Many homeowners would do anything to avoid the tedious (and possibly frightening) task of cleaning out the gutters. After all, who wants to spend a few hours up on a ladder to clean muck out of a gutter? This is where the appeal of gutter guards comes in. Gutter guards are designed to keep muck and debris out of your gutters, so you can avoid the painstakingly difficult task of regular gutter maintenance. But are they really worth it? Before you decide to buy, here are some things that you should know.
Cost of Installation
There are five different types of gutter guard, including nylon, mesh, foam, reverse curve, and a bottle brush. Depending on the type that you purchase and the quality, the total price after installation can cost anywhere between $700 and a few thousand dollars. The price alone would be enough to deter some homeowners. However, if you contract with a local company, such as, Aerotech-The Gutter Experts, to clean gutters for you once a year, then you will still probably end up spending less in the long run than you would by purchasing a high-quality gutter guard system.
Effects on Your Gutters
Another benefit of gutter guards is that they can improve the longevity of your gutters. They do this by preventing rust and rot caused by debris and moisture in your gutter, thus extending your gutter system’s life. Unfortunately, heavier gutter guards can cause sagging- which defeats this advantage. Gutter guards are also not protected from all types of damage- even something as simple as leaning a ladder against the system for half an hour to hang Christmas lights can cause damage. Some types also allow ice and snow to accumulate during the winter, which can cause gutters to sag, or even break. The exception of this is heated guards that take care of this buildup. The problem with this is that heated models can put quite a dent in your pocket book!
How They Affect Debris
The effectiveness of gutter guards depends on the type and quality that is installed. In many cases, however, they are effective in keeping most of the larger debris that can clog your gutter from entering your gutters in the first place. The downside of this is that smaller debris, including tree seeds, can get caught in the lining of the gutters. Because you probably will be relying on the gutter guard system to protect your gutters from debris, you may not notice these tree seeds until they have already started to sprout. This can be very detrimental to your system and even cause fast-growing trees to ruin your entire gutter system.
The majority of homeowners do not like to do maintenance on their gutters, and that is their reason for purchasing gutter guards. While the amount of maintenance is significantly less than that of gutters without guards, maintenance is still required. You should still regularly inspect the health of the gutter guards, as well as your gutters. Additionally, you may need to clear snow and ice during the winter, brush off accumulated leaves during the fall, and watch carefully to be sure that your gutter guards are functioning to their full capacity.
If you think that spending money for the purchase and installation of gutter guards can stop you from the tedious task of cleaning your gutters, think twice. While adding guards do have obvious advantages over a gutter system alone, they also have several disadvantages that you must consider. Think about the pros and cons of gutter guards very carefully before you decide that they are the right choice for your home.
About the author:
Lautaro Martinez is a homeowner and freelance writer who contributes articles and insight into improving and maintenancing your home cost effectively.