Gutters fill with leaves and debris throughout the year. It is a pain to clean them out so some people will add gutter guards to the home and we wonder if they will work? Are gutter guards a waste of money? The gutter accumulates the debris and becomes heavier, and can cause costly repairs. In all honesty, they are a waste of money. The best thing to do is leave the gutters open and clean them regularly.
Let’s take a look at what gutter guards are and why you don’t need them.
What are Gutter Guards
Simply put, gutter guards are installed on top of your gutter system. The idea is this keeps large debris like leaves from entering your gutters and causing a clog. The part that is forgotten by most homeowners, is the need to clean the gutter system regardless of having a gutter guard set up. This can take a lot longer as you actually have to remove the gutter guards. Consider the type of gutter guard you would install prior to committing money to this project.
Different Types of Gutter Guards
Believe it or not, the choices for gutter guards are the same as your choices for a gutter system. It is important to matchup the gutter guards and gutters themselves with the same material and color. Here are the material choices for a gutter and gutter guards.
- Plastic-not a good product. Cracking during cold and fading during warm only weakens the product.
- Metal Mesh-the mesh clogs easily and since it is metal, can rust in the elements. This requires constant replacing.
- Aluminum-this is the best option. It is lightweight and with the right heavy-duty paint, it can last a long time.
As you can see, plastic and metal mesh gutter guards are a waste of money. If you feel the need to install any gutter guards, make sure that you utilize the most effective materials that can last the longest. Reducing the amount of time you spend on the ladder cleaning the gutters is key.
How Much Do They Cost To Install
Even though it may seem like gutter guards are a great idea, there are many other projects that would benefit from you spending money on. The basic cost of a gutter guard ranges from $.50 to $10 per foot. This range is so vast due to the material that you select to use. On average, a gutter guard system can cost you upwards of $2,000 for a complete project. That is typically the cost of the original gutters.
Gutter Cleaning Gets More Expensive
First off, anytime you add additional materials to an already installed product, you risk changing the original intentional use of that product. Adding gutter guards to your gutter system sounds good, but isn’t the best solution. Consider that adding gutter guards creates more cleaning for you the homeowner as well as the potential for bigger issues around your roof.
If the gutter system is not cleaned properly, the weight of debris, mildew, and moss can begin to take over your roof and stress the gutter system. This causes substantial damage to the roof and requires an expensive cleanup, thus making the gutter guards a waste of money.
Other Recommended Maintenance
One area of recommended maintenance is to take a look at a roof inspection checklist. This is because the gutters are attached to the roof and you will be up there cleaning them. Some of the areas to look at on the checklist are gutters, vent pipes, downspouts, look for moss growth and lichen.
Did a bad storm just come through the area and not sure if your roof was damaged? There are different things you can do to inspect your roof. Those are checking the shingles (if it is a shingle roof), inspecting penetrations and flashings, flashing boots, flashing around the walls, and also the attic for leaks.
Lastly, if you haven’t added downspouts to your gutters, this is very important. Downspouts will carry the water away from the home and help keep water from seeping into the house. Add on an extension so the water is taken at least 10 feet away from the home if possible.
When Should I Call A Professional
When it comes to anything related to getting onto a ladder, it is a great idea to reach out to a professional. Calling a professional gutter installer to manage your gutter situation is key. Typically, you do not have the tools to install a gutter system and it’s not the best idea to go climbing onto your roof. Call your local home inspection team first as they can inspect your roofing system and recommend a great gutter system professional.