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Do You Have a Gutter Problem? Try These Two Simple Tests
Seemingly innocuous and often unnoticed, water can be a surprisingly dangerous entity.
Generally, gutters are installed to direct water away from the foundations of homes because water can wreak havoc on foundations. Water even has the potential to erode the soil that supports these foundations.
Also, it may react chemically with certain compounds in the soil, creating acidity that will cause further damage. If you have leaky gutters, according to gutter guard reviews, your home’s foundation may be in danger
So, it’s very important that you test your gutters for leaks. For this, there are tests such as:
- Look at your sidings and landscaping for the evidence of splashing
For this kind of test, you will need two things
- A ladder
- A hose
The ladder will be needed to reach the top of most roof-mounted gutters. From a high enough position, you should then be able to turn on the hose and push it in the gutter.
Next, you have to check around your house for any signs of water leakage from the gutter into the soil. A flashlight is necessary to illuminate dark areas to complete the process. Any areas that show leakage must be repaired as soon as possible.
- Look at your gutters for dirt residue
When dirt accumulates over a period of time, it tends to create a blockage in the pipe-way. This blockage may become so severe that it may not allow rainwater to pass through completely. Also, dirt may act as bedding and fertilizer for small seeds, which may germinate and grow into plants inside the gutter system and cause considerable damage. All this needs to be checked on a regular basis to keep your gutters free-flowing.
- A simple step to prevent this blockage
If you want to have a hassle-free life where you don’t have to invest loads of time inspecting and cleaning your gutter system, then you must make sure that you provide enough protection to your gutters, which you can manage with the help of gutter guards.
Best Gutter Guards (Updated October 2020)
(Editor’s Choice Updated)
|LeafTek||35 YEAR (Made In USA) /|
30 Days Money Back Guarantee
(Best Budget )
|Gutter Glove||25 Year||4.7|
|Foam ( Best DIY ) ||GUTTERSTUFF PRO||15 Year||4|
|Aluminum ||A-M Gutter Guard||25 Year||4.5|
|Micro Mesh||Raptor||25 Year||4.5|
|Best Installation Company (Professionals Choice)||Leaf Filter||Lifetime||4.5|
|Micro Mesh||EasyOn||10 Year ( Condition Applicable)||4|
|Micro Mesh||LeafsOut||20 Year||4.3|
|Aluminum||Leaf Relief gutter guard||25 Year||4.2|
Do I Really Need Gutter Protections?
Well, this gutter guard review guide will clear up any questions or misconceptions you may have about the specific types of gutter protection you’ll want to consider. It’s designed to give you a brief overview of gutter protection to ease the decision-making process.
With so many gutter guard systems on the market, it’s crucial for homeowners to understand the pros and cons of each type. Well, check out our Best Gutter guard buying guide and reviews below.
When making your decision to buy gutter guards, consider the reputation of the manufacturer, the quality and reliability of the product’s performance, the product’s warranty, and whether the product has been independently tested and certified.
Types of Gutter Guard Systems
There are various types of gutter guards available on the market. Some can be installed by anyone, even a homeowner. Others will require hired professionals to carry out the installation process.
1. Metal Screens:
These easy-to-install screens are easily available and are made of steel or aluminum.
They can be installed on gutters that are already present. Metal screens can prevent large leaves from entering the gutter, but they cannot prevent finer particles from entering the gutter.
Also, proper function may get a little difficult when clutter collects in the small holes left by the screen. To combat this, you may have to regularly clean the gutter.
Advantages of Metal Screen Gutter Guard.
Metal screens are stronger than other options available on the market.
- Proper fit
Metal screens can be cut to fit and therefore provide protection for all sides.
Disadvantages of Metal Screen Gutter Guard.
- The design
The concave structure can lead to the buildup of leaves, which can lead to clogging.
- Cumbersome cleaning
Cleaning gutters protected by a metal sheet is cumbersome, as you will need to remove the mesh and hose it down, hose down the whole gutter, and then replace the mesh.
Simple to install, you just need to place this special sponge material in your gutter.
This allows water to drip through the sponge while the debris remains outside. But this material is flammable, and since debris and leaves may remain stuck to it for a long time, it may give rise to mold and compost.
Sponge or foam can be used as a short-term measure for keeping your drains protected.
Advantages of sponge foam
- Simple and easy to install
The method is simple and does not require much effort for installation. You just need to place the foam in position.
Disadvantages of sponge foam
- Not long lasting
Since the sponge/foam remains in the open, likely under direct sunlight, the foam will show deterioration in just in a matter of 1 to 2 years.
- Can get clogged easily
The top of the gutter may get clogged with leaves and may need brushing at regular intervals.
Dust particles can get through the finer pores of the foam and may clog the gutter anyway.
- Fungal growth
This may lead to the growth of fungus and other organic growth.
3. Brush Inserts/ Pipe Cleaner:
Brush inserts are something like a bottle brush. The spikes that protrude from the wire helps keep the gutter clean.
But finer debris and dirt may still get caught and cause blockage of the gutter. Also, brush inserts are not so easy to maintain
Advantages of brush inserts
- Easy to clean
Since it is like a brush, simply moving the brush may clean the debris out of the gutter.
Disadvantages of brush insert
Bigger leaves may eventually (when they shrivel up) get lodged in the gutter and cause clogging.
- Cleaning hassles
You will need to devote a good amount of time cleaning the brush.
4. Plastic Screens:
These are similar to metal screens and have an advantage in that they can be slid into place. But they may allow smaller debris into the gutter, defeating the purpose.
Advantages of Plastic Screens
- Easy to clean
They are easy to clean, as you can easily slide them out.
Disadvantages of plastic screens
- Limited life
Though they do not corrode in water, plastic cannot tolerate sunlight very well.
Though the larger leaves are prevented from entering the system, they do accumulate over the screen. Moreover, the smaller debris may still enter the gutter through the screen, and clogging could still be a problem.
5. Slit Covers:
This type allows only the rainwater to enter the opening while the debris is washed off the edge of the roof. But these covers may easily clog, and you may need to clean them regularly.
Advantages of slit covers
- Keeps out larger debris
Slit covers help you keep larger debris out of the gutter, allowing only water to enter.
Disadvantages of slit covers
Since there are just slits or other aperture for the water to pass through, the guard may get obstructed by leaves.
- Needs regular cleaning
You will have to be attentive for signs of clogging and keep cleaning the area to prevent water falling from the edge.
6. Reverse Curve:
Until 2005, reverse curve gutter protectors were the most widely accepted and used protection systems.
The logic was that the reverse curve would allow rainwater to flow to the front of the gutter while debris would be pushed off the front edge. But this proved to be attractive to bees and other pests.
Also, bigger leaves and pine needles may cause blockages. Finally, the installation is typical and may cause problems with the roof warranty.
Advantages of reverse curve
- No clogging
The gutters remain unclogged due to the open design.
Disadvantages of reverse curve
- May lead to pests
Pests may enter the gutter system due to the open design. Certain pests may even make hives in your gutters.
Larger items can flow into the gutter and cause clogging.
7. Micromesh Gutter Guards:
As the name suggests, this system consists of a mesh that has very fine pores that only allow rainwater to pass through.
Not even sand particles can pass through this kind of protector, and this fine mesh is what prevents the gutter from clogging. The main thing to watch out for a while having micromesh gutter guards installed is the angle.
Too steep of an angle may not hold all of the water and too slight an angle may trap water for too long. Micromesh gutter guards are best as far as gutter protection is concerned, especially if installed correctly.
Advantages of micromesh
- Completely sealed
The complete sealing prevents of leaves and large debris from entering the gutters; even smaller debris is prevented from entering the gutter system.
- No organic growth
If surgical grade steel is used, you will have no problem with any organic growth under the mesh.
- Long lasting
This system will leave you tension-free for years to come.
Disadvantages of micromesh
This is, comparatively, a little bit expensive than other options.
- Industry Reputation crucial
You need to carefully choose the right company.
Why Do We Need Gutter Guards in First Place?
If you live in an area prone to heavy rainfall, you don’t want to settle for anything less than the best. It’s essential that you take every measure to protect your home. Onslaughts of moisture can wreak havoc on a building. If rainwater accumulates on your roof, it may cause damage not only to the roof but also to the walls, through which water may seep throughout the house. Heavy rains can also saturate the soil around your home. Gutter guard reviews assert that this could affect the very foundation of the building—the basement, the walls—and may cause extensive damage to your home that could cost a fortune to get repaired.The situation becomes all the graver as the moisture-laden soil leads to an excess of moisture in the air inside your home, which in turn condenses on various indoor surfaces. Conditions like these foster the development of mold in and around your home—on the walls, ceilings, and even the exterior walls. The accumulation of moisture may result in silent rotting of the wood in your attic and other rooms, and that may prove to be a really expensive affair. The potentially massive damages to your home and the expenses from fixing those damages is the reason that homeowners in humid, rainy, and wet areas need to get gutters installed. But oftentimes, even homes that have a gutter system installed suffer from moisture damage. This shouldn’t happen with a top gutter guard. If this occurred, it’s probably because your gutter system failed. Yes, even the best gutter can fail, and there are several reasons for that.
The Reasons Behind Gutter Failures
Most people don’t fully understand the importance of a properly functioning gutter system, and even then, they don’t necessarily make the effort to do the maintenance.
It’s true that cleaning and taking care of gutters is far from exciting, but there are services you can hire and proper maintenance will go a long way in making your gutter last. However, gutters do fail, and there a few important reasons why.
Neglecting this very important system is often the sole cause of failure. Since gutters are installed in the open, it is all but inevitable that various debris will enter the system. Leaves lodging in the gutter or even the accumulations of large quantities of dust or grime could cause blockages.
According to Gutter guards reviews, there could be plant growth in the gutters—the result of small seeds falling on the roof of your home and washing into the gutter system. Regular exposure to the elements makes a regular and thorough cleaning of your gutters imperative
Your gutter system may deteriorate due to moisture causing corrosion of the pipes. This is mostly a problem for systems that use steel pipes. While steel is cheaper than other materials and has great strength, it is more prone to corrosion and rusting.
To keep the steel gutters from rusting or suffering other kinds of corrosion, you must keep it clean and free from debris of all kinds. This prevents pipes from retaining water, which will help prevent corrosion for long. However, if you select a gutter made of other materials, like the aluminum gutter guard, it will be better able to withstand corrosion.
Many people use gutter spikes to install gutter systems. But, the problem with these spikes is that they may loosen over time. If they are not checked on a regular basis, your whole gutter system may fall off. So, if you use gutter spikes, make sure that you reinstall them at an interval of one to five years so that you don’t have to pay heavy gutter-installation costs.
This is one of the main causes of gutter failure. Gutters that are clogged will never be able to drain rainwater effectively. Blockages can be caused by collected debris or rooting plants and seeds from surrounding trees. And if clogged drains weren’t problem enough, the gutter guard reviews indicate that debris may decay over time, leading to the production of an acidic environment that further corrodes the pipes.
Carrying out regular checkups of the gutter system will allow you to escape the problems of clogged drains. It’s especially important to check regularly for decaying debris and clear it out before its acidity causes lasting harm.
Weather isn’t constant and temperatures vary throughout the year, sometimes extremely. These fluctuations stress the material of the gutter system. This may cause the drains to crack or become weak. Natural wear and tear can be exacerbated by blockages. When gutters remain clogged, water may accumulate. During winters or cold snaps, this water can freeze and exert pressure on the walls of the gutter, leading to cracks and potentially the failure of your whole gutter system.
Generally, professionally installed systems come with warranties, but you should just not buy the system because it says that there is a warranty. You should inquire about the following points regarding the warranty of the protector systems
- The duration of the coverage that is provided by the warranty
- The transferability of the warranty
- The services guaranteed under the guarantee period
- Any actions, accidents, etc., that may void the warranty
- Whether the warranty also includes cleaning the gutters if there is clogging
Commonly Ask Questions About Gutter Guard
Q1- are gutter guards worth it?
Answer: Gutter guards can separate debris and water to some extent. But if there is too much waste along with water, then it becomes difficult to keep the gutters clean. Even with the gutter guards installed.
But it is good to have gutter guards installed. This way, the gutter stays much cleaner. You will notice that you have to clean your gutters less often due to the gutter guards. But they don’t promise to keep your gutters completely clean. You will need to keep checking your gutters time to time, especially when there is a high amount of leaves falling because that’s when the gutters clog more often.
Don’t install a gutter guard with an intention that your gutter will never clog. Just be sure that your channel won’t clog as much as before.
Q2-Do gutter guards work in heavy rain?
Answer: Handling heavy rain entirely depends on the type of gutter guard you are using. Foam gutter and leaf relief gutter guard can be useful if it’s drizzling out there, but they aren’t appropriate for heavy rain. Because it takes too long to pass water, among all other types of gutter guard surface, tension gutter guards work the best. As they can large debris away from the gutter while letting all the water inside the drain. The fine debris gets inside the channel at times. But you can clear them up anyways.
Q3- Do you need to clean gutters with gutter guards?
Answer: Just like we discussed above, you will need to clean your gutters now and then even with gutter guards installed. That being said, gutter guards reduce the frequency of cleaning your gutters by a lot. Gutter guards are only able to keep the massive debris away. Smaller debris can still pass through with water. It takes a lot of time for the gutters to get clogged up with small debris though.
So, the only difference a gutter guard makes is it increases the interval and decreases the frequency of cleaning.
Q4- How much does it cost to install gutter guards?
Answer: Prices of different gutter guards vary based on their materials. You can take a look below to determine your costing. All the prices are for per square unit.
- Plastic screen guards can cost you about 20 to 40 cents.
- Foam gutter guard costs about 2 to 3.25 dollars.
- Brush gutter guard costs around 3.15 dollars to 4.25 dollars
- and steel screen gutter guard costs 1.50 dollars to 3 dollars.
- Micromesh steel guard costs 2.25 dollars to 4 dollars.
- Aluminium gutter guard costs 50 cents to 1.25 dollars.
- Solid surface gutter guard costs 3.5 dollars to 6.25 dollars.
You can buy the one based on your needs and preferences and install them on your own to minimize the cost. Or you can buy the product and hire a professional for the installation. It will cost you about 2 to 4 dollars. Also, you can opt for a professional company for complete support. It will cost you $7.50 to $10 per square feet.
Q5- How do you stop gutters from frosting up?
Answers: You can follow various methods to make sure your gutters don’t get frozen. Such as-
- Ensure the gutter system is sloped properly: Without proper sloping water can never flow away from your rooftop or gutter at all. Always keep the slope in check. Please keep it in such a way that water can go away from your home. Make sure the water doesn’t stay at a place for a more extended amount of time. Because that can cause the gutter to frost up.
- Remove snow as often as you can: Snow can completely clog up the gutter which will eventually cause water to sit and form ice. So, keep your gutter free of snow.
- Use salts: Salts can be an effective way to prevent ice from forming. You can sprinkle some sodium chloride or calcium chloride in every three or four days. This way, ice won’t be able to build, which stops your gutter from frosting. Beware of using rock salts, because they are harmful to your channels.
- Ensure proper insulation: Make sure your roof is adequately insulated. It’s necessary to keep your roof cold. A cold roof helps in preventing snow and ice from melting. Because too much of melted snow can overflow the gutters, you wouldn’t want that to happen in winter.
Q6- How often should you clean gutters with gutter guards?
Answer: After a lot of research, we recommend cleaning a gutter with gutter guard once in every two years, but this depends on the type of your gutter guard and trees surrounding your home.
Something you will need to be aware of is without gutter guards you will need cleaning in every four months. And cleaning the gutter is seriously a dirty work at hand. You wouldn’t want to do it more often.
Q7- How do you clean gutters without a ladder?
Answer: Having to clean a gutter using a ladder can be risky, tiring and inefficient. You can opt for the following ways to clean your drain without a ladder.
- Use gutter vacuums: Gutter vacuums are specially designed vacuums that can suck all the debris from your gutter. They are great for the dry season but not so good if there is water sitting on your channel. You can use a leaf blower with a reverse function for the same purpose.
- Gutter flush: Another way to clean up your gutter without ladders is this one. This method is based on using water for cleaning debris off the drain. It takes the trash away with the help of water pressure. All the waste comes off with the water from the hose.
- Use a rake or a tong: Attach a rake or a tong on a long stick and get ready to start picking that debris using your hands. This is good for the rainy season when there might be water sitting on your gutter.
Top Questions to Ask When Selecting Gutter Guards
Question 1: How long will the seller or manufacturer honor the warranty for the complete protection of your gutter system?
Question 2: What warranty is given to the product? What are the features that are covered? Will the warranty be transferable?
Question 3: How much sealing does the system provide? Does it come with any holes or openings of any kind?
Question 4: In what ways do you train your installers? What are the quality control criteria?
Question 5: Will there be any impact on my roof from the installation of the gutter protection system?
Question 6: What kind of maintenance does the homeowner need to do?
Question 7: What are your contact details in case I need your assistance? How quickly do you respond?
Question 8: How much rainwater can these gutter protectors handle?
Question 9: How long have you been in the business of installing gutter guard systems?
Question 10: Can you give me some references?