Is it possible to never clean your gutters again?
I am going to take a look at the most popular gutter guard products that are widely available in the US.
Three factors I will consider:
- ease of use & maintenance
- cost of ownership
Screen Style Guards
Screen style guards can be made of metal or plastic. Some have mesh that further prevents small particles from getting in. These are fairly effective at keeping stuff out but residual debris can build up on top. You will have to clean the gutter guard. These can be a little tricky to install as well, since they need to tuck under the shingles. But they can be installed without hiring a pro which makes them fairly cost-effective.
Helmet Style Guards
Helmet style gutter guards cover the top of the gutter but leave a small gap in front to allow water to flow around the nose and into the gutter. Although effective at keeping large leaves out, a lot of smaller particles will find their way in. The exterior is self cleaning but the inside of your gutter will still need to be flushed.
These are not a product you would install yourself. They are the most expensive option even though some companies offer ongoing maintenance and cleaning included with it. If maintenance is not included, you’ll have to budget more for gutter cleaning than normal. Your gutter guy will have to remove the guard to be able to clean and then reinstall it.
Foam Gutter Guards
Foam gutter guards are similar in effectiveness to screen style guards. Very little particles may pass through but otherwise they keep things out very well. Some debris can get stuck on top, just like the screens but can be blown off with a leaf blower. They are significantly easier to install than even the mesh screens. They’re slightly less expensive as well.
Occasional Gutter Cleaning Is A Must
Although I can’t say you will never clean your gutters again, it will be less frequent. Just like window washing, regular maintenance will extend the life of your gutters. It also makes your biggest investment more livable.
For my customers with a particular problem area, I do recommend that they treat that section. I prefer the foam guards because they are easy to remove when a cleaning is needed. Besides that, they are the most cost-effective product.
Is it Worth The Expense?
Overall, if you don’t have a problem area then getting guards could be an unnecessary expense, since you still have to clean the gutters. But, if you have a gutter that requires constant cleaning, then the right guard can help decrease that frequency.
Who wants to get on the ladder and clean their gutters four or five times a year?
Well, we do. But that’s a different story.