Gutter guards are devices that help to prevent gutters attached along the roofline of homes from becoming clogged with debris. An effective gutter guard makes it possible for the maintenance of the gutter to be easier and also helps to prevent the damage to eaves that can occur when gutters become clogged. If you are about to purchase a gutter guard for your home, here are a few things to consider before making your final choice.
Easy installation is essential when choosing a gutter guard. There are designs that will easily adapt to different sizes of gutters and secure to the frame of the gutter using simple clips along the edges. By going with a gutter guard that can be put in place in a matter or minutes, you also tend to have the option of removing the guard with equal ease. This can be especially important when you want to clean or paint the gutters without having to work around the guards.
It is also important to pay attention to the materials used to construct the gutter guard. Many designs call for the use of mesh for the main body of the device. Mesh serves as an effective barrier to larger debris such as leaves and broken limbs while still allowing rainwater to flow into the gutter with ease. Gutter screens may be constructed with wire mesh or with durable plastic or resin mesh as well. If you have a lot of trees near your home, going with the wire mesh may be a better option.
Keep in mind that resin mesh is more susceptible to degradation from the elements, especially sunlight. If the position of your home is such that the gutters see direct sunlight for most of the day, you may do well to consider a gutter guard with a slit design. Guards of this type don’t employ mesh at all. Instead, the body of the guard has a series of thin slits that allow water to pass into the gutter unobstructed. However, the size and placement of the slits along the body of the guard are sufficient to keep most leaves and larger debris from creating clogged gutters.
For people living in areas where snow and ice is common during the winter months, going with a gutter guard that is equipped with an ice dam is a good idea. Essentially, this type of guard helps to minimize the potential for snow to pack into the gutter and harden into a solid mass that must be melted in order to unclog the section and restore an easy flow of liquid through the system. The dams are commonly integrated into designs that use slits or a series of small diamond-shaped perforations in the body of the guard, and will not interfere with the normal function of the gutter during warm weather.
Price may be a consideration with your choice of gutter guard. However, keep in mind that cheaper is not always better. For example, mesh designs may be less expensive in many cases; but if the climate and general landscape around your home is likely to lead to rapid deterioration of the mesh, you would do well to go with one of the more expensive slit or perforated designs. Choosing a cheaper gutter guard to save money often means replacing the guard more often, which effectively offsets any savings you may have enjoyed at the time of the initial purchase.