You know that you should clean your gutters at least twice a year. You diligently scamper up that stout ladder every beginning of spring and fall to rid your gutters of leaves and debris. You hate it. But you just have to do it, or hire somebody to do it, because you don’t have an option. You are contemplating installing gutter covers but aren’t sure if they are worth the pain.
Well. You are not alone. Many homeowners hate the constant maintenance and are actively looking for ways to keep leaves and debris off their gutters. The major issue, in this case, is if the gutter covers work.
What Are Gutter Guards?
Gutter guards or gutter covers keep most of the leaves, debris, and dirt off your roofs. They’re normally a gauze or wire mesh cover that lets the water in while filtering off chunks and particles.
Since there are openings, the gutter covers will just slow down the rate at which dirt accumulates. Eventually, you will have to clean your gutters. The only benefit is that you can move from cleaning twice a year to once a year or every other year.
Therefore, you should never purchase gutter guards with the intention of never cleaning your gutters and downspouts again. You will end up frustrated.
What to Expect From Your Gutter Guards
A test on even the most efficient gutter guards proves that they work perfectly on leaves, bits of sticks, and other huge chunks of debris. This kind of debris is common in the fall when trees are shedding leaves in preparation for winter.
Tiny bits of flower petals, buds, and chopped-up debris that are common during spring will almost always beat your gutter covers. This means that your gutters and downspouts will need some attention at the end of spring.
Are Gutter Covers Worth It?
Yes. Gutter covers work. They will reduce the cleaning frequency and can help you survive that fall cleanup and just clean your gutters once, preferably once spring is over. You can even extend the cleaning time and perhaps skip a year if you live in an area with few shedding trees and choose the right gutter covers.
The two most commonly used gutter covers are the gauze and slit covers. Gauze covers function exactly like a water filter while slit covers provide a tiny slit at the edge of the gutter for the water to go in.
Gauze covers tend to work better in areas with heavy rain since they won’t hinder the flow of water. Slit gutters, on the other hand, might fall short during heavy rains. Their ability to let water in might be further hampered by tiny bits of debris in the slit hence making rainwater spill over the gutters.
Keep the Gutter Covers Slanted
Slanted gutter covers encourage rainwater, and sometimes the wind, to blow away any debris. They will stay open for longer as opposed to level gutter covers that give this trash a level ground to sit on. Allowing debris in your gutters to wash off naturally will prevent it from decomposing and seeping into your gutters.
Moreover, the accumulating leaves will keep your roof damp for longer and might accelerate the rate at which it ages. This is especially troublesome if the debris stays long enough to grow moss and mold.
Gutter Covers Might Make Gutter Cleaning Harder
Most handymen and roof repair agencies will charge you more to clean a covered gutter. Firstly, the gutter cover will be removed to clean, after which everything has to be re-installed.
This is some extra work if you will be doing the cleaning on your own. It is a small price to pay bearing in mind that you won’t be cleaning your gutters as often as you used to before.
Gutter guards are a great idea and the perfect way to reduce the frequency with which you clean your gutters. The efficiency will vary depending on your environment and the trees near your property. Either way, they are proven to reduce the number of times you have to clean your gutters in a year.