Gutters frequently become clogged by sticks, leaves, dirt, and debris that fall and fly around throughout the year. Over time, all of these things build up and can impede the ability of your gutters to collect water and direct it away from the home.
Cleaning the gutters in the spring and fall can keep this debris from causing clogs, thus allowing them to function properly. However, some individuals do not clean their gutters because they don’t want to climb the latter or they don’t have the tools. Fortunately, there are other options.
The affordable and safe option is the gutter guard. Gutter guards are designed to prevent debris from entering the gutters, which prevents clogs. By preventing clogs, water can flow freely through the gutters, down the downspouts, and away from the foundation of the home.
There are a number of guards available, but you have to have gutter guards that work well with the climate and your home’s architecture. Knowing the functionality of each gutter guard system will give you the knowledge you need to choose the system that works best for you.
Types of Gutter Guards
Gutter guards and hoods also reduce the amount of gutter maintenance that needs to be performed.
The different types available are:
- Reverse curve – A small opening moves water in a downward motion through the gutter, pushing off leaves before they can enter the gutter.
- Mesh – the mesh is attached to the roofing shingles and acts as a strainer as water enters.
- Nylon – For those who receive a lot of snow in the winter, nylon gutter guards can help prevent ice dams in the gutters. They also don’t require attachment to the shingles.
- Foam – Fitting over the top of the gutter, water trickles through while debris stays out.
There is a question as to whether or not using these gutter guards prevents having to get on a ladder twice a year. Some complaints have also come from homeowners saying that too much debris gets in or the water doesn’t flow through fast enough.
Slow flow can cause the water to run off rather than move through the gutter. This is why it is important to be mindful of your environment and to know the three categories of guards: inserts, screens, or reverse curves.
Inserts cost much less than the other types and are easy to install. The gutter is filled with a porous material that serves as a filter. The water moves through while debris is blocked. Inserts do have to be cleaned regularly, and small particles may still enter the gutters.
Screens are the most frequently installed. They fit over the top of the gutter to block debris while allowing water to enter. Screens are similar to those in your windows, so they will also need to be cleaned once in a while.
Reverse curves are somewhat more complex. The water is directed over a curve and into a tiny slit. Gravity goes to work and forces the debris to fall off of the roof. These systems require very little time on the ladder to maintain. However, the slit is small, and this means there can be drainage issues during heavy storms.
Cost and Installation Procedures
Foam gutter guards are typically the most affordable type, and the installation is simple. Screens can vary a great deal in cost because of the different types available. The ease of installation can also vary due to the variety, but the simplest type is attached to the gutters with tape or screws and only requires a few hours of your time.
The more advanced systems need to be installed professionally, such as reverse curves. Reverse curves are the most expensive and their prices can easily cost up to $30 per foot. Professional installation is ideal for reverse curves to ensure the best performance.
If you have any additional questions about which gutter guards are best to fit your current gutter system or need any gutter work done, feel free to contact me!