What are Gutter Guards?
Gutter guards act as a form of protection for your gutters. Their design allows water to freely flow into your gutters, but prevents debris from falling into the gutter and causing clogging and blockage.
I am sure you can see the usefulness, as in theory, it means the gutters need less maintenance every year. It also means you won't have to check your gutters as regularly as you would if you didn't have gutter guards and therefore they have become very popular in recent years.
Although the initial cost for both the guards and their installation will be higher than just a standard gutter, in the long term it may be cost-efficient as the gutters will not need cleaning as regularly. Gutters that have guards on them will not get clogged up with leaves, and therefore there is no need for clearing on a yearly basis.
This, at least, is the theory and often, things work out like this. However, there are not only pros to installation. When you do need your gutters cleared, gutter guards will have to be removed and either cleaned or replaced, resulting in extra work and higher prices for the work. And certain types of gutter guards can collect certain types of debris (like pine needles). These pine needles would have been a problem without the guards as well, but clearing the blockage would have been easier. It makes sense to analyse each individual situation before deciding whether or not to get gutter guards, so you don’t just wind up with higher costs and no benefit.
Our technicians can help with the analysis and, if you so choose, the installation of as well.
There are many different types of gutter guards and leaf protection products available to homeowners. They all come in different designs, materials and prices. All these factors affect the effectiveness and determine the strengths and weaknesses. Some gutter guards are add-on devices that can be simply fitted over existing gutters, whereas there are others that involve replacing the whole guttering system.
Why would you install gutter guards?
Well, one reason would be that they actually can help to catch all the leaves and needles if you happen to live next to an area surrounded by trees. Our technicians can install these. They can also help to keep wildlife out of your gutters.
Do any gutter guards really work?
Actually yes, they can. If you have them installed correctly, if use the right guards for your situation to make sure they collect up all the debris, and if you ensure that they stop the downpipe from being blocked.
So which gutter guards do I buy?
Our technicians from Sam’s Gutters would be the best people to ask. They have seen an almost infinite number of gutters and are familiar with the problems gutters can experience. Once we view your property, we can then run through the very best position they should be installed in and also which guard to use.
Some examples below:
- Hedgehog Guard: A very simple guard that looks like a hedgehog and sits at the top of your gutter. This keeps the water flowing but also stops the build-up of all the debris and leaves. Has to be removed for cleaning, which can be considerable extra work.
- Gutter Grids: A very common guard, slightly harder to install – definitely needs a technician for this work. Like with all guards, the downside to these is that they don't actually prevent small debris from falling in.
- Plastic Guards: These are actually plastic and if you choose the right ones, they look just like the rest of your gutters. They are similar to the Gutter Grids, require the same amount of work in installation, but are slightly cheaper in regards to cost.
Are gutter guards bad?
In some circumstances these can add considerable weight to your gutters, especially if debris gets stuck to them. This additional weight can result in damage to your fascia. Especially in some older houses with wooden fascia in bad condition, our technicians have found this to be a problem they then have to repair.
Other than that, the main downsides are the costs, in materials, installation and maintenance.
How do you clean gutters without removing gutter guards?
This is a problem, regardless of who tries doing it. In short, you don’t. Gutter guards have to be removed to clear your gutters.
With gutter guards installed, the amount of time between gutter clearings can be increased, so you won’t need to get your gutters as often. This will save you money. On the other, each clearing will take considerably longer, which will add to the cost. In our experience, gutter guards save very little, if any money, and often can end up costing more.
Sam's Gutters are the recognized installer for London. GutterStuff®Pro is one of the advanced high-quality gutter guards that has the longest life expectancy.
We also install Hedgehog which is similar to GutterStuff®Pro but a slightly different design.
If you are interested, please feel free to contact us.