Why Gutter Guards Are a Good Investment
Many homeowners are frustrated by the number of tasks they have to do in the autumn to prepare for the winter. One task that many people dread is cleaning out the gutters. However, this is something that must be done, or you could end up with serious problems that may cause damage to your roof and your home.
Leaves, twigs, and other debris fall into the gutters and clog the system. Then when it rains the water has nowhere to go, so it spills over the gutter and can cause a nasty damp problem. In the winter, this can also lead to ice build-up.
Luckily, this problem has a simple solution. Install gutter guards. There are many types of gutter guards on te market, but Gutterglove products are the most popular because they are able to fit many different sized gutters.
A gutter guard fits over the top of your gutter, almost like a drain cover. The guard filters out leaves, twigs, and debris so that the only thing entering your gutter system is rainwater. This can free you from the task of cleaning your gutters every autumn. Gutter guards are unobtrusive and barely visible from the ground, so they won’t affect the aesthetics of your home or landscape. Since gutter guards fit on your gutter, there is no need for modifications.
Best Gutter Guard & Gutter Protection
Gutter guards may go by many names including waterfall gutter guards, metal gutter guards, rainfall gutter guards. The best gutter guards are made of a fine mesh stainless steel. The mesh is fine enough to filter leaves, pine needles, seed pods, grit from the roof and other debris. Another good material for gutter guards is lightweight anodized aluminum which is light enough that it does not put stress on the gutters, but strong enough to capture debris.
There are cheap gutter guards on the market, that are made of a thin support frame. These frames can collapse. The way they are designed can also lead the guard to droop into the gutter, which can lead to an accumulation of debris in a section of the gutter guard. If your guard is collecting debris, it can cause the same problems as you would have had if the debris was in the gutter itself. When you purchase a gutter guard, you want to make sure you buy a product that can hold up well, won’t droop and can be shaped to fit your home’s design. The gutter guard needs to hold it shape so that the debris sheds away correctly.
Ideally, the gutter guard material should have a thickness of about .03 to .1 of an inch. The thickness needed will depend on the amount of debris that falls on your roof. If you’re not sure, it’s always best to choose the thicker design, especially if your live in an area where there are lots of trees which can drop leaves, needles, and other debris throughout the year. A thicker guard will also last longer.
The guard frame will support the mesh which is needed to ensure small debris flows away from the gutter. A high-quality stainless steel mesh will last longer than many other materials because it will not rust, even under harsh conditions. If you choose a cheaper alternative made out of another material or a thin mesh, you may find that over time the guard will corrode and decay and you may end up having to replace it in a few years. You also run the risk of the mesh failing to collect the debris, which can lead to the same damage that you would encounter if you had no guard at all.
Are They Worth the Cost?
The experts at HGTV believe that gutter guards are most definitely worth the cost. With gutter guards, you will not need to climb up onto your roof to clean your gutters regularly throughout the year – this saves you time, and reduces the risk of you suffering injury. It also means that you don’t have to worry about the financial cost of repairing your roof if things go wrong. But you should know that gutter guards are not completely maintenance free – you will need to clean them occasionally. The good news is that if you choose the right type, thickness and pitch then you will find that you can go a long time between cleanings, so the maintenance burden will be minimal.
If you are going to buy them, make sure that you get them professionally fitted. This will ensure that you don’t end up with seeds and debris caught in your gutter, requiring more cleaning. A good professional fitting service will install your guards at the same pitch as your roof, ensuring maximum run-off, keeping your gutters clear and free.
If you opt for an ice-preventing gutter guard, choose one with just one cable – that is all you need to melt ice, and it will minimize the amount of power consumed throughout the year. Gutter guards can look expensive, but the total cost of ownership is minimal compared to the effort that they will save you long term.
Stop Ice Dams As Well!
In addition to stopping a build-up of leaves and debris, a top leaf filter can also stop ice from forming in your gutter. There are high-end gutter guards that are equipped with a single, low energy usage heat cable that will stop ice from forming in the first place – or melt ice that is already there, stopping it from expanding and damaging your gutter.
Look for a gutter guard that has a strong support frame that can be installed in the kind of gutter you have (not all gutter guards will fit a copper gutter well). An anodized aluminium channel frame will last for a long time and resist corrosion.
Choosing the Right Ice Dam Solution
While general purpose guards will do a decent job, the more specialist Leaf Blaster or Ice Breaker guards have a clear audience of homeowners, and it could be worth choosing one of those specialist models if you live in an area where ice is a problem or there are a lot of falling leaves at certain times of the year.
The LeafBlaster range in particular is interesting because of the unique design which slips under the roof shingles. The guard rests on the top of the roof deck or your tar paper, and clamps the gutter guard in place, keeping it stable. The guard is designed to match the pitch of the roof, ensuring that leaves flow over the top of it, not collecting and causing problems with your gutter.
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