We get asked if gutter guards are worth the trouble and expense of them all the time. What people really want to know is if they spend a few thousand dollars on gutter guards or screens, will it prevent gutter clogs and gutter cleaning in the future?
Before answering that let’s look at what gutter guards can and can’t do:
What Gutter Guards Can Do:
- They can prevent large objects from falling in the gutter
- They can cause water to not enter the gutters at all
- They can prevent visual inspections of the gutters
What Gutter Guards Can’t Do:
- Prevent everything from getting into the gutters, therefore they can’t prevent clogs
- They can’t prevent future cleaning
- They don’t allow you to visually inspect gutter condition without removal
The main reason that gutter covers fail to work is that the sheer amount of debris that they are exposed to cannot possibly be filtered out effectively enough to make them worth having. Can properly installed gutter guards reduce the frequency that you have to have your gutters cleaned? In theory, they could, and sometimes they actually do. But the problem here is you never really know what is going on unless you get up there and take a look.
It’s much harder to inspect your gutter system to see if there are any problems when you have gutter guards that are covering them. So while they may seem to be working, you may actually have a buildup of debris in your gutters that you have no way of seeing. That build up can lead to some serious problems, and those types of problems can be quite expensive.
Going back to the primary problem with gutter guards, the fact that there is so much debris that they are exposed to makes failure inevitable. While they may block out some of the larger things that can get into your gutters like leaves, they are far less effective against smaller debris such as dirt, insects, pine needles, and anything else of that nature. Over time these smaller types of debris will penetrate the gutter guards and will end up starting to block your gutters.
Are Gutter Guards a Waste of Money?
Before you know it you have a blockage, which can lead to expensive damage. The bottom line is that gutter guards or screens may slow down the rate that your rain gutters end up being blocked, but they can’t stop it from happening. So in the long run, it is our opinion that gutter guards are not worth the expense in fact, they cost you more.
Leaf Gutter Guards Can Cause Water To Bypass Your Gutters Entirely
Rain gutters are designed so that they can take the uncontrolled flow of water from a rainstorm and channel it in a way that protects your home and lawn from damage. During light rainfall, gutter guards don’t usually interfere with this process. However, during a heavy storm, the amount of water that is coming down often proves to be problematic in regards to gutter guards.
Since gutter covers and gutter guards are designed to keep debris out using a physical barrier, that barrier also inevitably deflects away some water. When there is a lot of water coming down then what is normally a minimal amount of deflected water can suddenly become a problematic amount of water flowing in an uncontrolled manner. Essentially gutter covers can prevent your gutters from doing what they are meant to do in the first place.
Gutter Covers Add More Weight And Strain To Your Gutter System
Your rain gutter and downspout system are designed to be as lightweight as possible so that they put as little strain as possible on your fascia, which is the board on your home that they are attached to. When you add any additional weight, such as in the form of gutter guards, you are adding to the strain on the fascia, which is never a good thing. Additional weight will put more strain on the fascia, which can affect the mounting for your entire rain gutter system. If this fails, then you are going to be looking at some expensive repairs or replacement of your gutters.
Now you may be thinking that the weight of gutter covers or screens really isn’t that great, so it shouldn’t put that much additional strain on the fascia. There are two problems with this – first, any additional weight that you add, and with it, additional strain, is going to have an effect over time. It may not be apparent right away, but over the course of many years, even a small amount of additional weight can produce quite a bit of cumulative damage.
The second problem with thinking that gutter covers won’t add that much weight to your gutter system is that it’s not the gutter covers themselves that are the primary problem. The primary problem is the buildup of debris that they may be hiding. If you have debris in your gutters then this is, even more, weight and strain on the fascia. During winter months this can be even more problematic since that unseen debris can block the flow of water, and in doing so can allow ice to build up.
Since this ice may be concealed under the covers you may not even be aware that there is a problem brewing. Not only can this lead to expensive repairs, it creates a dangerous situation since a failing gutter filled with ice can lead to significant injuries.
So, getting back to the actual cost, in general terms you are probably looking at paying around $8 to $12 per linear foot of gutter guard installed. That may not seem like a lot, but considering the average home has over 200 feet of rain gutters you could be looking at a bill of around $1,600 to $2,400 or more.
Do Gutter Guards Work?
A Better Option Than Gutter Guards
So what exactly is the bottom line when it comes to gutter guards, gutter screens, and other similar types of devices? The bottom line is that you should avoid them at all costs. In fact, if you buy a home that has gutter guards installed on it then it’s a good idea to pay a company to remove them. Gutter guards are not effective and don’t do the job that they were designed to do. On top of that, they can lead to damage to gutter and downspout systems, and can also lead to significant damage to a home. They can also create blockages that can lead to a dangerous failure of your gutter system that can lead to injuries.
Not only are gutter guards ineffective, they are also a terrible investment because they are going to cost you money. You can be looking at a bill of thousands of dollars to have them installed. That’s thousands of dollars for a product that isn’t going to even do its job. On top of that a simple gutter cleaning job, which is generally quite inexpensive, can easily jump five-fold in price if you have gutter guards in place. Assuming you only have your gutters cleaned once a year even, over many years that five-fold increase in price can result in a very large sum of money.
Honestly, the best option you have for dealing with gutter guards is not to deal with them at all. The idea behind gutter screens is to reduce the number of gutter cleaning jobs that have to be performed in your home. This will theoretically save you money. The problem with this approach is that it won’t save you money. Gutter guards will end up costing you more money to have that not had them.
A gutter cleaning job done by a professional gutter cleaning company is not that expensive in the first place. When you compare this cost to the cost of having gutter guards installed, it should become clear quickly that gutter guards are not worth it. They are expensive, ineffective, easily damaged, and don’t even do what they are supposed to do. That really is a clear example of a product that is for lack of a better word junk.
The best option you have in order to keep your rain gutters in good working order is to simply be a responsible homeowner and have them cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. The cost is fairly minimal, plus regular cleaning by a professional company can help you to spot potential problems before they become major issues. Simply put, your money is more wisely used to hire a professional gutter cleaning and repair company in order to keep your rain gutters in proper working order.
For a free quote to have your gutters professionally cleaned and inspected – including those with gutter guards installed, by our team of experts, click or call the telephone number today. We Get Gutters Clean – It’s What We DO!