The gutter system is to prevent rainwater from leaking into your house which, can damage the walls and also interiors by creating moisture which can be damaging. A gutter is simply a channel made from aluminum or plastic that takes the rainwater through a pipe connected to it far away from your house so that rainwater can not damage your house if you install rain gutter and secure with gutter cover or installing gutter guards. But the leaves, dirt, debris, or even bird drops can block the gutter channel which, then overflows or sags as a result it loses its purpose to channel rainwater away from your house. That is why a gutter guard is used.
Gutter guards are simply meant to prevent dirt or debris from clogging the gutter system. There are many types of gutter guards available in the market. But the first gutter guard concept came into people’s minds after inventing the gutter system. Because it was painstaking to continuously do gutter cleaning to remove leaves or dirt as they clogged the gutter channel and let the rain leak into the house and its foundation. They started thinking of a way that would protect the gutter system from any blockage and also let the water flow smoothly without any blockage.
In the 1950 and early 1960, some manufacturers created gutter guard shield with large openings to help the house owners from tedious cleaning of the gutter system. But sadly, it failed to do so. In 1970 a new design was introduced which, was called the reverse gutter guard system. This reverse guard would let the water pass through it and let the debris fall away from the gutter. This was also not good enough to do what it was meant to do. But this design made every house owner realize the importance of owning a gutter guard.
Following this interest, many more gutter guard designs were introduced in the market in the 1980s and 1990s. But again these failed to fulfill their purpose properly. This made people frustrated, and they lost faith in this gutter guard concept. After a few years, a new design called micromesh gutter guards was introduced. This somehow worked well to let rainwater flow without any hindrance while it trapped the leaves or debris from slipping through the gutter system. Many gutter guard designs are available nowadays some are made of plastic some are made of aluminum. Aluminum gutter guards are more durable than plastic ones. This article will help you to understand, are gutter guards or gutter screens worth the money.
Basic gutter guard types:
You can find the following gutter guards mostly in the market.
- Foam type: It is simply foam made from polyurethane that is directly placed in the gutter. It allows rainwater to slowly flow through the gutter and stops the dirt from getting in.
- Brush type: These are brushes with bristles that catch the dirt and let the water flow in the gutter.
- Metal guards: These are metal sheets with holes in them. They can easily block the leaves and let rainwater flow. But small debris can pass through the holes, which can be problematic.
- Reverse curve guards: These surface tension-type guards let rainwater flow smoothly while letting the leaves and debris drop down without letting them accumulate in the gutter system. But the problem with this guard is they tend to lift the roof shingle, which may void your roof warranty.
- Micro-Mesh guards: These guards are made from superfine steel mesh with barely visible tiny holes that block any debris and leaves while letting the water flow without creating any blockages. These are the most popular and best types of gutter guards.
Are Gutter Guards worth the money or not:
Without gutter guards, you have to clean your gutter periodically. With gutter guards, this cleaning becomes less frequent. But yet you have to clean it. Because when dirt and leaves accumulate on the guard eventually, they can cause water overflow, which simply voids the purpose of the gutter guards. So to clean the gutter you have to remove the guards and clean it, then again have to reinstall it. Which if done by professionals will cost a high price.
Gutter guards can not completely block any debris or dirt, and you can not frequently check your gutter as it is covered. While some small debris may pass through the guard and still accumulate inside your gutter. These may cause leakage of the pipe or break the gutter eventually. It is not effective against heavy rainfall. As the water flow becomes overwhelming even the guards with larger holes fail to channel the water to the gutter without getting overflowed. In case of cold weather, it also fails to serve its purpose properly as ice particles set on the guard by blocking holes which will eventually make the gutter system obsolete.
Gutter guards also put extra load on the gutter. The gutter is lightly built. Adding a gutter guard may damage it, which will cause a huge repair cost. The guards are not cheap either. So it means not only they are expensive but also there is a possibility that they can damage the entire gutter system which will lead to more expenses. Not only that if neglected then this will cause damage to your house which will cost more. So it is not only expensive but also almost inefficient in this sense.
Another thing is some gutter guards can cause the void of roof warranty if they are installed by lifting the roof shingles.
Gutter guards are not at all great for your gutter system. What it simply slows down the frequency of cleaning your gutter. It is not a good idea. This can eventually damage the whole gutter system and also damage the house by letting overflow of water. The cost of cleaning a gutter with guards on it is huge. As the cleaner has to remove the whole gutter guard and then have to reinstall it again. So the best option is to be responsible and check your gutter system frequently and keep it clean.
Cleaning the gutter system with a professional will be a lot less without the gutter guards. Plus it would be easy to find out any problem in the gutter system. Hopefully, by getting through this article, you will have the answer to your question “are gutter guards worth the money?”