Home maintenance can become overwhelming sometimes, but it’s something we must do if we want to live in a safe and healthy space. Even though maintenance projects aren’t fun by any means, there are a few things you can do to make them easier and more manageable.
One of the greatest methods to optimize your maintenance sessions is to install a gutter guard system. These systems prevent debris buildup in your gutters while allowing water to flow without any issues.
By getting a gutter guard system, you will be able to save time and money in the future, so this is an investment that all homeowners should consider at some point.
How do you install a gutter guard? The process may seem complicated for some, but as long as you prepare accordingly and get the right materials for your property, you won’t have problems.
To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled everything you need to install gutter guards easily in this guide. If you’re ready to get your roof the protection it needs against pine needles, leaves, and other kinds of debris, keep reading!
How Important Are Gutter Guards?
Getting gutter guards installed can save you from many headaches in the future. The purpose of these systems is to promote correct water flow and prevent debris from building up in your roof.
Another benefit of the gutter guard is that it can keep certain animals and insects from making a home in your gutters.
Clogged gutters can cause plenty of issues down the road. While you can solve the issue by inspecting your gutters occasionally, this process can easily become daunting. Thankfully, you can make your gutter cleaning sessions easier by installing gutter guards.
To summarize, gutter guards aren’t necessary, but they’ll give you peace of mind in the long run.
What Happens If You Don’t Install Gutter Guards at Home?
You’ll have a higher risk of getting clogged gutters quickly. This problem will eventually damage your home’s roof and foundation.
If the damage is severe enough, you’ll have to spend a ton of money on repairs in the future, so it’s never a bad idea to install something that will prevent most of these issues.
Keep in mind that installing gutter guards doesn’t mean you can stop cleaning your gutters. However, by installing this system, the cleaning process will become much easier, and you won’t have to do it as frequently.
Is Installing Gutter Guards Hard?
We’d say installing a gutter guard is an “intermediate” job. Even though we don’t recommend it for beginners, it’s not as hard as some people make it to be.
If you take the time to get the right materials and learn as much as you can about the process, you’ll be able to install your gutter covers within a few hours. The process becomes even easier if you get the easiest gutter guard system to install on the market.
On the other hand, if you don’t have enough experience or don’t feel confident enough to get the process done, we suggest you leave everything to a professional. It may involve an extra investment on your behalf, but you’ll ensure there won’t be any future issues to worry about.
Which Materials Do You Need?
Your materials list will depend on the gutter guard you’re installing. Most of the time, however, you may have to get the following:
- Tape measure
- Handsaw/circular saw
You should also get a few gutter-cleaning tools to ensure no debris is around when installing your guards.
Different Types of Gutter Guards You Can Install
One of the most important steps to follow is choosing the right gutter guard system. All systems have the same goals, which are protecting your property from debris and promoting water flow.
However, each option will offer you slightly different advantages and features. They also have different installation procedures. Some will snap onto the gutter lip easily, whereas others will need screws or tape to fit your gutter.
Here’s an overview of the most popular systems you can get today:
Brush/Foam Gutter Guards
Foam and brush guards are considered the easiest options to install. If you don’t have too much experience, you may want to go for one of these.
The foam gutter guard system (also called “gutter sponge”) will let water pass through it while keeping most debris out. Depending on where you get this gutter guard, you may have to trim it to fit your gutters.
Unfortunately, foam gutters have a few issues. First, this system is more prone to cracking, shrinking, and freezing. It can also foster moss and algae. If you’re looking for a durable system, you may want to consider another option.
Brush gutter guards, on the other hand, are made of stiff bristles. They can block most types of debris, ensuring your gutters are safe for the most part. The only downside to this material is that you’ll have to remove and clean it periodically to prevent smaller debris from building up.
Other than that, brush guards can last for many years.
Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards
Micro-mesh guards are known for being similar to gutter screens (we’ll cover those in a moment). The main benefit of this system is that it doesn’t require as much maintenance compared to the options mentioned above.
In most cases, you can expect these gutter guards to last at least 20 years.
You can find several micro-mesh gutter guards with DIY installation kits, although other brands may require professional installation services.
Gutter screens are similar to guards but with a few differences. If you’re looking for a DIY installation project, this may be the right option to pick. These screens can last from five to 10 years when installed and maintained correctly.
Screens are available in a wide range of materials, and they come with different hole sizes. If you get something with large holes, it will not do a great job of keeping debris out. On the other hand, a system with smaller holes will do a more efficient job, but it will be harder to clean.
Usually, gutter screens are secured easily. You will slide one of the sides under the first row of the roof shingles. The other side will attach to the gutter system. You can expect different attachment methods for them, such as clips, screws, tape, or even support brackets.
Regarding gutter screens, you can either purchase them in pre-cut sizes or cut them yourself.
Reverse-Curve Gutter Guards
These systems use surface tension to get water to flow into your gutters while letting debris roll off. This is possible because the guard extends farther than your gutters before it curves back.
Reverse-curve guards may be among the most durable options on the market, although they require professional installation.
How to Install Gutter Guards Correctly
Prep time is key to ensuring everything goes smoothly. Here are a few things you must keep in mind before you start installing anything:
- Inspect your gutter system, roof, and shingles. If there’s any damage, make sure to fix it before installing the guards.
- Find secure footing for your ladder.
- Clean/test your gutters.
- Choose an appropriate guard type for your gutters.
- Gather the correct tools and materials to get the project done.
The installation process depends on the type of system you have. Make sure to follow your manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any problems.
Foam/brush guards, for example, only require you to place them inside the gutter, whereas screen guards need to slide under the first row of your shingles. Certain guard brands will require you to install support brackets, screws, or other fasteners.
In most cases, it’s complicated to get the exact amount of “product” you need, as most manufacturers sell their guards in sections. You may need to trim the ends of the guards to fit your gutters, which you can do with circular saws or tin snips.
Once you trim your guards, install and secure them accordingly.
Tips to Avoid Mistakes When Installing Gutter Guard Systems
Here’s a list of tips that will make the installation process much easier for you:
- Get help from a second person if you plan on using a ladder.
- Try not to make too many trips up and down your ladder.
- Don’t lean your ladder against the gutters, as this can damage them.
- Attach a bucket to your ladder with the S-hook to make the cleaning process easier.
How Much Does a Gutter Guard System Cost?
It depends on the guards you’re getting, how big your home is, your roof type, the condition of your gutters, and other factors.
You can expect installation services to cost from $600 to $2,000. Feel free to request a quote from our company to get an accurate estimate.
How Long Will It Take to Install Your Guards?
In most cases, it will take less than a day to install gutter guards, although the timeline will depend on whether you do it yourself and the guard system you get.
If you hire a professional, it won’t take too long to get the process done.
Consider a Professional Gutter Guard Installation
Even though you could save plenty of money by installing DIY gutter guards, there are a few things you must consider first.
If your gutters aren’t in good condition or easily accessible, you may be better off hiring a professional. Furthermore, if you’re not comfortable with using a ladder or can’t get help from other people, you should invest in expert services.
Professionals ensure you don’t have to do anything, and they have enough experience to give you peace of mind for the future. In the end, you’ll save time and money.
Installing your own gutter guards doesn’t have to be complicated, but if you feel like you can’t handle everything yourself, it’s better to leave the project to a professional.
An expert team will be able to inspect your home and give you the perfect solution to keep debris out and ensure your roof and foundation don’t take any damage.
If you’re interested in installing gutter guards, don’t hesitate to contact our team for more information.
Can I Install Gutter Guards Myself?
Yes, as long as you get the right materials to do it and have a bit of experience with the process. If you’re not sure if you have the skills, we suggest you contact a professional.
How Should Gutter Guards Be Installed?
The installation process depends on the type of guards you get. In most cases, though, you must ensure you’re following these steps:
- Clean your gutters.
- Trim the guards to fit your gutter system.
- Place or secure your guards, according to the instructions you got from the manufacturer.
Should Gutter Guards Be Installed Under Shingles?
It depends on the case, although it’s usually more convenient to install them on top of your roof shingles. If you install guards under the shingles, you could expose your roof to water damage.
Can "Leaf Guard" Be Installed on Existing Gutters?
In most cases, you can install guards on your current gutters without any issues. If your gutters are in poor shape, however, you may want to consider getting a new system before installing guards.