Archive for May, 2018

Do Gutter Guards Really Work

We wondered, do gutter guards really work and what are the cash savings if any from installing these guards?  The principal is that water running down your roof carrying debris will be separated by the gutter guard. The water going into the eaves trough will be carried into the downspout. Debris will be washed over the edge and down onto the ground. Without a guard, annual cleaning is needed to avoid situations like the one shown in the picture. The gutters quickly fill up if you have trees nearby.

If you do not clean the gutters, dampness remains in the gutter causing mold and can cause the roof to become spongy and rotten under the shingles. Gutter cleaning could cost from $100 to $200 or even more depending on how many  feet of gutter you have. With lots of trees you may have to have them cleaned twice a year. Over 10 years, that’s $2000 assuming that you hire someone to do the work for you.

Do Gutter Guards Really Work

There are several different types of gutter guards. in situations with heavy rain, most will cause the water coming off the roof to just wash over the gutter and onto the ground. If you do not have heavy rains very often, this may not be an issue for you. Depending on the gutter guard you choose, there still may be a need to clean debris off of the guards and on one case to remove seeds that can embed themselves and sprout. Here are the different types of guards and specific issues you should consider for each in addition to those mentioned above.

More Information

  • Reverse Curve Guards – These are typically made from metal or vinyl and sit over the gutter opening. They essentially form a cover that allows water to slip around the guard but prevents large debris from coming to rest in the gutter. High volumes of water will simply overshoot the gutter and fall to the ground below.

  • Slit Gutter Covers – These are a variant of the reverse-curve and usually include one or two recessed slots that increase the amount of rainwater that can flow into the gutter. These systems also struggle to manage heavy downpours like the simple recurve system.

  • Sponge Guards – This approach places a sponge that is shaped to conform to the inside of your gutter. Water flows through and since the mass of the sponge fills the gutter space, large debris cannot accumulate. The real downside is that small debris particularly seeds can can get caught in the sponge and sprout.

  • Metal Screens – These curved screens come in short sections and fasten onto the outer lip of the gutter.  They are inexpensive and easy to install but are susceptible to clogging because the opening size in the mesh catches small debris.

  • Micro Mesh Gutter Guards – Micro mesh guards consist of a support frame and a filtering mesh material which ranges from fine to micro mesh. The advantage of micro mesh technology is that they provide the best flow through characteristics and do not clog with small debris. While their performance is superior the only real drawback is that the systems are more complicated to install.

How Much do You Want to Spend

They all come at a price, some more expensive than others and some are easier or difficult to install. Based on the concerns expressed for each it is obvious that some level of maintenance will still be required.

Before you invest in gutter guards, compare the cost of installation including materials. Consider annual maintenance from time to time. Compare with the cost of just having your gutters cleaned out once or twice a year. If you are ok with climbing ladders, factor the do it yourself cost as part of the comparison.


Should You Install Gutter Guards

Should you install gutter guardsAs a homeowner I’ve always wondered  should you install gutter guards in my eaves trough? I have always cleaned out the eaves trough at least once a year and sometimes twice a year. They’re always seem to be an accumulation of leaves, keys from the maple tree in front of our house and other debris that lands on your roof and is washed into the eaves trough. When I was younger , it was no problem to get up on the ladder and clean out the stuff. Now that I’m getting older and inclined to climb less I’m wondering if I should invest in a gutter guard for the eaves trough or pay someone to clean it out?

Should You Install Gutter Guards

It will probably cost between $50 and $100 each time I have someone come over and clean out our eaves trough. If I do it twice a year that will be $200 a year. Over 10 years that’s $2000 that I will spend paying someone to clean out my eaves trough not taking into account any inflation.

I have about 50 feet of eaves trough that would need gutter guard installed. At $20 per foot, that’s about $1000 in total for the cost of the materials. I probably could install it myself at this point. But many people are unable or just do not want to get up on a ladder to install something like a gutter guard in the eaves trough. Installation of the eaves trough would probably take a couple hours. Conservatively it would cost roughly $200 to install for a total cost of $1200 compared to paying $2000 over 10 years.

The gutter guard seems to be a clear winner, however there are other points to consider. Not all gutter guards are made the same way. If they’re not installed properly debris will still build up on top of the gutter guards. The gutter guard must be aligned with the slope of the roof. Rain water must wash any debris off of the gutter guard.

Overflow

There will be some overflow onto your garden, driveway or whatever’s underneath your roof. Some water will not drain through the gutter guard and will simply flow over the gutter guard. This will happen in severe and heavy rain storms.

Since we just had our tree removed, I have decided not to install the gutter guard. I probably will get them cleaned once a year. Which will cut my costs in half and make it much cheaper than having gutter guards installed and risking that I will still have to have debris removed from them. Each consumer should evaluate their own situation, understand the costs involved in your location. Make your own decision using these kinds of guidelines and thought process that I went through for myself.


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