No one likes cleaning their gutters. It’s dirty work that can be awkward and even dangerous. But is has to be done. Without regular cleaning, your gutters can start to get clogged up with plant matter and other debris. And this can lead to gutter damage, leaks in your roof, overflowing gutters, water pooling on your roof or around your house and a range of other drainage problems. Plant matter in your gutters can also be a fire hazard.
But if you really can’t stand getting up on a ladder and scooping the muck from your gutters, there may be another way.
Gutter guards have become an increasingly popular option for Victorian homes. Gutter guards are plastic or metallic mesh systems that fit over your gutters. They allow water to be collected in your gutters while keeping out plant matter, animals and insects and other debris.
However, before deciding to install gutter guards, it’s worth having a look at some of the pros and cons to help you decide if they’re right for your home.
Pros of using gutter guards
Can reduce the amount of gutter cleaning and maintenance
Gutter guards are designed to limit how much debris gets into your gutter. They can’t stop everything but you will notice a significant reduction in debris, meaning you have to spend less time cleaning and maintaining your roof gutters.
Can prevent gutters clogging and overflowing
Because your gutters will collect less debris, gutter guards also stop your gutters from clogging and overflowing as much.
Can be retrofitted to existing gutters
Gutter guards can be fitted inside or over pre-existing gutters, depending on the kind of gutter guard.
May extend lifespan of gutters
With gutter guards and regular cleaning and maintenance, your guttering can last longer. Less clogs and less standing water mean less rust, a common reason for replacing guttering.
Can help filter rainwater before it gets to your tank
If you have a rainwater tank attached to your guttering, using gutter guards can filter the water before it reaches the tank. Your tank should have a filter attached to it already, but gutter guards can reduce how much this filter needs to process by clearing out debris earlier.
Easy to install
Gutter guards can be installed by homeowners easily in a day, or you can hire a service to do so. Proper precautions should be taking when working on a roof.
Cons of using gutter guards
Can be expensive
There are many different types and brands of gutter guards available, and those that last longer tend to be more expensive. If you don’t want to be replacing them every few years, you may need to spend more money in the beginning.
Don’t completely eliminate the need for cleaning and maintenance
You will still need to clean and maintain your gutters on a regular basis. Gutter guards only reduce the time this work takes. You will still need to remove debris that has been filtered away to ensure the gutter guards and guttering work effectively.
Can stop gutters from working properly in heavy rain
The physical barrier that stops debris from getting into your gutter can backfire in heavy rain. Rain running down your roof can hit the guards and overshoot the gutters. This can lead to water damage and drainage issues.
Can strain your gutters
Gutters are made to be lightweight and gutter guards can weigh them down. This strain can cause your gutters to separate from your roof. You may then need to repair or replace your gutters.
It’s up to you to decide if gutter guards would benefit you and your home. They are not the ultimate solution for doing away with roof and gutter cleaning and maintenance, but they can help. However, they can also cause some problems.
Whether you decide to get gutter guards or not, Bunnings has a great guide for gutter cleaning.