Your gutters help reduce the risk of damage to your home by directing water away from your foundation. When leaves and other debris fall into your gutters, they can become clogged, which prevents them from being able to do their job. Some homeowners use gutter guards, such as LeafGuard, that claim to stop debris from filling up their gutters. However, most products that promise you’ll never need to clean your gutters again are misleading and could end up costing you.
What Is a Gutter Guard?
A gutter guard is a gutter protection system that goes over your gutters to keep debris out. Although these products might be able to reduce the amount of leaves and other debris that get into your gutters, they’re not foolproof. Some debris can build up over time and lead to clogged gutters. When this happens, rainwater isn’t able to flow through the gutters and downspout, which lead it away from your house. Instead, this water can back up under your roof eaves and into your home’s foundation. This can lead to extensive water and moisture damage, such as rotted wood or mold growth. In severe cases, this can cause structural damage or health issues.
Problems with Gutter Guards
Gutter guards, also called leaf guards, are supposed to provide homeowners with peace of mind when it comes to preventing clogged or blocked gutters. While you might think that you won’t need to clean your gutters again when you have these installed, keep in mind that this isn’t accurate. Professional roofers know that no gutter guard offers 100 percent protection from leaves, pine needles, and other debris. Some of this debris is able to make its way past these guards and fill up your gutters. Regular cleaning is still needed to get rid of the debris that does manage to get past these protection systems.
Having a gutter guard installed can also cause problems with the appearance of your home. These systems might stop leaves from getting into your gutters, but this debris can end up accumulating on top of the guard. When this happens, your home can take on a worn-down appearance.
Even worse, some types of gutter guards can negatively affect your roof’s warranty depending on the way they are installed. Gutter guards that are attached to your roof shingles with nails or other hardware can void your roof warranty, meaning you are at risk of covering any roof damages.
How Often Do Gutters Need to Be Cleaned?
Even when you have gutter guards installed, you still need to have your gutters cleaned. Gutter cleaning is part of an effective residential roof preventative maintenance plan. This is often not disclosed to gutter guard customers. You should plan on having your gutters cleaned twice a year or more often as needed, especially if you have a lot of trees next to your house. In fact, you might need to have your gutters cleaned four times a year if your house is surrounded by trees, especially pine trees that are notorious for shedding copious amounts of pine needles.
So when is the best time to have your gutters cleaned? The general rule of thumb is that you should aim to have your gutters cleaned every spring and fall. Spring cleanings help get rid of any debris in your gutters from winter storms, while fall cleanings remove fallen leaves and debris that might have accumulated from summer storms. Again, if you live in an area that has heavy foliage, seasonal gutter clean up to four times a year is recommended.
Protecting Your Gutters
At Pickard Roofing, we recommend Gutter Helmets for homeowners looking for a way to protect their gutters from debris. Pickard Roofing makes the Gutter Helmets in house, and they help you lower the number of times you need to have your gutters cleaned without impacting your roof’s warranty. We’ve found that Gutter Helmets combined with annual or biannual gutter cleanings keeps our residential customers’ gutters safely debris free.
Gutter guards and similar products provide a convenient way to block some debris from getting into your gutters, but they don’t prevent you from having to clean them. You also risk losing your roof’s warranty if the guards are installed incorrectly. Pairing up with a residential roofing professional who specializes in gutter maintenance services will ensure your gutters stay debris-free and can continue to keep your home’s structure safe.
At Pickard Roofing, we think Design. Craft. Renew. We are experienced in all types of roofing systems- and provide the right roofing design and selective craftsmanship for renewing our customer’s assets. We invite sustainable building customers to give us a call for your free evaluation. For over 90 years Pickard Roofing Company has installed countless metal, tile, slate, TPO, EPDM, and all types of shingle roofing in the Triangle. Our services include residential, commercial, custom architectural metal fabrication, and historical renovation.