Are Gutter Guards Worth It?
If your home has rain gutters, you may be asking yourself, "Are gutter guards worth it?" Keep reading for all the information you need to decide.
In my experience, gutter guards are definitely worth it, especially if you invest in the right ones. The reasons boil down to two things: Their ability to stop leaves and other debris from clogging your gutters, and their reinforcing effect.
When my sister and her husband bought a nearby home and property a few months back, they asked me to come over and inspect the place, believing it might need serious repair work. I discovered gutters packed with leaves, sticks and other debris, as well as significant ice damage.
They haven’t gotten around to replacing the gutters yet. But when they do, I’ll recommend a gutter guard system that not only stops debris but strengthens the entire gutter installation.
Wondering if gutter guards make sense in your situation? Keep reading to learn more so you can make an informed decision.
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What Are Gutter Guards?
Protective systems for rain gutters on buildings. Installed over gutter troughs, these devices prevent leaves, twigs, dirt and other junk from entering and clogging the gutters.
Gutter guards promote efficient water flow, reducing the risk of damage to roofs, walls and foundations by overflowing or stagnant water. They’re made from various materials and come in several styles, including mesh, screens and brushes. Gutter guards minimize the need for frequent cleaning, enhance gutter lifespan and safeguard the structural integrity of the building.
Types of Gutter Guards
Each type of gutter guard addresses specific debris and climate conditions, and choosing the right one depends on the details of your home and property. Proper selection and installation make gutter clogging much less likely.
Made of metal or plastic, these are mesh-like covers placed over gutters. They prevent larger debris like leaves and twigs from entering, while allowing water to flow through. These guards work best in situations with large and medium-sized rooftop debris.
Mesh guards come with a finer screen to block smaller particles like pine needles and shingle grit. They work well where fine plant particles and debris are common.
These are collections of cylindrical bristles that sit inside gutters. They trap debris on the surface while enabling water to flow freely, making them effective for areas with lots of falling leaves and twigs. Regular maintenance is needed to keep them clear.
These feature a curved surface that guides rainwater into the gutter while preventing debris from entering. They’re useful in areas with heavy rainfall because they can handle significant water flow.
Foam inserts fit directly into gutters and block debris while allowing water to pass through. They’re adaptable to various gutter types but require periodic cleaning.
These rely on surface tension to guide rainwater into the gutter while repelling debris. They work well in various climates and are particularly effective against leaves and small debris.
How Much Do Gutter Guards Cost?
Gutter guard installation costs vary considerably based on type, roof shape and accessibility, plus local labor rates. It’s wise to get quotes from several well-reviewed installers to ensure the best possible deal.
Here are some general cost guidelines for gutter guard hardware and installation.
These generally cost $1.50 to $6.00 per linear foot, plus an additional $1 to $3 per linear foot for installation.
Expect to pay anywhere from $2 to $8 per linear foot for this product, plus another $2 to $4 for installation.
This style typically costs $3 to $8 per linear foot in materials, and between $2.50 and $5 per linear foot for installation.
On the more expensive end, expect to pay $7 to $15 per linear foot for this product, plus $5 to $10 per foot in installation costs.
Often the most economical gutter guard option, foam inserts range from $2 to $5 per foot for materials, and another $1.50 to $3 per foot for installation.
Generally the most expensive type, expect to pay $15 to $25 per linear foot for this product, plus an additional $10 to $20 per foot for installation.
Gutter Guard Maintenance
In my experience, it pays to clean your gutter guards regularly. Luckily, the job is much easier than cleaning guardless gutters. I have plenty of trees around my house, which means lots of fallen leaves and twigs end up on top of my gutter guards. However, the guards keep my gutters functional.
I get up on a ladder a few times a year and remove the unwanted matter. It keeps the gutters working optimally and helps prevent ice damming in winter. I don’t use any fancy tools or techniques, just my hands and a safely placed ladder. I do it once a season in spring, summer and winter, and three times in fall.
Are Gutter Guards Worth It?
Yes. Absolutely. They keep your roof, eaves and walls in much better shape than they otherwise would.
Before I installed guards, my gutters were always clogged with sticks and leaves, causing water to flow over their edges and splatter mud on my walls as it hit the ground below. Since installing my gutter guards and cleaning them regularly, this annoying problem has been a thing of the past.