Beginner’s Guide: Gutter Guards 101
For many homeowners, the importance of gutters and gutter guards is obvious, but this may not be the case for some. We will explain why a well-functioning gutter system is a must for all types of buildings. Let us first begin with the function of gutters.
Gutters are installed where the fascia boards meet the roof, and they collect rainwater to redirect it through the downspouts away from the house. This way, gutters protect the house's structure, basement, and foundation from water-related damage. Without gutters, rainwater would probably collect on your roof, causing severe damage, such as deterioration, mold, rot, or erosion. Accordingly, a gutter system can prevent all these risks that can damage your property. However, having a gutter system does not necessarily ensure the safety of your property. Your gutters should function well, which means they require maintenance and protection.
A well-functioning gutter system depends on three essentials: regular maintenance, a high-quality gutter type, and, finally, suitable gutter guards. Let us discuss the importance of each element one by one.
1. Regular Maintenance
Debris and leaves can cause blockage in the gutters, so you should regularly check your gutters and clean them properly. You should ensure that you have taken all the safety precautions, including having a secure ladder, helmet, and gloves. You should also ask for help from someone to check on you while working on the ladder. Also, you should have appropriate gutter cleaning equipment. Some of these tools are as follows:
A plastic bucket with easy-grip handles:
To collect leaves and debris from the roof and gutters.
To clean the roof and gutters from debris.
A thick plastic gutter scoop:
Scoop up debris from the gutters without scratching the gutters.
A hand trowel:
To scrape dirt from the gutters.
Once you complete the cleaning of your gutters, you should check whether there is any damaged area. Observing the water flowing through the pipes would be best to determine the gutter condition. If you find any signs of holes or cracks, reach out to a professional for repair.
It would be best to commit to a twice-a-year gutter cleaning; however, if your area is a high rainfall zone, your cleaning period may be more frequent. Although a regular gutter cleaning is a must, it does not have to be a difficult and recurring task. You can ease the cleaning process and reduce the gutter cleaning routine with a proper gutter protection system installed on the top of your gutters. We will be discussing gutter protection a little later.
2. Well-Known Gutter Types & Materials
Homeowners prefer various gutter types; the most popular ones are K-Style, Half Round, and Box Gutters. Here are the basic features of each type:
As generally used in historic or older style homes, half round gutters have a rustic look. Their rounded shape makes them easier to clean and less likely to clog. They are also less prone to rusting or corrosion. On the other hand, half round gutters are more costly and heavier compared to K-style gutters. Moreover, their installation requires time, effort, and proficiency.
The material of your gutter is another essential that you should consider while choosing a suitable gutter system for your home. Gutter materials are aluminum, copper, vinyl, and galvanized steel. The essentials of each material are as follows:
Aluminum Gutters: Aluminum is an affordable, lightweight, rust-resistant gutter material. There are aluminum gutters available in many colors.
Copper Gutters: Copper gutters are aesthetically more appealing and suitable for heavy-duty.
Vinyl Gutters: Although vinyl gutters are cheap and easy to install, the material is not durable enough, and it can bend easily.
Galvanized Steel Gutters: Galvanized steel gutters are strong enough to handle large amounts of weight. However, they are very heavy, meaning gutters may come loose more often.
3. High-Quality Gutter Guards
Before exemplifying some high-quality gutter guards, it is essential to understand why you should cover your gutters with gutter protection. As we have already discussed, having a well-functioning gutter system is necessary to protect your property from water-related damage. Although regular gutter cleaning as well as choosing a durable material and suitable type for your gutters, are crucial, these two alone are not enough to ensure a well-functioning gutter system. You should also ensure that your gutters are free from leaves, twigs, and some other types of debris that can cause blockage through the pipes. Unfortunately, regular gutter cleaning will not guarantee that your gutters will always be free from debris and dirt. That is why you need gutter guards to keep your gutters protected from blockage caused by the accumulation of debris in the gutters. Here is the list of the damage you can prevent with gutter guards:
- Pests, insects, and mold
- Leaks around windows and doors or gutters
- Roof and fascia damage
- Rot developed in the pipes and nearby areas
- Foundational and structural damage
In light of these, we should note that gutter guards are essential primarily for two reasons: The first is to prolong the life of your gutter system, and the second is to protect your property from structural or foundational damage caused by overflowing or blockage.
Now that you know you should have gutter guards for a well-functioning and safe gutter system, let us take a look at some gutter guard types amongst which you can find the suitable one for your gutters:
Being suitable for all types of half round gutter systems, including 5” and 6” gutters, half round gutter guards prevent clogging and slow down heavy rain flow.
In this blog post, we have explained why you should have a well-functioning gutter system for your home and what the essentials are to ensure this condition for your gutters. Accordingly, first of all, you should maintain a regular gutter cleaning. Secondly, you should pick the suitable type and material for your gutters. Finally, you should cover your gutters with the appropriate gutter guards. These three essentials will help you protect your property from water-related damage caused by overflowing or blockage.
You can all also check the following blog posts to learn more about gutters and gutter guards: