The most common type of gutter protection or guards is screens. These gutter screens come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and materials. There are multiple ways you can install them as well. Gutter screens are good for gutters when you have a big problem with leaves getting in your gutters. The screen openings are large enough that seeds and pine needles can still get through and will build up over time so you will need to schedule a regular cleaning for this. Gutter screens can also build up and become clogged if neglected. That is because the screens can allow some debris to fall but not fall freely so they become trapped and then more piles on and they become entangled and can’t just brush off in the wind. If you are trying to decide on a gutter protection, screens may help but there may be other options of gutter protection for you to choose from instead.
Gutter screens can be installed with ease. Some screens simply slide up and under the shingles. These types are good because they have a downward angle and this will allow the debris to simply slide off of the roof. Other gutter screens drop in and they will help to keep debris going in. If you have shingles that are brittle or shingles made out of other material beside asphalt that you can’t pry up then the drop in gutter screens are the best solution. There are five main types of gutter guards to choose from:
- Mesh Gutter Guards -These guards are made from metal sheets with tiny holes. They attach to the shingles on the roof and go over the gutter.
- Reverse Curve Gutter Guards – Reverse curve guards direct the stream of water downward and the leaves over so they fall to the ground.
- Bottle Brush Gutter Guards – These brushes have bristles that face in an upright direction so they go inside the gutter. It pushes the debris upward so the water can flow away
- Nylon Gutter Guards – These guards are good for winter time when there is a good chance of freezing. The unique design of these guards will keep snow from building up and then freezing into ice
- Foam Gutter Guards – These guards are great because they are flexible and able to help separate the leaves from the water without taking up the space in your gutters.
Pros and Cons of Using Gutter Guards
Not very many homeowners want the task of cleaning out the gutters so gutter guards and certainly help with this however they are not maintenance free so you will still need to do a quick sweep every once in a while but not an in depth cleaning. While guards seem like an overall good idea, there are pros and cons of using gutter guards:
- Some gutter guard systems can be difficult to clean if they become clogged.
- Some guard systems can actually cost more than the price of professional gutter cleaning for several years.
- Gutter guards can be added to gutters already in place
- These guards can prevent rodents and birds from nesting in the gutters
- You won’t need to clean the gutters as often
- They prevent buildup of water inside the gutter that can become stagnated over time.
- You can purchase heated gutter guards to eliminate ice and snow build up and dangerous icicles that hang from the roof.