July Mid-Monthly Metal 2021
Nathan Allen, your metal specialist is here. Last month we discussed Rib Panel roofing. In this month's edition of Mid-Monthly Metal we will be going over gutter guards. We will answer why having gutter guards is a good decision, what types of gutter guards are out there, why our steel gutter guards are a good choice for you, as well as maintaining your gutter guards.
Why are Gutter Guards a Good Decision?
Your gutters preserve the structural integrity of your home by moving rainwater away from your home. But despite their value, we neglect cleaning it regularly and they get clogged with leaves, moss, dead animals, and other debris.
When blocked gutters no longer drain water the way they should, water pools around your foundation. This creates many problems:
Cracks in your foundation
The solution that ends almost all these gutter problems are gutter guards.
5 Common Types of Gutter Guards
Not all gutter guards are the same. If you have done any research, you realize that gutter protection comes in different materials and comes with their own strengths and features. Knowing the differences in the type of guards you will install will help you to maximize the lifespan of your roof and home.
Also called foam gutter inserts, these gutter guards fit inside your gutters. They block all debris from entering. They contain pores to allow only water to penetrate. Foam gutter guards are usually made of polyurethane foam. Another benefit is that you can install foam guards by yourself. The foam can be cut to the proper length and the guards don’t require the use of nails or screws to remain in place, so there isn’t a risk of water damage or leaks with these guards.
They don’t last as long as you may think and will need replacement once every two years. You might get some at a cheap price but frequent replacements will add up and make you end up paying more in the end. This type is not the best for locations that have high levels of precipitation because a lot of rain can quickly saturate the foam, causing the gutters to overflow.
Round in shape, they look like wire cleaning brushes or oversized pipe cleaners. They’re similar to foam gutter guards in that they’re DIY friendly. If you plan to install this kind of gutter guard, make sure to clean your gutters first as they need to be placed in the bottom of your gutter, then cut to fit. This gutter guard is usually made with a metal wire core that has polypropylene bristles. These guards require no screws or connections to the rain gutters, and the metal core is flexible, allowing the gutter guards to be bent to fit around unusually shaped drainage systems.
Filtering out large debris such as leaves and sticks is what these gutter guards do the best. The long bristles allow air to circulate to help the gutters dry out. Cleaning the brushes is required every year. All you need to do is take them out and shake them off.
Screen guards feature a wire or a plastic grid that blocks leaves from entering the gutter. This type is an affordable option and is widely available. Contractors also find this type of gutter guard easier to install. Screen gutter guards are a lower cost option and the easiest type to install; most of the time no tools are needed. The usual installation is they set in under the lip of the gutter then tuck under the first row of shingles.
Some drawbacks are you need to read your roofing warranty before using this method as some roofing manufactures may void warranty. Pine needles tend to get stuck in this style frequently. Most gutter screens are not screwed down and may be blown out by high winds or knocked out from falling branches or pests.
Reverse curve gutter guards are more costly than mesh and screen options. They’re less DIY than other styles and must attach at the correct angle or lose its usefulness. This type of gutter guard is over a century old. Various manufacturers made changes in reverse curve gutter guards to improve their function. This gutter protection system still has its own problems. Here are some issues related to them:
Not all contractors are familiar with their proper installation techniques
Difficult to remove during cleaning and maintenance
Visible from the ground. You should pick a color that matches your roof
The curved sections accumulate debris over time
Promotes the formation of larger icicles during the winter season
Many sources claim that reverse gutters guards do not perform well in heavy rains.
Mesh gutter guards are similar to screens, allowing water to run through small holes while blocking twigs and debris. These gutter guards usually feature tiny holes and can be made of plastic or metal. They can be installed on many styles of gutters and roofs. This style is a popular choice when homeowners are looking for gutter guards as they are the most versatile. Metal mesh gutter guards are known for their durability. Other materials can deteriorate over time. This style will require occasional cleaning by spraying off and using a brush to remove debris.
Fitting in this category, we stock and make both 5” and 6” gutter guards in white, black, and brown. Our 8’ lengths make a quick job of installing with zip screws. Made from Galvalume, the perforated gutter cover panel has over a 22 percent open surface area to handle heavy downpours. They fit securely inside the top of the gutter and are virtually invisible from the ground once installed, so nothing will detract from the curb appeal of your roof.
Tired of having squirrels and birds tearing into aluminum and plastic guards? Consider the strength of steel for your next gutter guard purchase!
Gutter maintenance is an important task if you want to make your gutters last.
Gutters that are equipped with gutter guards don’t need to be cleaned as often, usually keeping the gutter guards relatively free of leaves and sticks does the job. A thorough cleaning once every 2 years is typically enough to keep the main stormwater drainage system free of debris.
It’s recommended to check the gutter guards for excessive debris during the spring and fall, as well as inspecting the gutters for ice dams during the winter to prevent damage to your gutters.
Please ask if you have any other questions that are not covered here about gutter guards. Let me know how I may help!
Looking forward to helping you!