Gutters are an extremely important part of your home. When they fail to work properly, the results can be disastrous. Cleaning gutters can be a hassle, though, so many homeowners put off the chore until they simply can’t ignore it any longer. Gutter guards protect your home from water damage by preventing debris from settling into your gutters in the first place.
What are gutter guards?
Gutters move rainwater away from the home to prevent damage to the roof or foundation. While it’s vital for water to flow unobstructed through the gutters, they can be difficult and dangerous to clean. Gutter guards are covers designed to prevent large debris such as pine needles, leaves, and other objects from entering and clogging the gutter system. Keeping your gutters clear avoids serious risks to your home, including
- Water pooling on the roof, which can cause leaks
- Water accumulation at the foundation, which can undermine a home’s structural integrity
- Excess humidity
- Mold growth
By preventing the accumulation of debris that can clog your gutters, you are also protecting your home from these more serious kinds of damage.
Types of Gutter Guards
Gutter guards vary in type and construction materials. The main types of guards available are screen, micro mesh, reverse curve, brush, and foam. The materials used will vary depending on the type and quality of the guard. Common materials include stainless steel, copper, aluminum, plastics, and foam. Each gutter guard type and material has its own pros and cons.
Screen and Mesh
The type of gutter guard determines how it prevents debris from entering the gutter. Screen, mesh, and reverse curve guards are installed on top of the gutter to prevent large debris from blocking water flow. Screen and mesh basically work the same, but mesh can block smaller debris such as sand and seeds. Micro mesh has been identified as the easiest to clean and the best for preventing clogs. Paying attention to screen size will tell you of what types of debris you can expect a mesh guard to keep out of your gutters.
Reverse curve guards are made of light metal or plastic. They are curved to channel water into the gutter while leaves and other debris fall to the ground.
Brush and Foam
Brush and foam guards are placed into the gutter so smaller debris may enter and flow with the water, but larger debris is blocked. Brush and foam guards are the easiest type of guards for DIY installation. While easy to install and clean, these types of guards have to be replaced about every two years.
Pros of Gutter Guards
The benefit of installing guards is that they reduce the need for cleaning and prevent clogs, which can cause significant and costly damage to a home. As a result, gutter guards can help prevent damage to the roof and foundation and reduce the risk of mold growth. Additionally, gutter guards can deter pests that may attempt to nest in the gutter, which can also create clogs.
Risks of Gutter Guards
Installing the wrong type of gutter guard can damage your gutter system. A metal screen or heavier guard can put too much weight on some gutter systems. Also, reverse curve guards can exacerbate ice dams by trapping snow and ice inside the gutter. It’s best to contact a professional to install your guards and answer any questions you have about the best type for your home.
Cleaning Your Gutter Guards
Debris will collect on the top of gutter guards. While gutters without guards should be cleaned at least twice a year, those that are equipped with gutter guards can typically get by with professional cleaning once every two years, as long as the top if the guard is relatively free of sticks and leaves.
Gutter guards are a great solution to protect your home from water damage. You can avoid the hassle of cleaning out your gutters multiple times a year by contacting a professional about installing gutter guards on your home. For more tips on how to protect your home, subscribe to our blog!