We all know when we buy a home that it takes work and maintenance, but let’s be honest, some chores are more manageable than others. Cleaning out gutters isn’t anyone’s favorite.
The job is messy and often time-consuming. No matter how much experience you have on a ladder, there’s always a bit of anxiety that comes with the height too.
As unpleasant as it is, gutter cleaning needs to be done. That is, it needs to be done if you don’t have a gutter guard system. If you’re considering a gutter guard to make your life easier, let’s talk about the many benefits you’ll enjoy.
Benefits of a Gutter Guard System
If you aren’t familiar with a gutter guard, it’s a solid mesh-like plate that goes over the top of your gutters. It keeps out large debris like leaves and sticks will letting water pass through. The idea is to keep the debris out in the first place so you don’t need to clean your gutters so often.
Less Maintenance Work
Cleaning your gutters is a lot of work, and it’s work you can skip if you have a gutter guard system. This is especially helpful for homes surrounded by trees. Some homeowners find themselves cleaning their gutters every few weeks in the fall, so a gutter guard can make a huge difference.
Keep in mind that a gutter guard doesn’t mean you never have to clean your gutters again. You should still check your gutters from time to time because smaller debris like dirt may get into them. It’s far less likely for that small debris to fill up your gutters, but it can happen.
Preventing Roof Damage
Clogged gutters seem like a small issue until you see all the expensive damage they can cause. Your roof is one of the primary areas at risk.
If your gutters are clogged and water can’t get in, the water from rain and snow pools on your roof instead. The extended moisture can lead to rot or other water damage on your roof, as well as mold and mildew.
This is an especially large problem during our cold Midwestern winters. When water pools around the edges of your roof during the winter, it freezes.
The result is a barrier of ice around the edge of the roof, called an ice dam. This prevents snow and ice from getting off the roof. The weight and water damage from that snow gets expensive in a hurry.
Keeping Leaks Out
When water can’t escape from your roof by getting into the gutters, you’re at serious risk for leaks. The water pooling on the roof may leak down into the roof. In other cases, the water falls off and lands next to your home, where it can seep into the basement walls.
Cleaning your gutters isn’t just inconvenient; it’s dangerous. You’re on a ladder, one or two stories above the ground. No matter how much experience you have on a ladder, there’s always a risk something will break or you’ll lose your balance and have a serious fall.
Every time you clean your gutters, you run that risk. When you have a gutter guard, you need far fewer gutter cleaning sessions so you’re taking fewer risks with your safety.
Saving Your Foundation
“Foundation problems” is a phrase that will terrify any homeowner because of the structural risk and the high bills these repairs bring. A simple clogged gutter can cause a surprising amount of foundation damage.
If your gutters are clogged, rainwater may pass over the top of them and drop to the ground next to your house. The reason your gutters route water away from the home in the first place is so water doesn’t seep into the ground next to the house and reach the foundation.
When water gets into and below your foundation, it may cause expansion and eventually cracks in the foundation. That leads to structural concerns and it’s pricey to repair.
Protecting Your Driveway and Sidewalks
Your driveway, sidewalks, and any other paving around your home has the same issue as your foundation. When you can’t route water correctly, it can get under your paving. The water’s expansion leads to cracks, which means you’re repairing or even replacing your driveway more often.
Avoiding Water-Related Health Problems
Most of the problems with guard-free gutters come down to expensive repairs. There’s something more precious at stake, though: your family’s health.
When water seeps into your home, whether it’s through the roof or basement, it quickly leads to mold or mildew. In fact, it takes a mere 24 to 48 hours of moisture for mold to start growing.
At a minimum, mold can cause irritation in your respiratory system which is irritating and uncomfortable. For people with existing respiratory problems or mold allergies, the risks are far more serious.
Gutter Guard Installation: Hire a Professional or DIY?
With all these advantages to gain, the next step is deciding how to get your gutter guard installed. Is it a job you can DIY or should you hire a professional?
While there are plenty of home improvements that are DIY-friendly, this isn’t one of them. If you install gutter guards incorrectly, they may not be effective. You could have debris getting in, clogging your gutters, and causing damage to your home but you aren’t checking the gutters because you think the guard is working.
There are other risks with DIY installation too. You have the danger of being up high on a ladder, especially because you’re doing a task you don’t know how to do. That can disrupt your balance and coordination, leading to a fall.
On top of this, you could damage your roof, fascia, or gutters while trying to install the gutter guards. At the end of the day, it’s safer for you and your wallet to hire a professional.
Getting Your Gutter Guard
If you’re ready to simplify your home maintenance and get a gutter guard, it’s easier than you think. Contact our gutter experts today to learn more or set up your installation.