Do Gutter Guards 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.
Gutter Guards Work—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 clogging, 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 or worse, the cost of major home repairs. Many homeowners realize too late that clogged gutters can cause serious, expensive problems with your property.
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.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Gutter Guards?
4 Advantages of Gutter Guards
There isn’t much of a debate about the benefits of gutter guards. The advantages, after all, are numerous with few drawbacks. Some of the advantages of professionally installed gutter guards include:
- Gutter guards cut down on the need for maintenance. While gutter guards won’t 100% eliminate the need for maintenance, you won’t have to worry about clogged gutters for longer. In wooded areas, clogged gutters can be a year-round concern. Gutter guards can reduce that recurring stress.
- Gutter guards reduce the risk of damage to your home and property. Water runoff and build up from clogged gutters can do a lot of damage to your home. Gutter guards can make a significant difference in how much can build up in your gutters, allowing for water to go where it’s supposed to instead of causing roof or foundation damage.
- Gutter guards are safer to clean. Precariously balancing on a latter while manhandling a garden hose isn’t necessary when cleaning leaves off of gutter guards. A long brush is all that’s needed to remove leaves that may accumulate on top of the guards.
- Gutter guards can increase home value. Professionally installed gutter guards can actually increase your home’s resale value. The correct type and style will need to be considered, but if done correctly they can make your home more appealing to potential buyers.
4 Disadvantages of Gutter Guards
There are a few disadvantages to consider before investing in gutter guards for your home. It is, after all, a financial investment that could pay off or could cost you down the road. Here are the things you should consider before installing gutter guards:
- Gutter guards don’t offer 100% protection from clogs or debris. While they drastically reduce the number of leaves, twigs and debris that wind up in your gutters, they don’t stop smaller particles and you’ll still eventually need gutter cleaning done. Gutter guards might make that a more cumbersome task for homeowners to do themselves.
- Gutter guards aren’t always very attractive. If your home’s resale value is a priority, then it’s best to consider gutter guards that are an ideal fit for your home and minimize their appearance on your gutters. Leaves can accumulate on top of the guards, so maintenance in the form of professionals or a quick sweep with a brush tool will be necessary.
- Gutter guards may void your roof warranty. Perhaps the biggest factor to consider with installing gutter guards is if you have a warranty on your roof. Certain types of gutter guards can void your warranty because of how they are attached to your roof. It’s essential to make sure that your gutter guards are the right fit for your home, and that they won’t put you at risk of paying out of pocket later when your roof is damaged.
- Gutter guards can make cleaning your gutters more challenging. While gutter guards are a great way to reduce the need for maintenance and gutter cleaning, they don’t eliminate the task altogether. Removing the gutter guards to clean gutters and downspouts can sometimes be troublesome or, if improperly done, result in damage.
While some of these disadvantages are minor, a voided roof warranty can be serious. It’s important to consult with professionals when considering installing gutter guards and use that expertise and experience for installing them. We can help you select the right gutter guard product for your home and install them so that your roof warranty is valid for any future damages that may occur.
Interested in having gutter guards professionally installed? Click here to get a free quote! We’re happy to help you be proactive in keeping your gutters clean and your property healthy.
Do Gutter Guards Eliminate Maintenance?
Some gutter guards and installation companies will promise a maintenance-free product that you can install and forget. But, this isn’t true and it’s wise to be wary of those claims. 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.
Are You Getting the Right Guards?
You can have gutter guards professionally installed, but you can also buy them online or at hardware stores and install them 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. Your gutter guards can do more harm than good if not placed and secured well. 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 blocking large debris from clogging the gutter. However, small debris gets caught in the sponge. Seeds can sprout, and bacteria 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.
Are There Problems With Gutter Guards?
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 increases 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, but we can help you with the question: do gutter guards work for your home? Our professionals at Labor Panes are your best option 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!
Frequently Asked Questions about Gutter Guards
Are gutter guards really worth it?
This answer can vary across different homeowners, but in general, gutter guards are typically worth the investment. They are a proactive way to ensure that clogged gutters and water runoff don’t damage your home, and can reduce the amount of year-round maintenance required for most homes.
What are the disadvantages of gutter guards?
Incorrectly installed or the wrong type of gutter guards may cause more damage than they prevent. For some homeowners, the appearance of gutter guards can take away from the value of a home and can potentially create issues with home warranties if the right product and installation techniques aren’t used.