Gutter Guards: Do they work?

DSC_0021-300x199Don’t get caught up in the hype before you read this important article.
Gutter cleaning is my favourite task, said no-one, ever. So it comes as no surprise that a host of solutions in the form of guards and screens are advertised to prevent your gutters from clogging and save you from what could be a dangerous household task. However not everyone agrees they are worth the time, cost, and effort to have them installed.
Gutter guards and screens are sold on the premise that they will perform three jobs for the homeowner:

1. Keep leaves and debris out of the gutter.

2. Catch all the water.

3. Be able to be maintained easily by homeowner

 

Gutter-guard-300x300Gutter guards fall into two categories: gutter covers and screens. Screens are wire mesh, nylon or foam, cheap to install. Screens do help with the necessity of cleaning but some debris is small enough to pass through the screen. This material decomposes while holding moisture in forming a sludge that after time causes blockages.

 

Covers sit onto of your gutters and limit water flow because they cover the gutters. during heavy rain these systems are shown not to catch the water, but cascade over the edge onto the ground below. In mild to heavy conditions virtually all guards and screens fail to do all three tasks effectively.

Pros of using gutter guards:

• Prevent birds and rodents from nesting
• Eliminate need for frequent cleaning
Cons of using gutter guards:
• Can be expensive. $700-several thousand dollars.
• Not 100% foolproof. Require additional cleaning
• Some systems practically ineffective, shop carefully
• Leaning a ladder (as in hanging Christmas lights) against a guard will dent and reduce effectiveness –

Homeowners shouldn’t expect that gutter guard systems will be maintenance free, and some guard systems are harder to clean once clogged. In some cases the cost of the gutter guard system can cost more than several years of professional gutter cleaning. Depending on your situation, such as the height of the home or amount of trees around the home it may make more sense to hire a professional cleaner.