Why Gutter Guards Are a Good Investment
Cleaning your gutters out is one of the more frustrating aspects of getting prepared for fall and winter. If you don’t do it, you could end up having serious problems, including your roof becoming damaged. Clogged up gutters are messy and dirty – and may cause ice build up problems once the weather begins to really get cold. If the gutters on your house get full and rain begins spilling out over your gutters, you could end up with a real nasty dampness problem on your hands.
Using gutter guards can help you easily prevent this problem from occurring. There are various kinds of Oshkosh gutter guards available in the marketplace, however the Gutterglove product is among the most popular and well known since it fits with many different gutter sizes.
Gutter guards eliminate the need for you to have to clean out your gutters. They fit on top of the gutters, acting like drain covers and filter debris out so that rainwater is the only thing that goes into the guttering system. The guards are very unobtrusive. You can barely see them from the ground, so they don’t impair the appearance of your property. They simply fit over the top of your gutters and no modifications are required.
Best Gutter Guard & Gutter Protection
You might have read about metal gutter guards, waterfall gutter guards and rainfall gutter guards. Stainless steel mesh is sufficiently fine enough so that not only are leaves filtered out, but also other debris like seed pods, grit from the roof and pine needles. The best gutter guards are made out of a lightweight material like anodized aluminium. It needs to be light enough so that stress isn’t placed on your gutter system yet strong enough for capturing debris.
Some cheap gutter guards have a thin and simple support frame. There is the risk that the frame will collapse, or if it does manage to hold up it could droop in the gutter. If the gutter guard is what is collecting the debris, then that’s not much better than having the gutter collect it. What is needed is something that holds its pitch well, won’t droop and can be shaped so that it fits any type of roof and hold its shape to ensure that debris gets shed correctly at all times.
You ideally want to have a thickness of approximately .03 to .1 inch. It will depend on the extent of debris that you expect to get. In general it is better to have thicker frames, but it is especially important when living in an area where lots of debris, needles and leaves accumulate all throughout the course of the year. Thicker guards can also be expected to last a long time.
A mesh is supported by the guards. This helps to ensure that small bits of debris also flow away. Make sure to use stainless steel mesh of high quality. It should not rust over the long term or in harsh weather conditions. Thin mesh is made out of fragile materials that are more likely to corrode and over time begin to decay and pit.
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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