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Gutter splash guards are a kind of accessories which are used to protect your home or buildings. It helps in the prevention of water overrunning the gutters. If we allow the rain water to overshoot the gutter it might fall down somewhere near the foundation, cause ground erosion, problems in the foundation (weakens the foundation through seeping into it) or damage to the landscape with overflowing. Simply it will all be a mess. For these reasons, the gutter splash guards are quite a necessity. Gutter Splash guards are the ‘In’ thing in the Home Improvement Industry and most homeowners consider getting them installed. However, some are hesitant, as they think it is too expensive. So let us help you out with some pros which would help you convince yourself for the requirement of the gutter splash guards.
What are the benefits of Gutter splash guards?
- Saving in cost or cost effective in the long run–
When you think of investing in a Gutter Splash Guard for your house or commercial area, the cost might concern you or you might try to cut corners. But let us tell you that even though the initial cost might be a little dear, you will get the cost back in time. Those of you who hate all that gutter cleaning or related mess can escape that chore and save yourself from that very unpleasantness. Most of all, you can stop risking your life and bones climbing up rickety ladders to clean your gutters. If you are one of those who hire a gutter cleaning company, then obviously you can save up on that cost to an extent by installing gutter splash guards.
Gutter splash guards would add value to your home, thus can be a plus point if you ever plan to sell out your place. When a buyer looks at your home, this would be one attractive selling point.
- For Better Maintenance –
Depending on the kind of splash guard you have selected, there can be many big and small maintenance benefits that you might be getting. All large as well as small debris like twigs, leaves, needles etc can be kept out. If you do not have a good protection system for your gutter, it would allow water to back up sooner and can be the reason for leaks. Nothing can be more annoying than a leaking gutter. If ignored, over time it can also cause severe damage to walls, roof, masonry, siding, landscaping and cement. It is also possible that water might pool around the foundation and lead to flooding of the basement, unhealthy walls or even tiny cracks in the foundation itself, which, needless to state, is a risk for you and your family.
Also the gutter splash guards help with proper flow of water – which means no premature rot or rusting of your gutters and a longer life for them.
Having said that do not expect that these splash guards would be totally maintenance free. Inevitably, some debris will get collected on the splash guards. But comparatively, it would be quicker and easier to clean them rather than clean a clogged gutter. Thus it has an upper hand in terms of maintenance.
Having splash guards discourages birds or any other small animals from building their nests and creating a nuisance.
Gutter splash guards can help with rain water harvesting as it improves the flow of water and filters out contaminants. So, now you know some of the most important advantages you will be getting by simple installation of gutter splash guards. Whether that is for your commercial building or for your residence place, gutter splash guards are highly advised.
Which are the different types of gutter splash guards available?
- Mesh Screens –
Mesh screens are quite popular and have been around for quite some time. They could be simple plastic diamond grids that can be just screwed onto the gutters or complex systems using multiple screens. These are quite economical and easy to install. However, one of the considerable disadvantages is the maintenance and cleaning of these Mesh screens. For a certain period they can keep the debris out of the gutters. But, eventually the screens would become clogged without maintenance and thus need periodical cleaning.
There are some modern hybrid screens which have filters which work quite well. But then of course, you cannot predict how innovative the birds or squirrels are in your area.
These screens usually cost anywhere from 10₵ and $2 per foot. These can go well with different kinds of roof types like steel, shingles, wood, slate or tile. These can work well even with the old and brittle kind of shingles.
- Perforated Metal –
Perforated Metal splash guards are fitted under the shingles and cover the gutter. This is very effective in keeping the leaves out, however, not the pods, needles or seeds. Small debris can get stuck in perforations and cover the trough.
- Louvered Covers –
Louvered Covers comes with an impressive design which follows the surface tension principle. Water would follow the nose into the gutter and the debris would just slide off the cover. This system gives you good protection and cleanliness. The openings are limited in size. So this means that what little debris might manage to get in is flushed out easily due to the downspouts. Also these splash guards are hard fastened to the gutter front lip and hence there are no fasteners which might cause leaks.
- Brush and Foam –
Other than the screen or cover type of splash guards, there are also other kinds like foam or brush. Foam splash guards are quite affordable and easy to install. But in one sense they are just a fast solution to a longer dilemma. These splash guards are made from cheaper materials. As a result, severe weather might cause early wear and tear. It could also collect small seeds or plants which might eventually cause mold. Another major disadvantage is that foam splash guards are flammable.
Brush splash guards are quite similar to foam, in the sense it is more or less a temporary solution. They do keep out the bigger debris but not the smaller ones. These can get stuck in the brushes and build up over time. These are also like an invitation to squirrels and birds.
How to select your gutter splash guard?
Most homeowners actually search for miracle products which would free them from having to clean gutters altogether. Some companies actually do claim to have such miracle products. And yes, there are some really good Gutter Splash guards; however, every system has its pros and cons. You must have definitely seen some demo at your nearest mall or at a home show. Most demos are extremely tempting. But what needs to be seen is if they really work in the real world. None of the systems are perfect and do not think that you will never have to clean your gutters ever again. Also Gutter splash guards are not totally maintenance free, but certainly far less troublesome than a gutter without splash guards.
Before selecting your splash guard, you need to see the foliage around your house and also check the systems installed in your nearby areas and neighbors and how they are faring. Also check the following before making your selection –
- Experience – Please do check that the company you are selecting has enough experience to back them. Try checking out previous reviews and comments. A good company needs to be licensed and insured.
- Cost – You can do a comparison of the costs and prices of the different companies. You need to look at quality and low costing. Even when you might prefer a low cost one if you are working on a budget, they might be a little more ‘costly’ in terms of maintenance or replacement in longrun.
We hope that we have given you all the basic information about Gutter Splash Guards and this would help you in your decision.