Well, at least I cleared the gutters over the deck today. I have a mesh screen over them now. I think I will pull them off. They don't work!
They get covered with oak flowers, leaves, and twigs. It finally occurred to me today that the rain runs down the roof, hits the debris on the top of the raingutter mesh, and flows right over it onto the deck.
Now, when I originally built the deck, I installed a proper flashing against the house. In spite of that, rain got into the basement wall below. So when I had the deck door replaced 5 years ago (believe it or not, but LC the cat cracked the double pane seal by head ramming it - I was there when it happened), I had the professional replace the nearby boards and the flashing.
Then again, the gutters fill with debris even with the covers and block the downspouts, so maybe the rain is backing up into the walls from there. I don't know. So I am going to take the covers off so I can clean them out a couple of times each year until someone designs a gutter cover that actually works. From the research I've done, NO gutter cover actually works...
So I used a stepladder to clean out the gutter and downspout hole over the deck. The cover made it a miserable effort, but I managed it. Then I got out the old extension ladder. The nylon rope had rotted (nylon rope rots?). I found a replacement rope at the Home Depot. I put it on wrong the first time and had to re-install it while it was up because I couldn't lower it because it was caught in the gutter (stabilizer bars wedged in the gutter covers).
Don't laugh yet, it gets better...
When I had the rope attached correctly, I pulled on it. The pulley popped off. I'm going to buy a new one as soon as they go on sale.
Meanwhile, the gutter has loosened right over my corn, and the washout beat several plants right out of the ground back when it rained in early June. I replanted them and placed a sheet of plywood at an angle against the house to deflect gutterfall (naturally, that was the last rain for a month). I only had to do that because my attempts to install new gutter nails was useless. I think the board on the roof is rotted.
Meanwhile, 3/4 of the raingutters are clogged with debris. I fear it is time for a roofing/gutter professional to do some repairs.