Guard Duty: What You Should Know About Guard Systems For Your Gutters

As a homeowner, keeping your gutters clean can be an intimidating prospect. Considering the fact that it often requires working on a ladder, many homeowners worry about the risks. Gutter cleaning can also be a time-consuming process. Luckily, you can reduce the cleaning needs in your gutter system by installing a gutter guard to prevent debris from accumulating. Here are some different factors to consider when protecting your home's gutters.

Options for Guard Materials

Gutter guards come in a variety of materials, giving you the freedom to choose the one that will best fit your existing gutter system. The most common options are copper, nylon, wire mesh, foam, and aluminum. Copper is a deal for its rust resistance, but can be costly. In order to keep the copper looking its best, you'll need to reapply sealant directly to the copper every year.

Nylon and foam products are often used as a filtration tool, being placed inside the gutter inside of attaching to the top. Since they don't provide full coverage, you may still have some debris accumulated in the system. The advantage to these materials is improved water filtration and affordability.

Aluminum and wire mesh materials are lightweight and affordable. These materials typically have a longer life span than foam or plastic. If you are uncomfortable working at gutter height on a ladder, you may need professional installation services for these guards.

Choices of Guard Styles

Gutter guards are available in two different styles. When you decide to install a guard system on your gutters, you'll have to choose either a screen or a cover.

Gutter Screens

Screens offered a filtration barrier that allows water to run through the system effectively while keeping leaves and large debris out. They are often thin, and made from foam, nylon, or a similar material. Screens are typically placed inside the gutter or just below the top edge. This keeps them out of sight, which makes them a good choice if you are concerned about aesthetics.

Gutter Covers

Covers are typically larger, and attach across the top of the gutters. Because of the way that they are installed, it is often best to work with a roofing and gutter specialist to ensure that they are installed properly. Covers are most often made from aluminum, wire, or copper. Because they sit on the top of the gutter, appearance definitely matters.

Covers provide a barrier that keeps any debris from going into the gutter. Unfortunately, they can also reduce the amount of water flow during heavy rains. This is because covers block more surface area over the gutter than screens do. This could result in overflows and flooding water out of the gutters during heavy rainstorms. Make sure that you don't have any soil around the foundation of the house that could suffer damage from this type of water flow.

Considerations for Guard Maintenance

Nearly 140,000 people suffer injuries from ladder falls each year. Installing a guard system over your gutters reduces the amount of time that you'll have to spend on a ladder dealing with the gutter system. In fact, most guards require inspection and maintenance only once a year. If you have installed by a contractor, you may even be able to have annual maintenance included in the installation contract.

Whether you're dealing with excessive debris from the trees in your yard or just the occasional wind-blown mess, choosing a guard system for your gutter can help you to avoid clogged, heavy, or cracked gutters. With the information presented here, you'll be better equipped to determine if your gutters could benefit from the addition of a guard. Work with a roofing and gutter specialist if necessary to choose the best option for your property.