Gutter guards primarily come in two materials: Plastic and metal. Plastic is usually much more affordable but less durable than metal.
Homeowners who are searching for the best gutter material will come across a lot of options. To make an informed decision and choose the material that best fits your needs and budget, you should take some important factors into consideration:
Each type of gutter material has its pros and cons. For example, plastic gutters may be damaged after extended periods of direct exposure to sunlight. But they are less likely to sustain damage from constant rain like some cheaper steel gutters, which rust and become less effective and durable over time.
Overall though, metal is a much better option than plastic. In most cases, it is much more effective and reliable, and the right choice of metal will avoid the pitfalls of rust or weakness. Aluminium, steel and stainless steel are the three metal gutter materials for guards that homeowners can choose from.
High-grade aluminium can last for decades.Australian aluminium is famous for being durable, light and rustproof and does not become brittle and crack over time. Its clean and streamlined appearance is also a plus.
BlueScope COLORBOND steel is the most highly recommended metal. It can withstand the elements, so is ideal for areas that have harsh and unpredictable weather conditions. Its baked-on paint finish makes it resistant to chipping, cracking and peeling.Take care to buy BlueScope Colourbond steel rather than repainted BlueScope Zinc, as this will not last as long.
Marinegrade stainless steel is a good choice as well. Since it offers excellent corrosion resistance, it is ideal in marine effected areas.
There is no question that metal is the best material for gutter guards.
Gutter guards are essentially sturdy, protective filters that allow rain water into your gutters while keeping leaves, seeds, organisms and unwanted debris from littering and blocking your gutters. A good quality gutter guard actually needs no maintenance itself… but if any salesperson ever tells you that you never have to clean your gutters again after installing their particular brand of gutter protector –do not believe them.
So what is proper upkeep if the gutter protection does not need it?
A gutter guard is meant to reduce the amount of gutter cleaning that a home owner has to do. But like most products, it has its limitations. No gutter guard will keep all residual matter completely out of the gutters.
Every single brand, make or model will allow a certain amount of silt through, so gutter maintenance is recommended –especially if leaf litter and rains have been heavy for a while.
While gutter cleaning is still necessary, the frequency is dramatically reduced with the right gutter guard fitted on your gutters. It can sometimes take 5 years or more before any gutter clearing is required but it is best to check every 2 to 3 years.
As mentioned, if any gutter guard company claims their product can work wonders and that no maintenance is required after its installation,walk away. That claim is inaccurate and misleading. Remember, every single gutter guard allows a certain amount of silt through, and that silt needs to be removed from the gutters eventually.
Cleaning a gutter protected by a well-designed, quality, metal gutter guard is usually as simple as running the hose through the guard which will then flush out any unwanted materials from the gutters—and you don’t even have to remove the gutter guard to do it. As you clean the gutters it is a good time to also check for any stuck debris or signs of damage to your gutters.
Be sure to completely flush the silt out of the gutter to keep it in peak condition. The other benefit of keeping up with your guttering maintenance is that you will extend the life of your gutter significantly.
In our next post, you can find out what type of gutter material is best for your home. Stay tuned for more helpful articles about gutters and tips on home improvement.
If you missed our post about the importance and benefits of high-quality gutter protection, have a quick refresher here.
When it comes to gutter guard installation, you have two options on how to go about it.
If you feel confident with your knowledge of what the job entails, then you might choose to do the work yourself; or if you want to be sure you have someone who knows how to install a gutter guard, you can have a professional do the job for you.
What to look for in an installer?
Understandably, when installing gutter guard, finding a competent professional to do the job can be challenging. Fortunately, you can easily narrow down your options by looking for someone with two major ‘qualifications’.
The first thing you should look for is experience. It goes without saying that an installer with many years of experience under his belt isn’t much better position, compared to someone who is still trying to learn the ropes. Covering valleys or joins in roofs can be tricky for the less experienced, and if the job is to be done at all it needs to be done right. Ask your potential installer how long they have been doing the work and what sort of experience they’ve had.
The second thing to consider is the type of product the installer uses. Opt for someone who uses good quality and highly effective metal guards, as this guarantees you will get more value for your dollar.Quality gutter guards can withstand even the harshest elements, and are often guaranteed to last up to 20 or 25 years. A person using inferior products can’t help but give inferior results.
Ultimately, if you want to save both time and effort, opting for a professional installation is usually your best recourse. Additionally, this will also spare you from the risks this hard, tedious and dangerous work entails.
Getting a gutter guard installation is one of the wisest home improvements you will ever make. It undoubtedly saves you time and money from fixing clogged gutters. Also it prevents overflowing water that may destroy part of your home. It is no surprise then that gutter protection is what many homeowners use to prevent these issues.
The question is: Is it possible to DIY gutter guard? To help you make a decision that suits your circumstances, lets take a look at the comparison of doing DIY as against giving the job to the professionals.
When you consider DIY, you need to consider the price, design, quality and functionality of the materials you buy. If you are not familiar with these things, it might be hit and miss choosing the right material for the gutter guard for your roof. Investing in worthwhile home improvement definitely needs thorough research especially with questions such as: What type of gutter guard mesh matches your gutter best? Who supplies the best quality gutter protection systems? and How does the type of gutter guard affect the installation process?
If doing DIY, you have to ensure that you have all the safety equipment on hand. It is obviously not like any simple household job as it requires you to climb up the roof, and position yourself so as to be able to install the gutter guard. Aside from securing your ladder, you will need to wear a safety harness.For tools, tinsnips are required to be able to cut the metal guard to fit. A power drill helps to complete the installation safer and quicker.
A challenge is when you have valleys in between your roof angles. Since these valleys meet at opposing angles, installation of gutter guard in valleys usually requires experience in order to fit and perform well.
The slope of your roof will also determine the level of difficulty you will experience when doing DIY. The steeper your roof is, the harder and more dangerous it is to install.
Professionals usually have experience that will help ensure that your gutter protection system is installed on your home properly, will last and will perform well.
Professionals also have all the required safety gear and tools to make sure that the installation is done effectively and safely. Also in most instances the job is done quicker than a DIY installation.
Professionals usually also clean your gutters before installation gutter guard.
Professionals also hold insurance that will cover accidents that may happen during installation.If an accident occurs and happens to damage anything professionals will have insurance to cover this damage. On top of this, they usually offer you a longer warranty period than a DIY installation and if ever there are issues later on will assist.
Whether it is learning how to install gutter guard or leaving it to the professionals, it all boils down to the resources you have in place and what you would prefer spending in terms of time, money, effort and safety.
What is a gutter protection system and what does it do?
In essence, gutter guards or gutter protection systems allow rain water to enter your gutter while it keeps leaves, insects and other unwanted debris out.
Without any protection, leaves and debris can clog both your gutter and downpipes.
Why invest in gutter guards?
The possible damage unprotected gutters can cause should be something many homeowners should not take lightly.
Apart from obvious damages like rotting fascias and peeling paint, unprotected gutters can also encourage the growth of mould especially once the rain water penetrates your home’s walls and foundation.
In addition, exposed gutters can also cause landscape damage and soil erosion.
More importantly, the need to clean them often can put your safety in serious jeopardy. Annually, thousands of people fall from ladders while trying to clean their gutters. Some of these falls are unfortunately fatal.
All things considered, it’s easy to see why investing in gutter guards should be something every homeowner should take seriously.
Finally, apart from helping preserve the integrity and visual appeal of your home, gutter guards can also help boost the value of your property.
What is the most effective type of gutter protection?
While there are different types of gutter protection options to choose from, screens are considered by many to be the most efficient gutter guard alternative available.
This type of gutter protection system has many different variations, of which the best are listed below.
Colorbond gutter guard – Made from BlueScope steel of the highest quality, this is considered ideal for both residential and commercial applications.
Stainless steel – With its marine grade stainless steel, this type is believed to outlast most gutters. In addition, this mesh also comes with water diverting technology which can allow as much as 150 inches of water per hour to flow through the micro mesh into your gutter.
Aluminum – Apart from being known to provide total protection against ember attacks, this gutter protection alternative is known for its fitting technology which allows safer and easier installation.
Taking into account all the benefits a superb gutter protection system can offer, it’s easy to see why it has become a staple in many households. Over the years, you can expect many benefits from installing a gutter protection system and certainly helps homeowners preserve and enjoy their properties for many years to come.