Carrying out maintenance and cleaning your gutters is a seasonal activity for most people, depending on where you live and how much foliage you have around. And this is important for the life of your home, as your gutters collect and channel water away from your roof, home, and it's foundation.
However, because most gutters are just open to the air and have no coverings, they tend to become home to rodents, and insects, as well as act as a collection plate of sorts for dead leaves, twigs, and other debris.
Even if you've never had to deal with removing the remains of a dead animal stuck in your roof, you might have encountered a surprised snake or other undesired guest.
Enter: gutter guards, in the form of inserts, reverse curves, or screens.
While your choice will depend on your needs, there are some general pros and cons to installing guards on your gutter system. If you’re thinking of investing but are unsure, we aim to help you better understand the choice you are about to make for your home.
Pros of Gutter Guards
Gutter guards act as screens against debris, preventing the pile-up of debris in the gutters. This is important because excess debris can put considerable weight on the gutter, resulting in weaker joints, soffit, and even fascia. There’s also the issue of the debris becoming home to reptiles and rodents. This is particularly important if you reside in a place where you have lots of reptiles and foliage. Open gutters are attractive places to make a home for a variety of species of flora and fauna.
Having a gutter guard in place will, first and foremost, protect your gutters from these sorts of things and allow a clear channel for water to flow away from your home. This open channel is critical to the function of your gutters, as the weight of trapped water or ice can become extreme. Prolonged exposure and stagnation can cause corrosion and wear out seams, even cause the system to fail entirely. This ultimately leads to costly repairs.
Cons of Gutter Guards
While gutter guards are amazing and capable of eliminating the bulk of your debris, the reality is that they won't stop everything. Depending on the type of guard used, there will usually be some debris that can still become trapped or build up. For instance, screens left for too long will end up trapping larger sized debris, while inserts may allow smaller debris to accumulate.
Installation of another part on top of your gutter system can also provide its own challenges. The easiest gutter guard you can install is the insert. Screen and reverse curves are often more technical and time-consuming operations, often requiring more labor -- particularly in the case of reverse curves.
Bringing it Home
The specific solution that works best for your home is going to depend on your roofline, the surrounding foliage, and the weather patterns in your area. The reality is that the design of your gutter systems, and any guards designed to assist them, needs to be tailored to the kind of punishment it's going to see. You'll never be able to forget about seasonal gutter cleaning, contrary to any claims you might hear to the contrary. But if you pick the right system and guard for your home, you can cut down on maintenance and repairs considerably -- and better protect your home, and your foundation, from the elements. If you’re not sure which works for you, check with The Gutter Experts and get their advice on what system will protect your investment for the life of your home.