Do you often spend your Sunday afternoon cleaning leaves, muck, sludge, and other debris from the gutter?
Without a doubt, cleaning gutters is a dreary and time-consuming job. But it is important, or else the accumulated debris, fallen leaves, twigs, and branches can clog the gutter, promoting mold and mildew growth.
Fortunately, gutter guards can save you the hassles of climbing a ladder and cleaning the gutters every season. Besides preventing clogs, they save your property from structural damage, and that’s why most people prefer investing in them.
If you’re thinking, “does gutter guard work?” then this guide is for you. In this article, we’ll walk you through the nitty-gritty of gutter guards.
So, take a seat and keep reading!
What Are Gutter Guards?
Gutters collect everything that falls on your roof, from twigs to debris. Without a gutter, water would fall on the roof and gush all over the property and pool around, resulting in leaks and structural damage.
However, the debris and grime that accumulate on the gutter can clog the gutter preventing water from draining, and this can result in the growth of mold and mildew, and roof damage. Moreover, clogged gutters can cause structural damage by not only bending but also by detaching from the roof.
Luckily, there are gutter guards available on the market that homeowners can use to protect their property from damage. Basically, they are metal, plastic, or mesh covers attached to the gutter and roof. While blocking debris, branches, leaves, and other grime, gutter guards allow melted snow and rainwater to flow without obstructions.
How Do Gutter Guards Work?
Also known as gutter covers, helmets, or leaf guards, they are placed on top of the gutter system to prevent branches, twigs, leaves, and other waste from getting inside. And by doing so, they make sure that the rain gutters remain clean so that when there’s a heavy downpour, the water drains away easily.
Besides saving maintenance costs, gutter helmets also save you from the hassle of cleaning gutters every now and then.
More often than not, people install gutter guards with the thought of never having to clean their downspouts again. That’s not right because the guards don’t offer foolproof protection against the elements or make your gutters magically resistant to rubbish that falls on your roof.
However, they prevent debris from hampering the performance of your gutters while also keeping down yearly maintenance costs.
Different Types Of Gutter Guards
Gutter protection systems are available in various types, and here’s a quick rundown of the best four designs available on the market:
Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards
Basically, these gutter guards feature a filtering mesh material along with a support frame. Moreover, the mesh is available in various ranges from micro to fine, which ensures optimal flow of water while preventing clogs, resulting in less gutter cleaning.
While most designs are easy to install, this one’s slightly challenging, so you’ll need professional help. Plus, these screen guards aren’t as durable as others and will need replacement almost every fall season.
Foam Gutter Guards
Much like swimming pool needles, foam gutter guards are essentially long tubes made of plastic material and slide easily into gutters. However, the water flow in this guard isn’t as smooth as on other ones.
Bottle Brush Gutter Guards
Slightly different from the rest, bottle brush gutter guards feature dozens of brush-like bristles that collect debris that fall on the system. As long as the bristles face up, water flows through the gutter downspout system and the debris buildup on the top. This way, you can clean the gutter system without any difficulty.
Designed specifically to fit directly into your gutter system, vinyl guards eliminate the need to be connected to the roof shingles. They have several recessed slots through which water enters inside them; however, they collect debris over time, hindering water flow to the gutter system.
Why Go For Gutter Guards?
If you’re wondering whether you should install gutter guards, here are a few advantages offered by them:
Prevent Your Property From Damage
Clogged gutters lead to water deposits and runoff that can end up damaging your home and property in unimaginable ways. However, you can prevent such damages to your property by installing gutter guards that let the water flow where it is supposed to, preventing any structural damage.
Installing Gutter Guards Can Increase Your Home Value
Another perk of installing a gutter guard in your property is that it increases its value, so you can make more bucks while reselling. However, you must be mindful of investing in the right system to avoid worsening the matter.
Since a gutter guard can make or break the look of your property, make sure you choose the right type and style.
Cut Down Maintenance Cost
It goes without saying that gutters call for regular cleaning, which adds to maintenance bills. One of the primary reasons that gutter guards have exploded in popularity is that they cut maintenance costs and save your precious time and energy.
Though they don’t provide foolproof protection, they prevent frequent clogging of gutters. Hence, you won’t have to climb ladders, don gloves for unclogging gutters every fall season. However, don’t forget that they still need a routine cleaning for proper functioning, so make sure you don’t fall short on that.
Gutter Guards Are Safe To Clean
Honestly speaking, climbing ladders to clean the gutter while using a garden hose is nothing less than a Herculean task. On top of that, it is very dangerous and can result in accidents, which is why you must install gutter guards as they are safe to clean.
Instead of a garden hose, all you need is a long brush to easily ward off leaves and other rubbish resting on top of the guard.
Drawbacks Of Installing A Gutter Guard
While there are plenty of benefits of having a gutter guard, there are a few drawbacks that you must consider before installing one. After all, gutter guards are more of an investment, which is why you must keep these points in mind.
Gutter Guards Can Invalidate Your Roof Warranty
If, at all, your roof is backed by a warranty period, then installing a gutter guard can invalidate it. Besides, the way the guards are attached to the roof also plays a role in nullifying the warranty of your roof.
And that’s why you should choose a gutter guard that is the right fit for your roof and gutters so that you won’t have to shell out extra bucks for repairing it.
They Aren’t Aesthetically Appealing
Homeowners must keep in mind that gutter guards aren’t aesthetically pleasing; rather, they are meant to prevent gutters from clogging. As a result, you’ll have a hard time choosing one for your property.
Since they aren’t attractive, you’ll have to make extra efforts to choose the right one, or it will destroy the look of your property. On top of that, you’ll have to make sure leaves don’t accumulate on them to save them from looking unsightly.
Cleaning Gutters Is Challenging
While cleaning a gutter guard is easy-peasy, we cannot say the same for gutters. That’s because a long brush will sweep off all the dust from the gutter guard, but you’ll have to take it down to clean the gutter.
Do Gutter Guards Work?
Honestly speaking, there isn’t any straightforward answer to this question, but they do protect your gutter systems from blockage. While they offer excellent protection against roof runoff, larger debris, they fall short in preventing seeds, pine needles, and small debris from slipping in the gutter.
So, once in a while, you’ll have to climb up the ladder to clear out debris from the gutter guard system. Having said that, they do save a lot of time that you would have otherwise spent while cleaning the gutter.
Weighing the pros and cons of gutter guard systems, we’d say that installing them depends totally upon the user’s preference. While you’ll have clean gutters, which means less manual cleaning, and less maintenance cost, you will also have to deal with the challenges they pose.
Summing It Up
On that note, we’ve reached the end of our guide on “does gutter guard work?”
Honestly speaking, installing gutter guards is a controversial topic; while they do a decent job preventing debris from clogging gutters, they can get easily damaged from overhanging tree branches. As a result, you’ll have to repair or replace them after every fall season.
Before we bring the curtains down, here’s a pro-tip – if you’re planning to get one installed in your property, make sure you consider the water flow rate and the type of debris that will fall upon it.
And don’t forget to consult a roofing professional like us as we will guide you in choosing the right guard and installing it properly without causing any damage to your roof.