The Benefits of Gutter Guards and Which Type is Best for Your Roof.
There are a variety of gutter guards on the market. It can become overwhelming to determine which gutter guards is best for you and which gutter guard will fit your budget. In this article, we have provided all the necessary information for you to understand the importance, effectiveness, types, and sizes of gutter guards.
Gutter Guards Reduce the Need for Gutter Cleaning
This is the primary reason people consider getting gutter guards: By filtering or blocking leaves, twigs, and other debris from getting into your gutter system, you won’t need to worry about bi-annual cleanings. On average, professional gutter cleaning costs $300. With at least two cleanings recommended for uncovered gutters each year, that can easily add to $600 to the annual housekeeping budget.
Depending on the type of gutter guard you install, you can significantly reduce the frequency at which your gutters need to be cleaned. Mesh guards are considered the easiest gutter guards to clean because you can simply brush off the top and lift the cover to handle anything clogging the gutter. On the other hand, you may need to call in a professional once a year to clean gutter covers that are securely installed in place.
As a good rule of thumb, homeowners with multiple stores will likely want to hire a professional for gutter guard cleaning jobs for safety reasons. Still, if your gutter guards only need to be cleaned once a year or every other year, it will be less expensive than hiring a professional for multiple gutter cleanings every year.
Gutter Guards Protect the Home
Clogged gutters create problems for homes-plain and simple. When water can’t freely glow through gutter systems and down the downspouts, there can be serious damage to the integrity of the home.
These risks include:
Water spilling onto the roof, which can cause leaks inside the home.
Water pooling against the fascia board, which runs between the gutter and the side of the home. This can cause the fascia to disintegrate and cause damage to the structure.
Water pooling at the home’s base, which can damage the foundation and cause leaking.
These are significant problems. Avoiding these issues is exactly why gutter guards were created. By protecting the gutters and preventing the accumulation of debris that can cause clogs inside the gutter, you are also protecting yourself from these bigger, more costly emergencies.
Installing Gutter Guards Minimizes Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew are not good for your house. They also aren’t good for your health. That’s one reason that installation gutter guards can be a real win-win. To break it down, the most common materials to clog gutters are leaves, dirt and other types of natural debris. These materials can also harbor mold spores, which can flourish inside clogged gutters.
Clogged gutters don’t only cause mold and mildew to develop outside the home, either. When there is a clog that causes water to spill over onto the roof or side of the house, the housing materials are susceptible to rot. This isn’t good for any residents but can be sufficiently dangerous for people with asthma, allergies and other respiratory conditions.
Once there is mold and mildew, remediation isn’t cheap. The average cost to remove mold is $2000. With gutter guards installed, you are minimizing the risk of clogs in the gutters. In turn, that minimizes the risk of mold and mildew problems.
Gutter Guards Help with Pest Control
In addition to preventing clogged gutters, gutter guards also help with deterring or blocking pests from setting up their homes in your gutter system. By creating a barrier between, rodents, birds and even snakes and the roomy gutter, the guards are a vital first line of defense against a bigger pest problem. Without this barrier, pests living in the gutter can potentially damage the home.
Clogged gutters can also offer a fertile breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects. Because mosquitoes hatch in standing water, clogged gutters can be the ideal spot for hundreds or thousands of baby mosquitoes.
Then there is the issue with cleaning your gutters when pests are living inside. Not a task anyone wants to do! Then the issue means your DIY job will become a professional expense without gutter guards installed.
If curb appeal is important to you, choose a guard that either can’t be seen from the ground or ask about gutter guards that matches your home’s exterior.
The cost varies depending on the type and the size of the guards. The roof line height and roof design can make the cost vary too. Roofs with multiple corners can increase the cost due to more material required and the extra labor to make specific cuts to ensure the guards are installed properly. Typically, the higher the roof line the higher the cost. High roof lines will make the installation process slower, and some jobs will require equipment rentals, like boom lifts.
Do gutter guards really work?
The short answer is YES, gutter guards work. While they can’t guarantee that you’ll never have clogged gutters again, they can significantly reduce the number of times you need to clean your gutters and lower the risk of damage to your home and property due to clogged gutters and sitting water.
Types of Gutter Guards
There are many different types of gutter guards, from DIY brush guards to professionally installed micro-mesh. Here’s a breakdown of each kind and their pros and cons.
Screen gutter guards have large holes that keep out leaves and other debris. You can install them by lifting the bottom row of the roof shingles and sliding the edge of the screen underneath it. Screen gutter guards are affordable and easy to install on your own, however if not secure properly they can blow off in windy conditions. Gutter guard screen are available for the five- and six-inch gutters.
Mesh are typically made of metal or plastic and have small holes that filter water while blocking debris. You can slip them under the bottom row of your roof shingles, snap them directly on top of your gutters, or attach them to the fascia-the “transition trim” between your home and your roof.
These gutter guards are slightly more expensive and more difficult to install than screen guards, although the holes are usually smaller, preventing more debris from clogging your gutters. However, some mesh gutter guards varieties are flimsy, and extreme weather conditions can easily tear or damage them. Mesh gutter guards are available for the five- and six-inch gutters.
Micro-Mesh gutter guards are like mesh guards. They have small holes that keep out debris and allow water to flow through them. However, the holes on micro-mesh guards are much smaller than those on regular mesh guards, allowing them to keep out even small debris. While they require professional installation and cost more than DIY gutter guards, they need less maintenance. These guards are available for the five- and six-inch gutters.
Reverse-curve or Surface Tension
Reverse-Curve or Surface Tension are made from metal or plastic. Unlike other gutter guards that allows water to flow through the gutter, this type forces water to flow over the gutter and around a downward curve before dropping into the gutter beneath. Leaves and debris then slide off and onto the ground below.
Revere-curve gutter guards are more difficult to install on your own because they must be positioned at the same angle as your roof, which can be especially tricky for steep roofs. They’re also expensive and visible from the ground. However, they come in various colors and keep out most debris, even in the toughest weather conditions. These guards are available for the five- and six-inch gutters.
Brush gutter guards resemble large pipe cleaners that fit into your gutter. When these guards are in place, large debris collects on top and water trickles down and out through the gutter downspout. While this gutter guard type is easy to install, small debris such as pine needles can easily get stuck in the bristles, forcing you to completely remove the gutter guard to shake those pieces out. Typically, this guard works best for industrial and commercial gutters. These guards are available for the five-, six-, seven- and eight-inch gutters.
Foam gutter guards are another inexpensive and easy-to-install DIY option. They require sticking a wedge of foam into the gutter to keep out large debris. However, debris can easily build up on the gutter guard rather than inside the gutters, and they must be completely removed to clean. These guards are available for the five-, six-, and seven-inch gutter.
The most common DIY gutter guard to install is the foam guards.
This guard is typically easiest and quickest guard to install on your home. The foam guards are push down into the gutter, then each foam guard will butt to each other. Some foam guards will have to be cut or trim to fit in specific areas and corners. The most common tool needed to install the foam guards is a scissor or razor knife. Also, remember when completing any DIY project to use proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
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