Pros & Cons Of Using A Gutter Guard

by Admin

Rainwater often brings elements along with it, such as leaves and sticks that clog the gutter. That’s why professionals recommend gutter guards. Gutter guards are structures to prevent the entry of debris and leaves into gutters and the clogging of gutters. These guards filter out debris and other elements and ensure the proper flow of water through the installed gutters. It is also referred to as gutter screens, helmets, and gutter covers.

If your gutter demands cleaning two to three times a year, then there is a need to look for some better alternatives. Gutter guards are the best solution for homeowners who need frequent cleaning of their gutters. It acts as a cap or liner over gutters and blocks all kinds of debris from entering the gutter system. Installing gutter guards will reduce the mess and make your cleaning job easier. Along with this, it saves you money in the long term as well. Keep reading to learn what types of gutter guards exist on the market and how they are different from each other, so you can choose the best one for yourself.

Benefits Of Gutter Guards

The home’s gutter system collects water from the roof and channels it effectively through the pipes. But if the gutter system gets clogged with debris and dust, it will not allow proper water flow. This results in damaging the foundation of the roof, and in severe conditions, it can start leaking through roofs.

Such a situation increases the chance of mold formation and damage to the substructure. Sticks, twigs, leaves, and other such things clog gutters and downspouts. Because of this, homeowners need to offer frequent cleanings of their gutters. Therefore, installing gutter guards is important for keeping gutters clean and free from buildup.

1. Saves Time: The installation of gutter guards is very beneficial as it saves you time from repeated cleaning. After the installation of gutter guards, all the debris, leaves, sticks, and dust do not enter the gutter. And if you need to clean it once a year, it will take very little time and effort.

2. Saves Money: A good and properly installed gutter guard helps an individual save money, as you only have to invest in it once at the time of installation. Plus, after installing gutter guards, you don’t have to invest in hiring any professionals to clean the gutters, which will save you a lot of money as these professionals charge a high fee since this is a dangerous and difficult task.

3. Prevent Blockages: Once you install the gutter guards in your roof you will find that it will help you in preventing any blockages in your gutters. During heavy rainfall, many people face the problem of overflowing gutters, which may be due to the clogging or blockage in the guards, so gutter guards can help you avoid this problem. Along with this, gutter guards act as a barrier between debris, needles, seeds and roof dust particles that may get stuck in the gutter that can lead to blockages.

4. Stops Pest Infestations: Once the gutter guards are properly installed, they will help you stop insects such as mosquitoes, cockroaches, and spiders from entering your gutters. These insects usually enter the gutter guards when there is standing water in your drainage channel, but installing gutter guards helps you prevent this issue. Along with this, it will also help you avoid any health issues that you might face due to these vermin and pests.

5. Offer Fire Protection: Gutter guards can also help you prevent your house from catching fire. Gutters are usually filled with leaves and debris, and these substances catch fire very quickly and spread as well. There are different types of gutter guards that help you stop leaves and debris from entering the gutters and collecting in a place, which may lead to serious issues. According to some studies, metal gutters and gutter guards should be used in areas where the risk of fire is high.

Gutter helmets ensure water flows easily through gutters. There are a variety of gutter guards available, and each of them works differently. As they all have some upsides and downsides, you should choose the best one for your home.

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Types Of Gutter Guards Available For Home

You will find gutter guards in a variety of materials, sizes, and features. The pricing of each guard varies with its materials. Have a look at some of the popular gutter guard types and decide the best one for your home.

1. Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards

Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards

Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards are made up of metal sheets, and they have thousands of tiny holes. The size of the holes is 50 microns in diameter. It appears like metal or PVC plates and gets fitted easily on the top of gutters. Micro-mesh gutter guards can be installed on all types of roofs and gutters. You will find that gutter guards are available in stainless steel and plastic formats, so you can go for whichever suits you best. But you will find that stainless steel gutter guards are always preferred over plastic ones.

These small holes are the best for keeping out all the debris, needles, leaves, and other materials that can lead to clogging the gutter and only letting water enter the gutter guards. Tiny holes do not get clogged with leaves, seeds, and needles. Also, this gutter guard is durable but requires occasional cleaning. As pine needles do not enter the mesh cover, these gutter guards will be a suitable option for you if your home is located near trees.

Pros
  • Superior Clog Prevention: The unique design of micro mesh gutter guards helps to block tiny debris such as seed pods, needles, and roof dust particles from entering the gutter, which may help in the prevention of clogging of the gutter guards.
  • Durability: Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards are made of stainless steel. This is one of the best benefits that it offers, since these gutter guards last for many years and require very little maintenance. These are some of the best-known gutter guards for a lifetime.
  • Low Maintenance: Once you have installed these gutter guards, you will find that they require less cleaning as compared to the old traditional ones. You have to spend very little on its cleaning since you need to clean it very few times.
  • Warranty: Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards are a type of gutter guard that come with yearly warranties and some brands even have lifetime warranties, so choosing this gutter guard can be one of the best options. Once you are installing these, you need to spend one time on the installation after that you can enjoy the overall benefits for a lifetime.
Cons
  • Expensive: Micro-mesh gutter guards are one of the most expensive guards since they are made completely of stainless steel. But if you are looking for cost-effective micro-mesh gutter guards, you can go for plastic micro-mesh gutter guards. These also have a warranty of up to 5 years.
  • Difficult to Install: It is quite difficult to install the micro-mesh gutter guards, so you may require a professional to do this. Proper installation of these gutter guards will help them function properly without any water overflow or detachment during heavy rain.
  • Water Flow in Heavy Rain: The main disadvantage of these gutter guards is that if it rains heavily and the gutter guard that you have installed is of poor quality, then there may be chances of water overflowing from the gutter guard. So avoid installing very fine or low quality gutter guards in your homes.

Not Ideal for All Climates: Micro-mesh gutter guards are not considered an ideal option in different weather conditions. If you live in an area where there are heavy snowfalls or a lot of pine needles, then this is not beneficial since snow will cover the mesh and it would be difficult to remove the pines from the gutters.

2. Foam Gutter Guards

Foam Gutter Guards

Foam gutter guards, also popularly known as gutter sponges, are a type of gutter guard that can easily adjust itself as per the shape of the gutter. The foam gutter guards block all the debris from entering the gutter. With the pores of these gutters, only water penetrates. The forms are mostly made of polyether or polyurethane. Foam gutter guards are the easiest to install, and you can easily install them without hiring professional gutter guard installers.

It is available in different lengths, so you can easily choose one according to your requirements. You will find that the size of these wedges is up to eight feet long and six inches wide. You can adjust these wedges as per your requirements by cutting them with scissors. It is quite easy to install them, as you just need to push and bend them, and they will be easily inserted inside the gutters. The cost of such gutter guards is minimal.

Pros
  • Easy to install: Foam gutter guards are very easy to install, and you do not require any expert to install them. For the installation of these gutter guards, you require very few tools since you simply need to cut them as per your gutter size and fix them, and then they will function properly.
  • Affordable: These types of gutter guards are one of the most cost-effective ways to protect your house from any type of gutter guard issue. Form gutter guards use form as their main component, and this is usually an inexpensive material. So this makes it the cheapest way to protect your gutter.
  • Blocks large debris: As you know, the foam gutter guard completely fixes into the shape of your gutter, preventing leaves, sticks, and other big chunks of debris from entering the gutter. This is easily done, as gutter guards act as a barrier and block all these things from entering the gutter. 
  • Easy cleaning: Foam gutter guards can be easily cleaned, as you can take them out at any time for cleaning. It is very easy to clean this since you only need to wipe the foam sheet using this algaecide chemical. You just need to do this once or twice a year.
Cons
  • Needs frequent replacement: You will notice that the foam gutter guards need frequent replacement since the foam tends to lose its original condition over time. This usually happens in harsh weather conditions or in sunlight. So these gutter guards might crack and become soft, which could lead to blockages.
  • May not handle heavy rain: Foam gutter guards are not suitable in places where there is heavy rainfall. This is because during heavy rainfalls, water can overflow the gutters since foam cannot absorb a lot of water at the same time, which will lead to the destruction of the foam.
  • Can trap small debris: You will find that the foam gutter guards have pores on them, so along with water, some other particles such as needles, seeds, debris, and small leaves can easily pass through. All these things, when collected together, can lead to the clogging of your gutter.

Short lifespan: Foam gutter guards have a very short life span; even the best quality of foam can also last only up to 3 to 5 years, depending on the weather conditions. The foam gutter guard does not have a UV coating on it, and it leads to cracks and even shrinks it in many cases.

3. Brush Gutter Guards

Brush Gutter Guards

As the name suggests, this gutter guard comes in bottlebrush form with heavy-duty bristles. Brush Gutter Guards are made up of stainless steel or galvanized steel wire in the center and have extending black polypropylene bristles all over them. The average size of brush gutter guards is usually 1 meter in length and 12 centimeters in diameter. It is very easy to fix this gutter guard, as you can easily lay down a long bristle bottle brush gutter guard. It keeps large debris away.

The best part is that the gutters remain dry as the spiles of the guards allow proper air circulation. It is a good way to protect your gutter, as it helps you avoid the problem of rusting. Also, with less maintenance, you will enjoy debris-free gutters. You only have to remove the gutter guard and shake, and you are all set. Because of this, it is one of the most popular gutter guards for residential spaces.

Pros
  • Affordable: It is one of the cheapest ways to protect your gutters. You can even install this type of gutter guard yourself, which will save you the expenses that you otherwise had to give to a professional. Along with this, the material and tools that you require to install this gutter are very cost-effective.
  • Easy to install: The installation process of the brush gutter guard is very easy since to install it you do not require any professionals. If you think it is difficult to reach the heights of the roof, then you can plan to hire a professional for it so that it works properly.
  • Low maintenance: This type of gutter guard requires very little maintenance since there are fewer chances of blocking or large debris entering the gutters. Hence, the overall maintenance required for this type of gutter guard is very low. It is a good way to protect your gutter as compared to other uncovered gutters.
  • Improved airflow: This is a unique gutter guard where you will find that air passes through it and helps the gutter stay dry. The ventilation system allowed by the brush gutter guards helps you prevent the gutter from rusting and moisture building.
Cons
  • Cleaning challenges: Cleaning the brush gutter guard is a difficult thing since the leaves, dust, needles, debris, and other particles stick in the bristles of the brush. You first need to remove the entire structure of the gutter guard and then clean it.
  • Not foolproof: The biggest disadvantage of a brush gutter guard is that there is no proper way through which you can block unwanted things from entering the gutter. Here, you will find that debris, needles, and roof dust particles can easily enter the guard, which can lead to the clogging of the gutter guard.
  • May not be suitable for all climates: This type of gutter guard is not suitable for different climates. It is avoided in some parts, such as places that face heavy rainfall and heavy snowfall and areas where leaves shed. Since all these things will directly stick to the brush, it will require frequent cleaning of the gutter guard.

Fire risk: If you are planning to use brush guards in areas that are prone to wildfires, then this can be one of the worst choices to make. Since the bristles used in brush gutter guards are highly flammable, they pose a hazard to any situation that you are not even expecting. So avoid using these in areas that are prone to wildfire.

4. Screen Gutter Guards

Screen Gutter Guards

Screen gutter guards, also known as gutter filters and gutter covers, are one of the most commonly used gutter guard types. Screen gutter guards are made up of polyether foam, nylon filaments, and metal. These gutter guards have an aluminum wire or powder-coated steel wire that allows proper flow of water into the guards, and their mesh screen easily catches all debris and leaves.

The most effective advantage of these gutter guards is that they are easily adaptive to all types of roofs, making them one of the best options for everyone. The best thing about screen gutter guards is that they are lightweight, budget-friendly, easy to install, and easily available. The most effective advantage of these gutter guards is that they are easily adaptive to all types of roofs, making them one of the best options for everyone.

Pros
  • Easy installation: It is easy to install these gutter guards since you can do it yourself without hiring a professional. The installation process of these gutter guards is simple, as you just have to clip them to your existing gutters. Doing this easy task may not require you to hire an expert.
  • Reduced cleaning frequency: One of the most effective benefits of these gutter guards is that a very little blockage occurs in them. Since the structure of these gutter guards helps block all the leaves, needles, and other large debris that can be a cause of blockage, this will reduce the amount of time that you will spend cleaning them.
  • Lower maintenance costs: Since these gutter guards have very few blockages, this helps them to increase the overall lifespan of these gutters and hence prevents any type of repair or replacement. Once repair and replacement costs are decreased, the overall cost of maintenance is automatically decreased.
  • Relatively inexpensive: Screen gutter guards are comparatively less costly as compared to other types of gutter guards. So this is considered an effective way by a lot of people since, through it, you can protect your gutters from leaking, clogging, or any other type of gutter-related issue.
Cons
  • Can overflow in heavy rain: Screen gutter guards are not used in those areas that face heavy rainfall. The reason behind this is that these gutter guards have small holes in them, which do not allow large amounts of water to pass through them quickly, and this leads to the overflow of gutter guards.
  • Not foolproof: These types of gutter guards are not a sure short way of protecting your gutters. Although these gutter guards can block large debris, they are not effective in controlling small things like pine needles, seeds, and roof dust particles from entering the guards, which may lead to clogs with time.
  • May affect aesthetics: Screen gutter guards do not have a very attractive look. For some people, it does not look good to go for these types of gutter guards. So they usually go for other types of gutter guards that look good and have a classy appearance.

May require additional cleaning: There are different types of screen gutter guards, and each of them is made of different materials. Along with this, the dust and debris in your area also affects the overall cleaning process of the gutter guards. So, in such cases, you may need to remove the screens to clean the gutter guards and prevent blockages.

5. Reverse Curve Surface Tension Gutter Guards

Reverse Curve Surface

It is an old form of gutter guards that are somewhat hundred years old. Over the years, this gutter guard has experienced several improvements. Now, gutter guard manufacturing companies are improving their performance and durability. Reverse Curve Surface Tension Gutter guards are made with curved sheets of plastic or metal material that can be easily installed in your gutters. The rounded hood of these guards creates surface tension, guiding the rainwater downward and through the opening.

Water flows easily from the nose of the edge into the gutter. Leaves and debris get stuck at its curved edge. It is termed a reverse gutter guard because water gets collected from the top side, and then, due to the surface tension of the curved surface, water naturally flows into gutters. This type of gutter guard requires proper installation; no DIY gutter guard installation is successful for this particular type of gutter guard.

Pros
  • Low Maintenance: The maintenance of these types of gutter guards is very low since very little debris enters the gutter and cleaning takes place very frequently. Moreover, the design of these gutter guards is made in such a way that leaves do not enter the guards.
  • Reduced Clog Risk: In this gutter guard, large debris and leaves do not enter the gutter, and even the small debris that might enter falls off, and the water flows freely into the gutters. And this entire process minimises the blockages and clogging that can cause damage.
  • Durable: The material through which these gutter guards are made is long-lasting so they have good durability and work efficiently for years. Along with this, these gutter guards come with a warranty as well.
  • Aesthetics: You will find that the design of these gutter guards is very unique and appealing since, when you look at the house from the ground floor, you will not be able to see any debris from there. This makes the house look good and attractive.
Cons
  • Costly: Reverse-curve gutter guards are generally more costly as compared to other gutter guards. This is because they have a unique design and structure. Along with this, it requires professionals to install them, which will increase the cost of the installation.
  • Can overflow in heavy rain: If you stay in a place where you face heavy rainfall, then these types of gutter guards are not a good option for you. Since the water can overflow from them and spill all over the gutters, creating a mess everywhere.
  • Small Debris: In this type of gutter guard, there are chances that tiny debris like pine needles and roof dust particles can still enter the gutters from the opening of the gutter, and hence, this in the future can lead to any type of clogging of your gutter guards.

Pests can enter: This type of gutter guard has openings on the edges, and this can be the main reason for insects such as mosquitoes, cockroaches, and spiders to enter. The entry of these insects can lead to pest infestations and some health issues as well.

Conclusion

Gutter guards are effective in blocking out large debris, preventing clogs, and extending the lifespan of your gutters. Along with this, they prevent the entrance of dust, dirt, and leaves. We hope that now you have an idea about the different varieties of gutter guards. You can choose the most reasonable type according to your needs and requirements. The only right way is to consider all the reasonable factors, such as region, climate, and pros and cons of a particular gutter guard. But keep this point in mind: even if you install the best or most expensive gutter guard, it will not be completely maintenance-free.

⇒  How Much Does Gutter Guard Installation Or Replacement Cost Sydney 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

The main disadvantage of gutters is that they require frequent maintenance, which increases their maintenance cost. Along with this, proper installation of the gutter is very important for its effective functionality. Near the gutter, stagnant water can also collect, which can lead to clogging and pest infestations.

Yes, it is very important to clean the gutter guards frequently since you will find that as time passes, small debris like pine needles, seeds, and dirt can get through or accumulate on top of the gutter guards, which can lead to clogging of the gutter guards. So keeping the gutter guards clean is very important.

Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards are one of the best gutter guards that can protect your gutters from clogging, as they can efficiently block small debris like pine needles and seeds from entering the gutters. They are made up of stainless steel, so they are more durable and effective than the other gutter guards.

Yes, there are a lot of alternatives to the traditional gutter guards that you fix at your home for managing the water that is running out from the roof. Some of them are drip edges, drip paths, underground rain chains, above-ground rain chains, ground gutters, French drains, and many more.

Not having gutter guards can be a good option in some areas where there is minimal rainfall or the homes have excellent natural drainage. Along with this, houses that have flat roofs do not require any type of gutter guard since there are no slopes to direct water towards the gutter. However, gutter guards play a very crucial role in directing rainwater into the gutters. But having a gutter in a house mainly depends on the location where you live.

Yes, gutters can damage the roofs in many ways. If they are not properly installed, they can be easily pulled off the roof in case of heavy rainfall. Other possibilities include the clogging of gutters, due to which the roof tiles might get damaged.

Depending on the type of gutter guards you are using, the time period to which they last varies. Along with this, the weather conditions also affect the durability of gutter guards. If you go for a gutter screen, it may only last up to 2 to 4 years, but in the case of reverse-curve gutter guards, they can easily last for 5 to 10 years. The most durable gutter guards are integrated mesh gutter guard systems, which last for 10 to 20 years.

Yes, water may stand in gutters. It usually happens at the time when there is clogging in the gutter guards. You will find that during this time, pest infestations also take place as insects such as mosquitoes, cockroaches, and spiders get collected, causing a lot of health-related issues.

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