Now not many household chores are really that appealing to most of us, but there are some that make people groan more than any other. Oven cleaning springs to mind for many of us. And of course, cleaning out the gutters around the home. Having to climb up a ladder, sometimes even more around the roof, removing debris that has collected in the gutters and downspout. It is physical, time-consuming and dirty work. It is an important job though. If you leave those twigs, leaves and other debris in there and let it build up it leads to issues like water damage and flooding. These are the things that collect rainwater and move it away from your property. But they can only do their job if they are kept clean, or if you consider having a gutter guard installation.
If left unchecked
The debris, leaves, twigs, and weeds and such create clogging and blockage in the gutters and on the roof. Fungus can start to grow too. Ignoring the problem does not make it go away, it makes it worse. If you are not up for the job of cleaning at least twice a year it is something you must bring in professionals to handle. Gutters that get too heavy can actually tear off the house. If you live beneath trees, cleaning out the gutters and performing any downpipe and gutter repairs before having someone install gutter guards is even more important and needs to happen more regularly. Gutter guards are a device that prevents the litter from blocking your gutters so the water still flows away as it has to.
Installing a gutter guard also helps prevent pests on your roof as there is less access for rodents and birds for example.
Choosing and preparing for the right gutter guard
When you are looking at buying gutter guards for your home you have three styles to consider, filters that are placed inside the gutter, plastic or mesh screens and then surface tension guards that go over the top of the gutter. Gutter screen installation, of whatever type you choose, varies in simplicity depending on the type you choose and the tools and DIY skills you have. But whether you do it or you pay someone the first thing to do is to prepare. Things that need to happen include:
- Cleaning out the debris there
- Measure the length of the gutters to make sure you get that right
- Get the tools you need from your home tool kit, depending on the type of guard that might be metal snips, a chop saw or a circular saw
- Other materials you might need include pop rivets, nails and screws and perhaps a screwdriver or drill
- Make sure before you try to do the gutter guard installation that the guards you choose are the right ones for your type of gutters
- Check the warranties on them and return policies in case you need to return them
Make sure the right people install the right type of guards
Now you are ready for the difficult part of the job, to install gutter guards. Make sure you read the instructions for the ones you have so that you do it right. Or again, call in some experts who know what they are doing and can handle it easily. Keep in mind that some of the more custom-designed gutter protection systems do need to have professionals install them, they are not something to underestimate. If it is something like a snap-on gutter guard that is easier to install and does not need tools, but because they are not tailored to your gutters they do not deliver as good results as the custom-made ones. There is also the type that sits inside the cutter but these do need measuring and cutting down.
In order to do a gutter screen installation, you need to have some basic tools and DIY knowledge. You also need to feel comfortable with heights going up and down ladders and moving across the roof. If you do not have the time for gutter cleaning and installing a gutter guard, call in some technicians who can help. They can save you a lot of money in the long term as their efforts prevent blocks in the drainage systems that stop water damage and more.
Walt moonlights as a handyman after getting off his busy job as a commodities trader. He enjoys writing about all things related to DIY, home improvement, etc.