There’s no doubt about it – rain gutters are one of the best ways to protect your home from potential water damage. But what about gutter guards? Do they add extra protection along with less maintenance? The pros and cons of gutter guards vary from one type of gutter to another They also vary according to the conditions around your home. Do you live in a forest? Do you live in a windy area or in a high snowfall region of the country?
You’ll find many types and designs of gutter guards on the market. Some are made of brushes that you simply place in your gutters or you can go with full-on mesh guards that completely cover the entire gutter and attach firmly to your roof and outside gutter edge. Also, gutter guards come in a range of materials, from PVC and vinyl to stainless steel, aluminum, and copper.
No matter the design and type you’re interested in, some manufacturers advertise that you’ll never have to clean your gutters again if you install their guards. So exactly what are the facts around maintenance, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of gutter guards?
At Spout Gutter Pros we share the pros and cons of gutter guards so you can make an informed decision.
The Pros of Gutter Guards
Depending on the type of rain gutters that are already installed on your home, the weather in your region of the country, and the conditions around your home, the many benefits to installing gutter guards are that they:
Come in Many Types and Designs
From custom-made guards that fit extra-large profile gutters to simple foam blocks that drop in the gutter, the choices are vast!
Help Prevent Debris from Accumulating in Gutters
Gutter guards do make a difference in reducing the accumulation of leaves, twigs, needles, pinecones, acorns, and other debris that typically enters gutters and downspouts.
Help Eliminate Frequent Gutter and Downspout Cleaning
Many people choose to install gutter guards so that they don’t have to clean their gutters as often. While there is no gutter guard that completely eliminates the need to clean your gutters, many designs significantly reduce the amount of cleaning usually required.
Help Prevent Nest Building
Gutters are a popular launching spot for vermin to set up housekeeping, then enter under your roof and eventually live in your home. Gutter guards deter rodents and vermin from building nests and raising their young in rain gutters.
Help Prevent Insect Infestations
When stagnant water sits in rain gutters, it provides a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, roaches, gnats, wasps, ants, and other insects. Gutter guards help eliminate water build-up and therefore insects can’t establish their homes.
Help Prevent Mildew and Mold Growth
Mold and mildew love getting a foothold in moist debris. Whenever debris doesn’t accumulate, there is far less chance of mildew and mold growth that is hazardous to your and your family’s health. Gutter guards help prevent debris from accumulating as a breeding ground for mildew and mold.
Help Prevent Water Damage
Clogged rain gutters cause water to back up under your roof, leak into the siding, and along window and door frames. Gutter guards help control debris build-up that causes overflows, keeping your home more protected from water damage.
Help Prevent Fires
In high fire areas, embers can easily ignite the dried debris that collects in gutters. Metal gutter guards help prevent embers from entering the gutter and can go a long way in keeping your home safe from fires.
Can be Installed on Existing Gutters
Almost every type of guard is designed to fit on your existing rain gutters. Most guards come in standard sizes that fit 5- and 6-inch gutters but custom gutters guards are also available for larger profile rain gutters.
Extend the Life of Rain Gutters
By preventing debris build-up and pooling water, gutter guards help prevent rust and rot inside rain gutters, allowing for rain gutters to last longer.
Add Strength to Existing Rain Gutters
Metal gutter guards, especially those that fasten under the first row of shingles and to the outside gutter edge, add significant stability and strength to existing rain gutters. This can be a real advantage for those who live in high wind areas.
Improves Home Value
When prospective buyers see gutter guards have been added to a home’s rain gutter system, they understand that the homeowner has taken added steps toward more protection to the home. A prospective buyer may also be attracted to the fact that gutter guards mean they’ll need to spend less time maintaining gutters. Some insurance companies offer premium discounts when certain types of gutter guards are installed.
The Cons of Gutter Guards
While there are many reasons why installing gutter guards can benefit you and your home, there are a few downsides that you should know about:
Tiny Debris Can Still Enter Gutters
Gutter guards don’t always prevent tiny debris from entering rain gutters. For example, seeds can enter many types of gutter guards and then sprout in the gutter. Soon, plants and small trees are growing up out of the gutter, blocking water flow and adding unnecessary weight to the gutter. Roof grime can also enter some guards and prevent smooth water flow.
Can Add to Ice Dam Problems
In areas of the country with high levels of snowfall, snow can build up on top of the gutter guards. When the snow freezes, the subsequent ice dam can cause multiple problems. Heated gutter guards are available to help prevent ice dams, snow build-up, and icicles.
Not 100% Maintenance-Free
Although gutter guards help prevent frequent maintenance, they still need occasional cleaning. The amount of cleaning will depend on the conditions around your home and the type of gutter guard you choose. Some have a vented design that encourages airflow around the collected debris. Once the debris dries out, it tends to blow away so gutter cleaning is kept to a minimum. Other guards that sit inside the gutter, such as brushes or foam, may require more frequent cleaning.
Can Add to Sagging
Gutter guards that aren’t properly maintained can cause your gutters to sag. If the guards aren’t cleaned, the additional weight of the debris build-up on top of the gutter guards can cause gutters to droop or bulge.
As you can see, there’s plenty gain by installing gutter guards. However, choosing the right type of gutter guard for your home is extremely important so that it will work effectively and meet your expectations. Check out all the options at Spout Gutter Pros and then when it’s time for installation, SGP can connect you with a licensed and insured gutter or roofing contractor near you who will do the job right.
Save time searching for a trustworthy and reputable gutter guard installer. Spout Gutter Pros has done all the vetting so you’ll only be connected with reliable experts who pride themselves in their professional work and great customer service. Ask for a fast free gutter guard quote now!