A clogged gutter is worse than no gutter at all. A clogged drain leads to rotted fascia, rotted soffits, water intrusions, and many other home damaging problems. Without gutters, all the water collected by your roof will end up damaging your grounds around the house leading to soil erosion. So, yes, gutters guards are worth the money.
In cases where you have trees around your home hovering over your roof, you must install gutter guards.
Read to know the good and the bad of leaf guard gutters before installing them in your home.
What Is Good About Leaf Guard Gutters?
1. Gutter guards keep the gutters open and free-flowing. The leaves and gunk that form inside the drain take a lot of effort to get rid of. It is also a challenging task to do regularly.
2. Gutter guards come with different specifications. You can get ordinary gutters that prevent leaves from getting into the gutters. Or, on the higher end, you can have heated gutter guards. When installed, they help melt ice dams and melt snow and ice.
3. Leaf guard will ensure that your gutters are always ready to direct roof water to where it is headed. Without leaf guard gutters, you will have clogged drains that will be of zero help. Gutters without the leaf guards will force you to do the regular clean-up. You can never let your gutters stay dirty throughout the year; it is hazardous to your channels and house.
What Is Bad About Leaf Guard Gutters?
Leaf guard gutters need maintenance; there is no such thing as maintenance-free leaf guard gutters. Unlike gutters with no leaf guards, you will not have as much work set out for you.
The leaf guards will have stopped most debris from getting in the gutters. All you have to do is sweep or push the debris off the top of your leaf guard gutters.
There has not been an invention of zero maintenance leaf guard gutter.
What Types Of Leaf Gutter Guards Are There?
Guard gutters come in different types. Some include:
1. Bottlebrush Guards
The bottle brush guard is a cheap guard to use. It is made up of heavy-duty bristles. The bristles are then inserted in the gutter to prevent leaves and debris from collecting in there. However, leaves gather up behind the projecting bristles or get stuck themselves. Some Leaves get caught on or behind the bristles making the leaf guard gutters redundant.
2. Foam Gutter Guards
Foam Gutter Guards are made from a porous material. The material is inserted into the gutter. The foam allows water to flow through it, but other debris cannot.
Foam gutters are a good solution but, they start to deteriorate after some years of use. They can begin to break in hot seasons due to long exposure to the sun and no moisture. Tiny particles go through the foam and settle at the bottom of the gutter and, it needs to be regularly cleaned.
3. Perforated Metal Guards
The perforated Metal Guards are fitted under the shingles to cover the gutter. It effectively keeps leaves out, but other tiny objects may end up inside the channels. The small perforations might end up being blocked by small debris, leading to their blockage. When the tiny perforations are clogged, water cannot get into the gutter, and it might overflow into your house.
4. Reverse Curve Guards
The Reverse curve guard or reverse surface tension gutter is a guard that is designed to move rainwater down together with leaves and other debris. Since the reverse curve guards are fitted into the roof shingles, it might lead to the roof warranty being voided. However, clogs formed to make them ineffective.
5. Micro-mesh Gutter Guards
The micro-mesh Gutter guards come to solve the problems that perforated metal covers have. The micro-mesh gutter guard has very tiny holes. Only water can pass through, and the small debris cannot get caught. Therefore, they can easily roll off and not block the gutter guards. The mesh is made of stainless steel. It can live long without being affected by rust.
What Are Some Complaints By Consumers Who Use Leaf Guard Gutters?
Even after installing leaf guard gutters, you still need to clean up your gutters. The gutter guards do not offer a full-proof solution to the problem they are supposed to solve.
In the cold season, ice dams form over the gutters. This renders them useless.
Pests can still build their nests in the gutters. Most of the gutter guards do not prevent pests from living there.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Leaf Guard Gutters?
Any appliance or tool has advantages and disadvantages; the guard gutters are no different.
Advantages Of Leaf Guard Gutters.
The advantages of leaf guard gutters include:
1. Save Money And Time
Uncovered gutters will collect any debris that falls onto your roof, woe unto you if you have trees around your home. Leaf guard gutters hold all this debris and prevent it from getting into the channels. Leaf guard gutters ensure that you have free-flowing water and save you the time and money you would have spent cleaning the gutters. Cleaning leaf guard gutters does not take much time when compared to cleaning gutters without leaf guard gutters.
2. Gutter Guards Prevent Pest Infestation
Accumulated refuse and chaff make good habitat building material for some insects, birds, bats, critters, and many other small animals to nest. Once leaf guard gutters are installed, the drain becomes uninhabitable.
3. Improves The Home Value
Clean and well-hung gutters improve the attractiveness of a house. You cannot see roof guard gutters, but you will notice when a channel does not have a gutter guard. Potential home buyers and sellers have to take advantage and have this installed to be in a position to sell or buy the houses.
4. Gutter Guards Help In Preventing Fires
Homes near trees or bushes will be vulnerable to catching fire during the hot season. With leaves and debris getting caught in the gutter, they pose a threat to the house as they add to the risk of the house catching fire.
5. Home And Human Safety
Gutter guards reduce the risk posed by cleaning gutters. The gutter guards need cleaning, too but not as often as open gutters. Climbing a ladder to clean the gutters is a hard task. If you are not a professional or have the right equipment, you will be exposed to risks.
6. Gutter Guards Prevent Water From Getting Into Your House
A clogged gutter will not let water pass; the water will be stagnant and can start leaking into your home. Water leaking will happen during heavy rains and can cause serious damage to your house. Fixing water damage is expensive.
When your gutter is clogged, water will start overflowing on the sides with all the debris. An overflowing drain is an ugly sight to see. It will set your house back in terms of design and its whole outlook.
7. Gutter Guards Help In Clean Water Collection
Gutters are installed to collect water. With leaf guard gutters, your water will be clean and free of debris. Direct this water to clean storage where you can use it later when it is clean and not contaminated by gunk and refuses that might be on your roof.
8. Prolong The Life Of Your Gutters
Gutter guards hold back all the debris from settling in the gutter. Without the trash in the channel, they can last longer since they will not be exposed to agents such as rust.
9. The Leaf Guard Gutters Reduce The Frequency And Difficulty Of Cleaning Gutters.
With the leaf guards installed, you can cut your gutter cleaning frequency by year. Gutter guards can keep your gutter leaf and debris free for many years, depending on your location. However, you have to clean them at some point. Cleaning your gutters when they have guards installed is easy. There is no scooping dried-up mud with leaves and other refuse wedged inside the drain.
Disadvantages Of Leaf Guard Gutters
1. Installation Is Expensive
Leaf guard gutters are expensive to purchase and install. Most homeowners will choose to leave them open. Leaf guard gutters come at different prices, but the installation can be costly no matter the purchase price.
2. They Do Not Guard Against All The Debris
Some debris is bound to go through the leaf guard gutters and get trapped in your gutters. When they let some trash go through them, they are not living up to their function or needs.
3. They Are Heavy
Leaf guard gutters are usually heavy. When they are not properly installed, they can end up destroying your roof.
During winter, ice forms on the gutter guards, causing more strain on the gutters.
Leaf guard gutters are important as they help prevent drains from getting blocked by leaves and other debris. However, installing lead guard gutters does not mean that you have completely gotten rid of the gutter clean-up duty. The channels still need to be cleaned, just not as much as they required when the leaf guards were not installed.