Fall season, brings to mind cool sunny days, piles of leaves and the hope of one last harvest from the garden. Fall is also the time we should be on a ladder cleaning our raingutters. Wind, rain and snow can knock leaves and pine needles into the gutter all year long! How often do you want to be on the ladder swiping out the mess of rotted leaves?
Scott Wuebber owner of Dovetail Raingutter located in Bozeman, Montana says, Keeping your rain gutters free of leaves is essential. You can hire us to clean and inspect the gutter system once or twice a year or we can install a leaf guard on the gutter. Besides allowing water to overflow in a heavy rain, there are many home defects that can be caused by blocked gutters, including flooded basements and cracked foundations.
There are several different types of gutter leaf guards on the market but they each have their own way of preventing leaves, pine needles, and other debris from clogging up your gutters. It can be a difficult and dangerous job to unclog your gutters every year in order to keep them operable, so it is a good idea to take preventative measures to keep them from getting clogged up in the first place. There are roughly six different types on the market and this article will discuss the most popular ones so you have a better idea of what type is available. Keep in mind the angle of the roof, type of gutter and style of the roof edge may prevent installation of leaf guard. In some cases the gutter must first be removed and then re-installed or replaced with the leaf guard already attached to the gutter.
The first leaf guard we will discuss are the ones made from metal, wire, or plastic. They use a diamond mesh that allows the rain water to enter but keeps the leaves and other debris out. This is the least expensive leaf guard but often blows off the gutter and allows a lot of debris to still enter the gutter. You will have to occasionally remove this style of leaf guard to clean the gutter. Cost to install is low.
Another type of gutter leaf guard that is a fin type that has a rounded nose and it uses a combination between surface adhesion and gravity in order to work. When the rain water comes down it sticks to the front of the nose of the cover and flows down into the gutter. The problem with these is that they are easily clogged which can defeat the purpose of having them installed in the first place. The roof shingle must be lifted and the installed cost is high.
Next, there are the house gutter and foam leaf guards and they work by filling the gutter with a foam insert that is water permeable. The foam is able to keep out the leaves, seeds, and other debris while allowing the water to flow into the gutters. However, make sure that the ones you purchase are treated with insect repellent and mold resistant. It is also a good idea to have it treated with a fire retardant. Another option you have are hybrid models that combine the efforts of both surface tension and screen systems. They work well but can be pricey.
If you are looking for a recommendation, take a look at Alcoa Leaf Relief gutter guards. These are one of the most popular brands they have a 10 year limited warranty, which states that leaf Relief will keep gutters from overflowing due to clogging. Leaf relief installs on the gutter and does not require lifting or nailing through roof shingles, 100% debris efficiency and is virtually invisible from the ground. Cost to install is moderate.
So is it worth it? Like most home improvement adventures, it comes down to cost and convenience. While premium gutters guards can be costly, most are effective and a bargain when you add in the cost of any emergency room visits necessitated when adding your own personal spin on the season known as “Fall.”
Please contact us for a free estimate 406-585-2979