Gutter guards are one of several gutter upgrades intended to help gutters function better with less work from you. Of course, you’ll have to choose between types of gutter guards such as the mesh or colander-style screens or the helmet or spike styles. But on the whole, gutter guards can make it much easier to take care of your roof, gutter, and drainage system.
Here are some pros and cons of gutter guards.
Pro: Less Buildup
Some gutter guards are specifically designed to keep leaves out of your gutters. This is a great bonus because it means that you’ll hardly ever need to have the gutters cleaned out and won’t need to worry about the problems leaf buildup can cause, such as gutter and downspout clogs, pest infestations, and weed and moss growth.
Some gutter guards are better at this than others, and they don’t all work the same way. For example, reverse curve style guards dump debris to the ground, whereas mesh screen guards allow debris to collect on top of the gutter–it will still need to be scraped off.
Still others, such as brush or foam inserts, don’t necessarily keep the debris out — they just keep it from clogging the gutter. The brush style may catch leaves horizontally so they don’t form a mat so quickly, and the foam may cause leaves to sit higher in the gutter so water can run beneath. These are more suited to gutters that don’t fill up with debris but that do have a problem with bird nests.
Con: Initial Costs
High-quality gutter guards can be a significant investment, and they may require professional installation as well. This is more likely to be the case with proprietary designs or with reverse curve gutter guards.
It’s not a good idea to mitigate the installation price by having your handyman do the job, either. Reverse curve gutter guards need to be installed with correct technique; anything else could damage your roof.
Pro: DIY Options
In some cases, you can simply buy the gutter guard and install it yourself. Of course, this is heavily dependent on which type of guard you choose. You also need to be experienced at home improvement and have the physical health and strength needed to perform the task. Typically, the installation will require standing on a ladder to reach the roof, so it’s safer to let professionals handle it.
Pro: Fewer Pests
Some gutter guards, such as gutter spikes, are intended more to keep birds from nesting in gutters than to avoid leaf buildup. Other types of guards, such as mesh screens, can help prevent clogs and keep birds out at the same time. Reverse curve guards may be less effective at keeping pests out, depending on how much space exists between the guard and the gutter.
Con: Variable Quality
Higher-quality gutter guards will require a greater investment of money initially, but lower-quality ones may be less likely to pay for themselves during their shorter lifespan. DIY options may be lower quality, and the material used to make the gutter guard will affect how long it lasts — aluminum lasts longer than plastic, for example.
Pro: Curb Appeal
Some gutter guards are more attractive than others. But high-quality ones that are well-matched to the style and color of your gutters and your home’s exterior can be an asset to your home’s curb appeal. This can help attract potential buyers if you’re hoping to sell the place.
These pros and cons will help you decide if you want to invest in gutter guards now and, if so, whether you’re aiming for a professional or DIY install.
For reliable results, professional installation is your best bet. Contact Seagate Roofing and Foundation Services today to learn more about our services.