Gutters can be a source of problems for your home. If you don’t regularly clean them out, you will have gunk, leaves, and other debris clogging up the gutters. One solution is a gutter guard. These components are designed to keep all debris out of your gutter, potentially saving on cleaning and repair costs. Are these leaf guards worth the price? Let’s look at the benefits and disadvantages of these gutter guards.
What Are Gutter Guards?
Gutter guards are also called leaf covers. There are several brand names for these guards, such as Leaf Guard. They are marketed to homeowners who have many large trees around their properties. Leaves and debris can clog up the gutter system. That water buildup could cause damage to the fascia boards, leading to foundation and structural problems. These guards are designed to keep out the leaves, saving time and money.
There are several types of gutter guards. Plastic gutter guards are a popular option, but long-term sun exposure can weaken the material. Heavy tree limbs can also tear the gutter screen. When leaves and debris pile up on the cover, they can collapse into the gutter.
Aluminum guards are also called gutter helmets or covers. These guards are durable, lightweight, and affordable. However, like plastic materials, aluminum can corrode and degrade over time. These gutter guards can get damaged from overhanging tree branches or a hail storm.
Another option is a micro-mesh gutter guard. With these guards, you can see into the gutter with the screen. These guards are susceptible to corrosion and rust. Plus, they clog easily and need to be replaced. Nylon micro-mesh screens can separate water from debris using surface tension, but they can jam with heavy rain.
How Much Does It Cost To Install a Leaf Gutter Guard?
Before choosing a gutter guard for your home, you need to consider the upfront costs. For a typical home, these gutter guards can cost between $2,400 to $7,900. The average price for a gutter guard installation is $5,150. Like most projects, the costs can vary with a professional installation or high-quality materials. You should compare that to the prices of a professional gutter cleaning service, which can range from $100 to $250. With those numbers in mind, it would take you 16 years to recoup the cost of the gutter guards.
Gutter Guard Advantages
There are plenty of advantages to placing gutter guards on your home. Flexibility is one benefit of these components. Many brands offer design options that can match the style of your home. You can find a gutter guard that meets both your needs and budget.
In addition to that, these gutter guards are designed for exterior use, meaning that they can last for a long time. In many cases, these guards have a lifespan of 10 to 25 years. If you are concerned about cleaning, that is not a problem with these guards. While you still need to maintain these guards, you will not have to break out the ladder and climb up to the roof every season.
Gutter Guard Disadvantages
Now that you know the benefits of gutter guards, let’s look at the disadvantages. Gutter guards are designed to restrict the amount of water entering the gutter. However, that can cause a few problems. The water can still fill the channel and flow down the home with a heavy downpour. As a result, the rainwater can flood the area and seep into the basement and foundation. On the other hand, some gutter guards are too restrictive and can prevent even a small amount of water from entering the gutter, leading to slow drainage and water overflow.
Gutter guards prevent leaves and branches from entering the gutter, but they cannot stop everything. Small gaps in the guards can become covered by leaves, restricting the water’s flow. The gutter guard can even make it difficult to clean when there is a clog in the system. Pine needles are known to find their way into the guards, causing blockages.
When it comes time to clean the gutter, you might want to leave it in the hands of a professional. With that, you can ensure that all debris is removed from the system. However, even a professional cleaning will not stop the water from cascading over the gutter during a heavy downpour.
Finally, you need to check your roof warranty. You can void some warranties if you improperly install a gutter guard system. For example, the K-style gutter guard goes under the roof’s shingles. When this system needs to be installed, the front row of the roof shingles must be lifted. That could void your shingles’ warranty, especially if that section develops a roof leak or sustains damage.
Is a Gutter Guard Right for You?
While gutter guards are not a good fit for every home, you need to determine whether they will work for you. If you don’t want to clean the gutters throughout the year, then a gutter guard could be a great choice. Keep in mind that you will still need to complete maintenance on them at least twice a year. When it comes time to choose a gutter guard, there are several options to fit your home’s current design.
Your gutter guard system could become clogged during heavy downpours and overflow with water. Generally, the guard will keep out most debris, but pine needles can slip through the system. A professional must also install these systems so that you don’t have issues with warranties or roof damage.
Before you install a gutter guard, consider all of these points. For some homeowners, these guards are not worth the high price. On the other hand, skipping the cleaning chores is enough reason for some homeowners to have them installed on their roofs.
Ask Us About Gutter Guards
At RGB Construction, we can provide you with information to help decide whether to install gutter guards or not. We can also help with roofing, window, and siding issues. Schedule a consultation by calling 856-264-9093.