Gutter guards are a great way to reduce the amount of debris entering your gutters. Since clogged gutters often send water where it’s not wanted, you can protect both your roof and foundation at the same time by ensuring proper flow. However, gutter guards do need some consideration before installation. Putting the guards on in the wrong situation or matching the wrong type of guard to the gutter will only cause problems rather than prevent them.
Thankfully, it’s easy to determine if your gutters will work well with guards and to avoid common installation issues. Just keep these five things in mind before settling on a specific gutter guard installation. If you still have questions and need answers specific to your gutter situation, we’re happy to help answer them.
1. Size of Debris
First, consider the general size of debris coming down your roof and filling your gutters. Getting up on a ladder and checking out what’s accumulating during the different parts of the year is the best way to determine this, but you can also just look at what trees and sources of debris are around the home. Gutter guards work best to catch and stop larger debris like leaves, full-length pine needles, twigs, and other material from mature trees. It can also help keep snowfall from filling up the gutter and blocking water as it melts, depending on the style of guard.
However, there are some tiny forms of debris that all gutter guards struggle to block. It’s simply impossible to let water through a mesh or grille and catch tiny bits of sand, roof granules, broken and short pine needles, and wind-blown dirt. Large amounts of roof granules in particular may indicate an aging shingle roof that needs replacement soon. In places where these tiny particles are a significant concern, it may make more sense to use a liftable gutter guard for easy cleaning below it. Using foam gutter guards may also help stop smaller debris than a mesh or grille type can handle. Your gutter guard installation specialist can recommend the best type based on what you find in the gutter when cleaning it, ensuring you get good performance all year round.
2. Willingness to Clean
Gutter guards can dramatically reduce the number of times per year you need to clean out the gutters to keep water flowing properly off your roof. However, they can’t completely eliminate the need for cleaning. Even the guards themselves need cleaning and clearing at least once per year, usually in the fall, to ensure they’re still letting water flow through properly. If leaves or pine needles cover the guards and block them, water still won’t flow into the gutter where you want it.
It’s easy to afford to have someone else come in and clean the gutters when you only need it done once or twice a year. Some homeowners in wooded areas have to clean their gutters monthly without guards, adding either a lot more work to their schedules or a big expense for home maintenance. Cutting down on gutter cleaning makes it easier to keep up with, regardless of how you plan to handle it.
3. Condition of Gutters
Gutters need to be well-attached to sturdy fascia boards and properly tilted to ensure good water flow. Gutter guards can do a lot to improve gutter performance, but they can’t solve issues with the gutters themselves. We’re happy to handle these repairs for you if necessary before attaching gutter guards.
Most gutter guard systems are lightweight and won’t add much load to the gutters and their hangers. These guards also tend to come with their own attachment hardware. Still, make sure the gutters aren’t bent or crushed before planning to add covers.
4. Roof Edges
Perhaps the biggest limitation on the type of gutter guard you can install is the amount of space left on the edge of the roof where the gutter attaches. This board is generally known as the fascia. Some home designs minimize the board used at roof edges for a minimal and modern look. However, this may not leave much space for installing both gutters and gutter guards.
Gutter guards in general are supposed to rest a few inches below the edge of the roof and any shingles or roofing materials. Some guard systems can be installed right under the edge of shingles for a seamless transition into the gutters where there isn’t much mounting space. These systems may cost more and require specialized installation, but they’re generally much less work to install than trying to refit the entire roof edge with bigger boards.
The fascia boards themselves must be in good shape for mounting as well. If your gutters are loose or sagging, the boards they’re attached to may already have rot issues. It’s a fairly straightforward and necessary repair in many cases before upgrading to gutter guards.
5. Type of Guard
With many different types of gutter guards, it’s not always easy to pick the right product for your situation. It’s best to let a professional company recommend the right guard based on the size of your gutters, the debris that fills them up, and how often you can handle cleaning the guards. Aluminum, foam, and plastic are the most common materials used for gutter guards. Metal and plastic guards can come in mesh, grille, or even micromesh designs to catch the smallest debris possible. Using the right gutter guard design from the start will provide the most hassle-free performance and reduce the amount of cleaning needed throughout the year.
Stop the gutter clogging cycle by capping your entire system with durable gutter guards. Contact us today at Gutter Guards by K-Guard for a complete consultation on a gutter solution customized to your home. No matter what kind of leaves and other debris end up in your gutters, we have a guard that can stop it.