Homeowners ask us often about gutter guards and screens. These include foam gutter fillers, wire screens, covers, and similar “devices” that they say will eliminate the need for gutter cleaning. It is understandable that homeowners want to reduce or even try to eliminate gutter cleaning either for themselves or as a service they have to hire. Gutter guards and screens are not the way to do this however and we have put together this brief guide to what these devices really are and why you want to avoid them. The thing we get asked most often is:
Do Gutter Guards or Screens Really Work? Experts from a number of industries have weighed in on the question and they tend to agree that gutter guards and gutter screens do not provide protection from debris like leaves and dirt that cause gutter clogs. At best they conclude that guards and screens might reduce the number of times you have to have the gutters cleaned during the year. In general, the consensus is that these devices are more likely to cause problems than they are to solve them.
The reasons for this are simple: gutter guards or screens trap debris rather than allow it to be carried away by water or the wind as it normally would be. Trapped debris, such as leaves piled up on the top of gutters with a guard or screen installed, prevent water from flowing into the gutter so it can be carried away safely as the system was designed to do. The water either overflows or it pools up behind the leaves which causes roof damage and leaks.
Mesh guards or screens seem to trap even more debris than guards that cover the gutters or ones made from foam or bristles. The mesh gets clogged with even the smallest debris including dust. Foam filler-type screens often fill with dust which becomes mud when it rains blocking the foam pores and preventing them from working. And bristles only cause leaves and branches to get stuck which makes rainwater overflow onto the ground below.
How much are guards or screens for gutters? If gutter guards or screens don’t provide the results you want then the price is not really important. If you are looking to cut down on how often gutters need to be cleaned (which is all you can hope for) then the price is very important. On the average home, screens and installation can run from $550 to $1,500 depending on the size and type of screen installed. Guards that fit over the top of the gutters (and are usually made from metal or high-density plastic) can run from $1,500 to $5,000 or more. You can have your gutters professionally cleaned twice a year for five years or more for the same price.
Should gutter guards or screens be removed in the winter? If the guards or screens are correctly installed and the gutters themselves are clean, there is no reason to remove them in the winter. If they are not cleared of debris before winter weather hits, they can cause ice dams which can damage your roof, fascia, and the gutters themselves. Ice dams can cause gutters to pull away from the hangers and fall off, possibly causing damage or injury.
We also get asked do gutter guards or screens add value to a home that has them. Gutters that are clean and properly maintained add value to a home. Guards or screens have nothing to do with that. Even with them, if the homeowner does not take the steps needed to have their gutters cleaned and properly maintained the guards will not make a difference. Nothing makes a home look worse than clogged, rusty, leaking gutters filled with debris and half falling off and this can happen with guards or screens installed just as easily as without.
Can gutter guards get damaged? Gutter guards and screens can get damaged by branches, snow, ice, and animals. When they are damaged they cause gutters to clog almost instantly because they are creating an obstacle which prevents water from flowing through them. When they are damaged they have to be replaced or repaired immediately before larger and more expensive problems start.
When you are ready to take your gutter cleaning and maintenance to the next level, look no further than Mr. Gutter Cleaner. Our fast and friendly professional service is guaranteed to leave your gutters clean and working properly, protecting your home and family from water leaks, damage, pests, mold, mildew, and more. Get a quote or call today – save time and avoid the risk of trying to clean them yourself. Get great gutter cleaning from Mr. Gutter Cleaner today!