Clogged, debris-filled gutters can be a homeowner’s nightmare! When leaves, pine needles, and other junk build up, it blocks your gutters from doing their job. Suddenly, rainwater can’t flow away from your house like it should. Instead, it pools up, backs up, and causes many problems: severe water damage, pest infestations, mold growth, flooded basements, and more!
Installing gutter guards is an easy fix to keep your gutters clear and prevent these headaches. In this guide, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about gutter guards – what they are, how they work, the different options, prices, and more. We’ll also explain why RoofPRO is the #1 expert choice for gutter repairs and maintenance in Maryland!
What are Gutter Guards?
Gutter guards can go by a few names – leaf guards, gutter covers, protective screens, etc. They are meshes, screens, or covers that attach right over your current gutters. These guards act like a barrier to keep leaves, pine needles, roof grit, and other junk from getting into your home’s gutters. However, with all that debris blocked, rainwater can still flow through freely; this stops clogs in their tracks, so your gutters work as they should!
There are lots of different gutter guard designs made from various materials. There are metal screens, plastic mesh, foam filters – all kinds of options! The right choice depends on what type of tree debris you deal with, how much debris falls on your roof, and what you feel comfortable spending. A good gutter professional can look at your home and help pick the perfect guards.
Debris and Leaf Guards for Your Home's Gutter System
As stated previously, gutter guards sit atop your existing gutters, creating a protective barrier. This prevents debris like leaves, twigs, blossoms, sediment, moss, and more from entering your gutters. With debris build-up blocked, rainwater can flow freely into your gutters. Your gutter system will remain open and functional throughout the seasons!
What are the Benefits of Installing Gutter Guards?
There are many advantages to installing gutter guards on your home. Let’s explore a few of those benefits below!
Keep Your Gutters Functioning Correctly
The number one benefit of gutter guards is improved gutter performance. By keeping out clogging debris, your gutters maintain proper water flow. The system can work as intended, diverting rainwater safely away from your home.
Avoid Damage from Debris and Ice Build-Up
When debris builds up in gutters, it can get packed down under the force of water. Dirt and grime can also collect over time; this debris eventually hardens into a mass that clogs gutters and causes water to back up!
During winter, this debris accumulates and traps moisture, forming heavy ice dams that strain gutters immensely. The dams can pull gutters loose from the fascia board or cause them to sag and detach from drain spouts. Gutter guards prevent debris and ice build-up that causes this type of damage. By keeping your gutters clear, they can better protect your home.
Prevent Pest Infestations
Clogged gutters are prime real estate for pests like mosquitos, rats, spiders, and snakes. Standing water offers ideal breeding conditions for mosquitos, while accumulated debris provides nesting material for rodents and other pests.
Gutter guards can help prevent pests from accessing the food and shelter provided by debris-filled gutters. This deters infestations and helps keep pests away from your home!
Reduce Overall Gutter Maintenance
Gutter maintenance, like cleaning and repairs, is necessary when gutters clog and fail. But gutter guards can significantly reduce this hands-on maintenance by keeping your system clear throughout the year! You can simply inspect your guards occasionally rather than cleaning gutters seasonally or after storms. Maintenance becomes quicker and easier with guards installed!
Prevent Mold, Mildew, and Foundation Damage
Overflowing gutters can lead to problems like water pooling around your home’s foundation. This allows for mold and mildew growth, along with water that seeps into the soil and damages foundations! Gutter guards will keep your system running correctly, diverting water safely away. This prevents flooding and mitigates mold, mildew, and structural issues for your home.
What are Some Popular Types of Residential Gutter Guards?
With an understanding of the overall benefits, let’s look at some of the most common and effective gutter guard designs available on the market.
Plastic Screen or Smooth Gutter Guards
Plastic screen gutter guards are a simple and affordable option for many homeowners. They use a perforated screen material that allows water and heavy rain to pass through small holes while still blocking debris. Unfortunately, plastic screen guards are highly susceptible to animals chewing through them or wind blowing them off. This type is not as effective at blocking smaller debris or needles, which will eventually lead to clogging.
Mesh Gutter Guards
Mesh gutter guards use a fine metal mesh with tiny openings to filter debris. The mesh is often designed in a zigzag pattern that allows water to flow between the angles. Mesh guards provide excellent filtration down to the smallest debris particles, blocking everything except liquid water, which passes through the microscopic openings. Stainless steel micromesh is one of the best gutter guard materials available, boasting durability and providing superior debris-blocking capability.
Aluminum Gutter Covers
Aluminum gutter covers stand out as the best choice for gutter guards due to their effectiveness in protecting against various types of debris. They are securely fastened to the gutter with screws, preventing them from being blown off by the high winds. Furthermore, because they are made of aluminum, they deter animals from chewing through the guard, thereby preventing the creation of openings for debris.
Reverse Curve Guards
Reverse-curve gutter guards employ an S-shaped design. The curves act as a chute, guiding water into gutters while ejecting debris off the front edge. As rainwater follows the S-shaped path, it passes through the guard and into the gutter. Leaves and other large debris are unable to follow the tight curve, causing them to be pushed off in the process. The shape of reverse curve guards allows them to self-clean and shed debris effectively. However, smaller debris may still enter through the open front edge.
Bottle brush guards are plastic frames with attached bristles that hang into the gutter. The bristles allow water to pass but can block solid debris with ease. The bottle brush design traps some debris at the top around the bristles. However, fine debris can still get past the bristles and into gutters, so be aware that bottle brush guards may require occasional cleaning.
Foam or Sponge Guards
Foam gutter guards use a porous material that water can penetrate but debris cannot. The foam fits into the gutter trough and hugs the shape. The porous foam soaks up rainwater like a sponge, however, leaves, seeds, needles, and other debris are too large to fit into the pores, so they remain on top of the guard!
Sponge guards are an affordable option. However, the foam may compress and degrade over time, and any broken sections can allow debris into gutters.
FAQs About Gutter Guards
If you’re considering gutter guards, you may have some questions. Below, we’ll address some of the most common queries that our team gets about gutter guard benefits, installation, costs, and more.
Can I DIY Gutter Guards?
Homeowners have the option of installing gutter guards themselves in some cases. DIY guards may be possible if the gutters are in good condition without damage or sagging. Many clip-on gutter guard types can attach to existing gutters with screws or clips and are straightforward to install yourself. However, other gutter guard systems will integrate into the gutter itself. Proper installation requires the removal of gutters or insertion into the trough. This complex process is best left to qualified professionals.
Overall, professional installation is recommended for most homes. Experts have the skills to measure and fit guards to your specific gutter system correctly. They can also make adjustments to address any underlying gutter issues!
How Much Does Professional Installation Cost?
The price can vary depending on several factors, but you’ll likely have to pay somewhere between $4 to $8 per linear foot. What exactly impacts the total price tag? A few key things:
• Type of guards – High-end, heavy-duty guards cost more than basic plastic screens
• Labor time and complexity – More intricate rooflines mean more work and higher cost
• Gutter length – More gutters mean more guards, thus a higher overall price
Be sure to get multiple quotes from pro installers in your area. A few extra hundred bucks is worth it for the right gutter guard that will protect your home!
Are There Any Drawbacks to Getting Gutter Guards?
Gutter guards provide substantial protection for your home. But there are a couple of potential drawbacks to consider:
• Upfront cost – Guards can be viewed as an added expense rather than a protective investment in your home. DIY provides some cost savings, but professional installation is ideal for most homes.
• Professional cleaning – With some gutter guards in place, cleaning might require removal rather than reaching into gutters. This may mean hiring professionals periodically to take guards down for cleaning.
• Debris build-up – In areas with large amounts of tree debris, guards can allow some build-up on top of the gutter guards. This may require clearing off the top of the gutter covers, although this work is significantly easier than cleaning the inside of the gutter.
• Decreased flow – Badly fitted guards that don’t match the roof pitch or overlap gutters can reduce drainage capacity. Proper sizing and installation are critical.
Overall, some minor drawbacks exist. However, the substantial benefits and protection guards provide outweigh the potential downsides! Addressing vulnerabilities in your gutter system is essential for every home.
RoofPRO is a Trusted Exteriors Contractor for Homeowners
Top-Rated Gutter Repair and Maintenance Solutions
RoofPRO can offer homeowners full-service gutter repair and maintenance solutions. We provide regular gutter cleaning and maintenance checks to keep things running smoothly all year round. This preventative care catches any minor issues before they turn into huge problems! Your gutters will be in excellent hands with our complete repair, installation, and maintenance services.
Services for Roofing, Siding, Windows, and More
At RoofPRO, we are not just gutter specialists but your one-stop shop for all exterior home services. In addition to our gutter expertise, we also offer an array of property solutions. RoofPRO is proud to be your source for protecting and enhancing your home’s exterior; let us care for your roofing, windows, siding, and gutter needs!
Contact Us Today for a Free Estimate
Don’t wait until clogged and damaged gutters jeopardize your home’s structure. Stop debris in its tracks and protect your investment with gutter guards! Contact the pros at RoofPRO today for a customized estimate. We’ll inspect your home and gutters, explain your options, and provide pricing with no obligation.