Do Gutter Guards Work?
Yes—And Here's Why You Need Them.
Your gutters are a catch-all for twigs, dirt, roof runoff, and other outdoor grime. Without regular cleaning or protection, your gutters fill with heavy muck that can cause serious damage if left unchecked. Your home's gutters are an investment meant to protect your home by diverting rain away from your house, but when clogged, gutters won't work as well as they should. And with too much clogging, your gutters can bend or worse, detach from your roof. Gutter guards are one way to protect your home from damage. But do gutter guards work? The answer isn't simple and there are advantages and disadvantages—professionals agree that leaf gutter guards don't provide foolproof protection against clothing, but they do drastically decrease annual maintenance. Let's take a look at how they work and if they are right for your home.
How Do Gutter Guards Work?
Gutter guards are also known as gutter screens, helmets, or covers, and they’re placed over the tops of your gutters to prevent leaves, twigs and other debris from entering—they also allow water to drain away from your house properly. Ideally, these guards will save you time and money in the long run by reducing maintenance costs.
It seems like gutter guards are a perfect solution to keeping your gutters from clogging. Plus, with a cover in place, you'll never have to clean gutters again. Right?
Not so fast. Gutter guards can be a good tool if properly installed and maintained, but they're not worry-free. As a rule of thumb, it's important to note that gutter guards don't provide foolproof protection against all debris. However, they do help you cut back on yearly upkeep, cleaning, and maintenance.
Beware of Overpromises
Beware the promise of never having to clean your gutters again. In reality, gutter covers don't keep every bit of debris out. If you live in a rainy, windy area, twigs and roof debris can still find a way into your gutters.
With a gutter screen or cover, it might be harder to see when that debris piles up. As your gutters become clogged, water can back up underneath your shingles and cause roof leaks and damage. If you have large trees and a lot of foliage hanging over your gutters, gutter guards can help block larger falling leaves or twigs. But, you shouldn't depend on them to save you from routine cleaning.
You'll need to clean the top of your gutter guards throughout the year to make sure water still drains through to your gutters, and you'll need to remove and clean any debris that makes it into your gutters.
Beware the Wrong Guards
You can have gutter guards professionally installed, but you can also buy them online or at hardware stores and install yourself. While a DIY solution can save money, it's easy to purchase the wrong type of gutter guards that aren't best for your home. If you do it yourself, be sure you measure and install correctly. If not placed and secured well, your gutter guards can do more harm than good. To minimize the risk of improper installation, trust professionals to install your gutter guards. We'll recommend the best type of guards for your home and install them the right way.
What Are the Types of Gutter Guards?
There are several main types of gutter guards. Each provides a different solution depending on what's best for your home.
- Metal Screens: This type of guard is easy to install by fastening onto the outer lip of the gutter. They're also inexpensive, but they are susceptible to clogging. Small debris may collect in the opening of the mesh screen.
- Micro Mesh: These gutter guards are a support frame with a filtering mesh material. The mesh ranges from fine to micro mesh which provides the best flow with minimal clogging from small debris. However, these systems are harder to install.
- Reverse Curve and Slit Guards: This type of gutter guard forms a cover over your gutter. Water slips around the guard, but large debris can't make it in. However, these guards fail during heavy rain, and they aren't designed to handle the volume of water during a major downpour.
- Sponge Guards: Instead of a cover, sponge guards sit inside your gutter. Water flows through the sponge while it blocks large debris from clogging the gutter. However, small debris gets caught in the sponge. Seeds can sprout, and mold and mildew can grow.
No matter which gutter guards you choose, learn about the pros and cons of each. This knowledge will help your guards last longer and function better.
Beware the Problems
Your gutters work together with your roof design to channel water away from your home. Without keeping an eye on your gutters and guards, problems can cause damage. Despite the promise of debris-free gutters, gutter guards tend to collect debris on top of the covers. When debris collects, the weight increase on your gutters and you run the risk of them bending or separating from your roof. When snow and ice hit the Greater Charlotte area, your gutter guards can also buckle under the weight of these elements sitting on top of your gutter covers.
It's also important to note that cleaning your gutters and guards can be hazardous. Removing gutter guards for a thorough cleaning can cause ladder falls, and depending on the materials used in your guards, you'll also deal with sharp edges. If choosing a gutter guard system, prepare yourself for a different kind of maintenance to keep your gutters and roof working together in harmony. You might save your gutters from large debris, but gutter guards add different challenges that need a watchful eye to prevent expensive damage.
Do Gutter Guards Work for Your Home?
There's no blanket answer to the question. But we can help you answer the question: do gutter guards work for your home. Labor Panes are the professionals for gutter installation and cleaning. Guards can reduce the amount of maintenance needed each year. But they are not maintenance-free. Our team can provide a personalized assessment of your gutter system. We'll recommend the best solution for gutters, gutter guards, and ongoing maintenance and cleaning. Labor Panes serves the Greater Charlotte area to make sure your gutters serve your home well. Hear from some of our satisfied customers and contact us today!