Cleaning out the gutters is a messy, miserable, and smelly job. Unfortunately, as a homeowner, it's something you have to do at least once or twice a year. Gutters on your home are basically a water management system for your home. They are needed to protect your home from water and the damages it can cause. Clogged gutters prevent the water from going where it should: away from your house. Without the protection of gutters, rain water and melting snow pour directly from the roof to under the shingles and/or on the ground, where it weakens the foundation of your home. The good news is by installing gutter guards you can prevent the gutters from clogging without having to spend time and energy cleaning them.
What Are Gutter Guards?
Gutter guards are also known as gutter filters, gutter covers, or gutter screens. Gutter guards are a device that is installed over the gutters. They are designed to keep water flowing freely into and through the gutters, while preventing leaves and other debris out of the gutter, which reduces the risk of clogged gutters and overflowing water. Gutter guards basically fall into two categories: gutter screens and gutter covers. They available in a variety of materials and styles, including:
- Mesh gutter guards, which are sheets of metal with tiny holes that are attached to the roof shingles and cover the gutters.
- Nylon gutter guards are especially beneficial in cold and snowy climates because the design prevents the snow from building up and freezing.
- Reverse curve gutter guards are designed to force the water downward and direct leaves and large debris to fall to the ground.
- Foam gutter guards, which are actually made of plastic, fit directly into the gutter, which helps to divert debris from getting into the gutter.
- Bottle brush gutter guards are made of upright-facing bristles. The bristles are installed inside the gutter, so debris will lie on top of the bristles, but the water flows away.
The Benefits of Gutter Guards
One of the best benefits of gutter guards is that they save you time and energy because you will no longer have to spend time cleaning the gutters. Although some debris may eventually collect on top of the gutter guard, it is much easier to clean than digging into a clogged gutter to remove massive amounts of leaves and debris. Other benefits include:
- Avoid insect and vermin infestations. Gutter guards minimize the risk of stagnant water sitting in the gutters, which ultimately prevents vermin and insects, such as mice, bats, squirrels, birds, spiders, and mosquitoes, from using the gutters as a breeding ground. They also work as a barrier to prevent small animals from finding their way into your home through fascia boards and roof spaces.
- Reduces the risk of ice dams and gutter freezing. When water gets trapped in the gutters during the winter, it may freeze and result in ice dams, which can cause significant damage to the roof.
- Prevent premature corrosion and rust. When wet leaves and debris is allowed to sit in the gutters, it increases the risk of corrosion and/or rust forming in the gutters. Gutter guards prevent leaves and debris from accumulating in the gutters, which also helps to extend the life of your gutter system by preventing rust and corrosion.
Gutter guards vary in cost, depending on the size of the gutter system, the style of guards, and the type of material they are made from. When considering gutter guards, it is best to talk to a professional that can recommend the best type for your home's gutter system as well as the type that will work best for your budget.