should always be 'eyes up', looking for wafting over-spray (it can travel farther than you might think), leaky gutter miters and seams, areas where the gutter have pulled away from the fascia slightly etc.  There is virtually no need to look at the plants that are being protected.  Incredibly good sun glasses (polarized for clarity and wrap -around for safety) help to catch the drifting over-spray before it's a problem.

Catch it early, slap a 5 gallon bucket under it to catch the mix and get back at it.  That's how we address it.

(You'll want to remove some of that existing soil (it's now sterile) or add bacteria before trying to seed/sod.)

Edited by Roof Cleaning Virginia
typos, as always...

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