Typically, it’s recommended that homeowners clean out their gutters in early spring and late fall. But many homes require more regular cleaning to ensure that the gutters are doing their job of safely distributing water runoff away from the home. And if you’re seemingly always cleaning out your gutters because debris constantly accumulates in them and causes problems, then gutter guards are something you should give some serious thought to.
Gutter guards install over your gutters and essentially work to ensure that any large debris (leaves, pine needles, etc.) is not accumulating in your gutters, while still allowing water to enter and adequately drain away from your home. But one of the questions that we receive often is whether or not installing gutter guards is a DIY job. We’ll get into some of the pros and cons of DIY gutter guard installation later in this piece. But first, we’re going to take a closer look at why gutter guards are a smart investment for many homeowners. Here’s a look:
Why Gutter Guards Are a Smart Investment
Like we hinted at in the intro, gutter guards are ideal for homes in areas with a lot of foliage. When leaves, needles and other debris fall from trees, it doesn’t necessarily always make it to your lawn or the pavement — but anywhere and everywhere. And the leaves, needles and debris that fall on your roofline are eventually going to make their way into your gutters. If too much builds up in your gutters, it’s going to clog your downspouts. This can lead to some significant issues, which may include:
- Gutter overflow: When gutters can’t distribute water runoff properly, water will pour over them. This can lead to water pooling around your home’s foundation and potentially lead to foundation degradation or even home water damage on the lower levels of your property.
- Gutter damage: When wet, leaves and debris represent a significant weight within your gutters. If this weight becomes too great, it could cause your gutters to begin pulling away from the roofline and require repair or replacement to the gutter system. This issue can be even more significant during the winter cold weather months when standing water has the potential to freeze and cause even more problems within the gutter system.
Additionally, properly installed gutter guards help eliminate regular cleaning of the gutters, which is often necessary for areas with heavy foliage. If you hire someone to clean your gutters, you can save money in the long term from installing gutter guards. And if you elect to clean your gutters yourself, you can save time and effort, and also reduce your chance of being injured when working at heights. Even if you have gutter guards, you’re still likely to have to clean your gutters out on occasion, but cleaning and maintenance is much less than if you didn’t.
Is Gutter Guard Installation a DIY Project? Pros and Cons
The biggest advantage to installing gutter guards yourself is the cost savings. If you’re confident that you can correctly install gutter guards, you’ll only be paying for the materials and not for the labor. For the average home that has about 200 feet of gutters, this represents a savings of about $1,000. However, depending on the type of gutter guard that’s being installed, the cost can be upwards of $2,000. Generally speaking, the more costly the labor to install gutter guards, the more complicated the installation.
However, there are several potential hazards associated with DIY installation of gutter guards. Here’s a look at what you need to beware of before making the decision to do it yourself.
It Can Be Dangerous
In order to install gutter guards, you’re going to have to be able to access the roof of your home. And depending on what kind of a home you have, this can be dangerous. If you have mobility issues, a steep roofline or just don’t do well at heights, this is a project you’ll likely want to leave to the professionals. If things were to go awry, you could end up seriously injured.
Correct Installation is Key
If you have some general handyman skills, you should be able to install most types of gutter guards without a problem. But keep in mind that some gutter guards are more difficult to install than others, so the difficulty of installation can vary based on the style that you select. Incorrect installation of gutter guards can essentially nullify the purpose of why you wanted them in the first place. You could also experience roof damage if the installation were to go wrong with certain types of gutter guards.
It’s Often More Convenient to Hire a Professional
Most people purchase gutter guards at the same time they’re having new gutters installed on their home. Noting this, it’s often much more convenient to just have the professionals who hang the gutters also install the gutter guards. Additionally, professional home improvement companies generally have access to better types of gutter guards versus the ones that you can buy over the counter at your local hardware store.
For more information on gutter guard installation, contact K-Guard today.