6 Major Reasons Why Gutters Guards Are Misleading

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Gutter Guards Aren't All That Great

Are gutter guards really effective? Before we find out, let’s briefly take a look at the gutters in general. Gutters drive away rainwater from your home or building to safeguard it from soil erosion, which has the potential to weaken the foundation of your home and possibly lead to water leakage in your basement. Therefore, gutters are small but very meaningful for your home.

To keep your gutters fully functional, you should clean them regularly to prevent debris and other materials from building up. A buildup or junk can create a clog which will cause water to spill over right on your foundation (aka completely negating their usefulness). Plus clogs left unattended can lead to mold growth, insect infestation and more!

How often you clean your gutters will depend mainly on the climate of your region and the sheer number of trees surrounding your house. If you’re based in an area that endures inclement weather year-round, or your house is surrounded by a multitude of trees, then you will need to clean your gutters regularly. Here in Sheboygan, we’d recommend cleaning your gutters at least twice a year (spring and fall).

Gutter guards, also known as gutter covers (or screens) effectively block debris from going inside your rain gutters. As a result, the guards should reduce the number of times you will need to clean your gutters hence saving you time and money. This is what most gutter guard sellers claim.

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Why Gutter Guards Are Misleading

Although everyone wants an effective solution for gutter maintenance that fully protects the home from drain blockages and buildup, these guards always fall short of most performance expectations. It’s astonishing and saddening, but in contrast to popular belief, gutter guards are often a financial burden, and here is why.

Many Designs Still Require Maintenance

Contrary to the claims that the screen style of gutter guards are self-supporting and reduce the frequency with which you need to clean your gutters, these gutter screens still require regular cleaning. And they can be a pain to clean because of their complexity.

The extent of the complexity varies based on the type of covers you have put up. In some cases, you might be required to hire a cleaning professional to remove your guards and clean your gutters. Nevertheless, it’s a tedious process that negates the purpose of acquiring them in the first place.

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Guards Can Add Weight To The Roof

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Putting up too much weight on a roof can cause damage. Now we’re not saying that the guards alone would cause weight issue, but it could lead to them later. Many clients have a “set it and forget it” approach to gutter guards. They believe that installing them removes all worry about checking the gutters for clogs.

What can happen is a massive buildup of debris over time which adds excessive weight right on the connection points of the roof. Over time, the weight can bend the roof shingles and cause water to sneak in. Or possibly, the fascia could simply rip off your house from the weight. Given enough time, water leaking inside the house will either cause major damage or mold issues.

In addition, since these leaf guards obstruct you from seeing what is going on in your gutters, it’s very likely that you won’t realize a buildup until the last minute. The scariest part is the timing of when roof damage could occur. It’s more likely to happen in early spring when snow is melting in Sheboygan and water is running into the gutters. The water weight adds to the debris causing trouble. No one wants a roof issue when it’s 37 degrees outside!

Guards Are Not Ideal for the Winter

Unbeknownst to many homeowners, gutter guards, aren’t designed for the winter, and when installed, they cause several issues during the cold season. As you’re aware, when debris accumulates in your gutters, it will impede the flow of rainwater.

In late fall or early winter, the water trapped inside the blockage could freeze. With the expanding water, a whole new issue can arise. That expansion can push the fascia out of place and rip shingles. It could lead to unknown roof damage for the entire winter season.

And that’s not even including the ice damming that could occur in the house, or dangerous icicles that could form over your gutters.

We always recommend fall gutter cleaning even if you have guards.

Gutter Guards Don’t Always Perform as Advertised

Most advertisers claim that gutter guards totally lock out debris from your gutters. Although they may block leaves and massive debris from getting into your gutter, tiny substances, such as twigs and pine needles, can still find their way past the gutter guards. In the long run, these sticks can build up and cause a barrier that is stopping the water from flowing through the gutters.

Generally, gutter covers stop 80-90% of debris, but they don’t prevent all blockages from occurring in your gutters.

Plus, it becomes more difficult to locate blockages since the guards rest on the top of your gutter, blocking your view. In order to find out whether there is gutter congestion, you will need to get out the old ladder and climb up those shaky rungs exposing you to more risks of slip and fall.

Guards Don’t Eliminate or Prevent Moss and Algae

Even if an insignificant number of leaves slip through your guards and start to decompose in your gutters, they could result in mold and algae growth. If left unattended, this growth could rapidly spread throughout your gutters and finally to your roof. Moss is terrible for your roof since it can cause massive damage that could prompt you to replace the entire roof prematurely.

They Are Expensive

After looking at the various ways that leaf guards fail to work, we believe that they are not worth the investment. When you calculate the time, money, and effort it takes to put in place and to tend to the gutter guards, you’ll find that they are not cost-saving and worth the money.

In fact, their maintenance costs are much higher than that of hiring gutter cleaners in Wisconsin. Because these shields demand routine cleaning that is at times a complex procedure, at last, the expenses and work involved is not worth the effort.

In The End

As you can see, there are several reasons why gutter guards are misleading. Although most suppliers claim they are foolproof, this has been debunked by the above reasons. Also, they are not fully effective since they still allow some debris and pine needles to infiltrate the gutters, which build up over time, blocking the smooth flow of rainwater.

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