Do you find yourself wondering if gutter guards are worth it, or if they are a terrible idea? If so, welcome to the club; you are not alone. Investing in gutter guards can be a great move, but it is not always the right move. Find out if gutter guards are worth it for you and your home. In this article, we discuss everything from what exactly gutter guards are to how to install them and exactly what it is that makes them necessary or unnecessary for your home.
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What Exactly Are Gutter Guards?
Gutter guards are plastic, metal, or mesh covers that attach to your gutter and roof. They are typically made with a series of holes, or slots, that allow rainwater and melted snow to flow into the gutters while blocking out large debris like branches, leaves, and raccoon scat (haha – for real, though).
The idea is that if debris is kept from entering the gutters, there is less maintenance necessary. Most gutter maintenance revolves around removing clogs from down-spouts and corners and all parts of the gutter.
Gutter guards also prevent dying animals from laying their souls to rest in some nook or cranny of your gutter system. That means you have less mess to deal with.
Why Invest in Gutter Guards?
For folks who have trees in their yard, particularly close to the house, gutter guards are a reasonable investment to consider. This is mainly due to the fact that the right gutter guards will help prevent the trees from depositing debris into your home’s gutter system.
Too many leaves and branches laying around soaking up water in your gutters can lead to costly damages, like leaking, flooding, and even gutter collapse. That said, investing in and installing gutter guards can save you a lot of headache, money, and time.
How Much Time Can Gutter Guards Save You?
Speaking of time, gutter guards, theoretically, can save you a ton of time maintaining your gutters each year. How is that so, you may ask?
Gutter guards can save you from needing to break out ladders, climb up and down them carefully, and move them all around the house to clean gutters of debris and clogs. By installing basic gutter guards, you can skip this whole mess of a chore and opt to clean leaves and branches that end up on the ground rather than in the gutters.
At the very least? Gutter guards can save you several hours of “hard work” a couple of times per year. They also prevent spending time on damaged gutters.
How Do You Install Gutter Guards?
If you are the DIY type, installing gutter guards is a quick project that can be completed in a few hours. For those who aren’t so hands-on, there are plenty of services available that will install gutter guards on your home for you.
Here are four quick and easy steps for installing gutter guards:
- Set up your ladder.
- Measure the width, depth, and length of each gutter.
- Clip one side of the gutter guard to the front of the gutter and slide the other end under the shingles of your roof.
- At the end of each gutter, cut the gutter guard flush with the gutter using a razor knife or snips.
How Much Maintenance Do Gutter Guards Need?
Gutter guards don’t require much maintenance, generally speaking. For optimal results, you should check your gutter guards two or three times per year. When you do check them, make sure to remove any debris that is lodged in or covering their holes.
From time to time, meaning, every few years or so, the guards may become so clogged that they must be removed and cleaned. This is typical for gutter guards that have been poorly maintained.
By any measurement, the amount of time necessary to clean and maintain gutter guards is far less than the time needed for cleaning classic gutters without guards.
When Are Gutter Guards a Bad Investment?
Guard guards are never a bad investment if you believe them to be a necessary protective investment for your home.
Otherwise, the only time it doesn’t make as much sense to invest in and install gutter guards on your home is when you don’t have any trees on your property and rarely receive any debris in your gutters.
Are Gutter Guards a Waste of Money?
If your home benefits from gutter guards, as many homes do, then, no, gutter guards are not a waste of money.
That said, if you have never had to clean your gutters and rarely receive any debris from local trees and animals, perhaps you might consider it a waste of money to install gutter guards.
In almost any other case, which IS most cases, gutter guards can be extremely helpful at keeping debris out of your gutters and water flowing freely. In our book, that is far from a waste of money.
Gutter Guard FAQs
Just in case we weren’t able to answer your specific question about gutter guards, we’re taking another crack at it with these frequently asked questions about gutter guards below.
Do gutter guards really work?
Yes, gutter guards do work. How well they work on your home and existing gutter system is the real question.
How hard are gutter guards to install?
Gutter guards are relatively easy to install for anyone who is even slightly handy with tools. A ladder is also required for installing gutter guards, so there is that to consider as well.
How often should I clean my gutter guards?
Two to three times per year, your gutter guards need to be inspected. Once per season or every other season is ideal. Upon inspection, the gutter may or may not need dismantling and cleaning. At the very least, wiping them down helps to prevent excess buildup of debris on the outside of the guards.
Can squirrels get stuck in my gutter guards?
Technically speaking, here on planet Earth, just about anything is possible, including a squirrel somehow squirreling its way into your gutter system. How much of a reality those possibilities are, well, your speculation is as good as ours.
Do gutter guards keep mud out of gutters?
No, gutter guards do not keep mud out of the gutter system. They do, however, block most debris from entering the gutters. Debris that is not cleaned off of the gutter guards, for months at a time, breaks down into smaller particles and enters the gutter, turning to mud.
Are Gutter Guards Worth It for You?
The bottom line is, only you can decide if gutter guards are worth it for you and your home or not. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and have another look at your gutters, roof, and trees, and make the call. Are gutter guards worth it for you? Hopefully, our article helps your decision to be the most well-informed one possible.
Does your home already have gutter guards on it? If so, let us know how you feel about them in the comments section below. Do you think gutter guards are worth it? If so, you may find our best gutter guards reviews useful in picking the best ones to protect your home!