Benefits of installing gutter guards

Gutters are a great preventive measure against damage in your home but unfortunately, clogs and other problems might occur. Gutter guards are the perfect solution...

Benefits of installing gutter guards
A gutter guard installed on a roof gutter, above a white window panel.

Gutters are absolutely beneficial to any household and come as a great preventative measure against damage. However, cleaning them may not just be messy and tedious, it can also be dangerous; roughly 500,000 ladder-related injuries are estimated to occur across the US every year, with roughly 300 of them being fatal. One can thus be understandably hesitant to get up on the roof as regularly as needed. Still, not maintaining them properly may prove to be dangerous to one’s property as well; clogged gutters can damage the roof and walls, and subsequently even household items and furniture.

A solution to this predicament could be simple; gutter guards. However, many homeowners may still be debating the benefits of installing gutter guards – that is, whether they are worth the cost, time, and installation effort. Researching the subject can only be beneficial, then, and it may provide some answers.   

What are gutter guards?

Gutter guards follow a rather simple concept. As the name implies, they are engineered to protect gutters from dirt, debris, leaves, and other environmental byproducts that may clog gutters. Preventing gutters from clogging can, in turn, protect downspouts and underground drains, apart from the gutters themselves.

Gutter guards are made from various materials, such as;

  • Vinyl
  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • PVC

They also come in various types and structures, depending on markets. Those may include reverse curve, mesh, foam, and screen gutter guards.

In function, regardless of material and type, all gutter guards aim to protect gutters. That is, indeed, the core benefit of installing gutter guards, as it immediately results in reduced maintenance needs. A more thorough analysis of the inquiring homeowner can be found below.

Gutter maintenance

As mentioned above, the main benefit of gutter guards is that they prevent clogged gutters by blocking various types of debris from entering. In turn, they help reduce the amount of maintenance they would otherwise require.

That is not to say that gutter guards themselves don’t need maintenance, by any means. Debris will still accumulate on them, and they will need to be cleaned. Their benefit on this front is twofold; they reduce the amount of maintenance one’s gutters need, and they are easier to clean themselves. It is normally advisable to clean one’s gutters twice a year, if not more frequently for the cautious, but gutter guards can reduce this need somewhat.

Where unprotected gutters would soon be clogged by leaves and debris and run the risk of damaging one’s property, gutter guards stop such hazardous debris. They may thus save one the effort of having to unclog their system or the cost of having a professional offer this service. Gutter guards are also easier to clean; it is much easier to clean off debris that accumulates on them than it is to dig out debris that has entered a gutter system.  

Gutter water flow

Water flow through gutters can be inhibited by accumulated debris, in turn facilitating clogs. It is imperative to maintain regular water flow to help prevent this, which gutter guards are designed to do; some debris may still make it through, but it will be considerably less.

In some states, it has become increasingly common for households to have rainwater collection systems in recent years. Gutter guards will also have a visible benefit in that regard; collected rainwater will accumulate in the tank more quickly if water flow is uninhibited, and it will be cleaner and better-filtered. Extreme water flow during downpours and potential storm damage remain hazards to be aware of, of course, where gutter guards can only offer limited benefits.

Infestations

On the subject of water flow and potential contaminations, then, it is vital to address the matter of infestations. Especially in rural areas and more remote suburbs, but not exclusively there, infestations of vermin and insects are not entirely uncommon. Stagnant water is a primary factor that facilitates such infestations, and gutter guards come with the distinct, often overlooked benefit of preventing them somewhat.

Infestations most often occur when stagnant water and nesting material, such as accumulated debris, is present in gutters. Gutter guards actively prevent these factors, as outlined above, and thus make one’s rooftop a far less appealing breeding ground for vermin, insects, and other small animals. Gutter screens can also act as physical barriers against small animals, such as birds and rodents – such animals may not frequently nest in gutters themselves, but they may squeeze past gutters and fascia boards and settle into roof spaces.

It bears repeating that such issues are not exclusive to remote rural areas. They should, of course, be kept in mind if considering settling down in the suburbs as well, or any area where there might be forestation or more exposure to nature.

Corrosion and rust

Another frequent result of unprotected gutters, corrosion and rust should not be underestimated. From severe damage to one’s gutter system over time to mold and algae compromising the structural integrity of roofs, their results can be very serious. Gutter guards can diminish such risks somewhat as well.

Corrosion and rust naturally form over time, but moist leaves and debris stockpiled onto gutters increase the likelihood that they appear manifold. Gutter guards prevent such debris from entering the gutter system and are much easier to clean themselves – thus making it easier to prevent amassed debris that may create mold in one’s roofing. In turn, this means they can help protect one’s property, extending the life of the gutter system, while also preserving the value of one’s investment.

Freezing and water damage

Lastly, it is of utmost importance to mention freezing and water damage. Volumes of water that are collected inside gutters can cause severe damage to gutter systems during the winter months, extending as far as potentially breaking gutter sections away from houses. Among the many benefits of installing gutter guards, this may be the most readily visible one for colder climates.

Water overflows can cause much damage by themselves; from extensive structural damage to walls to stains on their exterior, all the way to potential damage to a home’s foundation. Accumulated debris can exacerbate the issue; blockages can prevent water from flowing through the gutter, causing it to freeze and create ice dams inside it. Compacted ice can also block water from flowing through and cause severe damage due to its weight alone. While gutter guards cannot fully prevent such occurrences, they can significantly reduce them by preventing gutters from clogging in the first place. Collected water may still freeze, but less debris will help alleviate the issue somewhat. Homeowners who intend to move are thus highly encouraged to research their destinations well in advance, consulting such professionals as allstatemoving.net to ensure a hassle-free relocation.