It seems easy enough to install a gutter guard and then let it do its job without any extra help, right? Unfortunately, gutter guards need a little care of their own. Routine maintenance can increase the durability of your gutter guards and prevent damage.
Do Gutter Guards Need to Be Cleaned?
What are Gutter Guards?
Gutter guards are covers placed overtop of your gutters to keep out dirt, leaves, and other debris. They protect your house from damage while still allowing water through to your gutters and drains. It’s important to find the best gutter guards for your house and local climate.
Gutter guards cannot 100% ensure that nothing will get into your gutters, especially if you live in an area more prone to wind or harsher weather. That’s why it’s important to clean them, however sparely, to keep everything in good shape.
If gutter guards get too much debris piled on top of them, they can bend or warp out of position. The average aluminum gutter lasts around 20 years and can last up to 40 years with proper maintenance. Well-maintained gutter guards can reduce or prevent:
- Mold and mildew growing in walls
- Rotten wood
- Water entering the house
- Washing out the foundation
It’s recommended that you clean your gutter guards at least twice a year. You can clean your gutter guards yourself or hire someone to do it for you. A quality professional will know how to clean your gutter quickly and reinstall it properly. Depending on the size of your home, you can expect to pay somewhere between $75 and $225 for a professional cleaning.
If you are cleaning your own gutter guards, make sure you have a safe and big enough ladder. Wear gloves and safety glasses when cleaning to ensure your own personal well-being. The first step is to remove the gutter guards and place them in a safe location. Then remove the built-up debris into a bucket or other item for collection. You can use a garden spade to scrape out anything that has hardened in your gutter.
Next, use a hose to rinse out the gutters. It’s easier to use a hose with a nozzle so you can adjust the pressure. After clearing and rinsing the gutters, put the gutter guards back on the ladder and safely climb back down.
Choosing the Right Gutter Guard
While you can buy and install gutter guards yourself, to lessen the risk of choosing the wrong gutter or installing it improperly, it is best to hire professional help. If you choose to hire professionals to install your gutter guards, make sure they are correctly licensed and have good reviews. Watch out for companies that promise you will never have to clean your guards again: that simply isn’t true.
There are different types of gutter guards, some better suited to your home than others.
- Micro Mesh: made from a filtering mesh in a support frame. The size of the mesh varies from fine to micro mesh. Micro mesh is the best kind of material for gutter guards because there is very little clogging even with smaller debris. Unfortunately, these kinds of gutter guards can be expensive and more difficult to install than other kinds.
- Metal Screens: Inexpensive and easily installed on the outer lip of the gutter, this kind of gutter guards are prone to clogging because debris can collect in the opening of the screen.
- Sponge Guards: Unlike other types of gutter guards, these guards utilize a sponge that sits inside the gutter instead of a cover. The sponge blocks debris from entering your drain. One downside to this type of guard is that mold and seeds can grow in the sponge.
- Reverse Curve and Slit Guards: This type of gutter guard is not suitable for areas that receive heavy rainfall as they can easily overflow. They use a cover to cover your gutter so debris can’t get in.
Do your research about the weather in your area and seek professional opinion where necessary. To keep up a good home aesthetic look into gardening tools like rototillers to keep everything looking neat and healthy.
Gutter guards are a great and simple way to keep your home protected and neat. However, they are not something to just be forgotten about. Gutter guards need routine cleaning to ensure your gutters and drains are not clogged.