Time to think about gutter guard and gutter maintenance

In Home maintenance tips by Mark Goodman

gutter with volunteer treesIt’s that time of year when temperatures are getting cooler at nights and the leaves are starting to fall. Before long you’ll be raking the yard. I thought it might be a good time talk gutter guard. Gutters and downspouts this time of year will get clogged up with leaves and debris which can lead to all sorts of problems and potential damage. It’s important to maintain clean gutters all year round, but especially through the winter months.

There are basically five types of gutter guards

They are designed to keep leaves and debris out of your gutters. Some do a better job than others and all but one require some type of annual cleaning.

  • Mesh gutter guard – These come both in short rigid pieces and rolls, which are typically made out of either plastic or metal. Mesh guards are available in both normal and micro-mesh designs, which mesh gutter guardtypically perform better.
  • Bottle brush gutter guards – These have tiny rough bristles that catch leaves and other debris while the water flow away.
  • Nylon gutter guard – These have a unique design made especially to prevent snow and ice build-up.
  • Foam gutter guard – These are made of plastic that fits into the gutter and blocks debris from flowing into the downspouts.
  • Reverse curve gutter guard – (also known as a gutter cover or hi-tension)– This design guides the water into the gutter hi-tension gutter guardthrough a slit while the leaves and debris fall off onto to the ground. Some installers of the reverse curve design offer a lifetime guarantee that they’ll never get clogged or they’ll clean them for free.

You can also get downspout guards which are designed to cover the downspout and prevent leaves and debris from blocking up your downspouts. They are available in wire or mesh strainer style and a wedge style.

So how do you know if you need them and what type is best for you?

downspout guardThink about where and how your house is situated and is it one or two stories? Do you have trees, old or young and how many? If you are surrounded by a lot of trees, it might be a good idea. If you do decide to get gutter guards, you will still have to maintain them. Most will still allow some debris in the gutters or will need to have the surface of the guard cleaned. Although significantly less often than with no gutter protection device.

Although most gutter protection devices can be installed by the DIY’er, consider having them installed by a professional especially if you have a 2 or 3 story house. If you don’t have gutters guards make sure and have your gutters cleaned a couple times a year. If you are going to either clean your gutters or install gutter guards yourself make sure and follow proper ladder safety guidelines.