In a time when everyone is watching their pennies and trying to spend wisely, is it worth investing in a gutter guard protection system? Will the value of the protection system and aesthetic value outweigh the upfront cost? In this article, we explore common problems prevented with a gutter guard protection system to help you determine for yourself, if you should consider the investment. To understand the value, let’s first look at the value of gutters themselves. Gutters capture rain and snow melt and direct it away from your home. Without gutters, water would run down the façade of your home and pool up around your foundation. Over time, the water will corrode your homes walls and foundation, causing costly structural damage, water in your basement, and landscape erosion. Gutters are critical to protecting your home.
Let’s look at some common problems that can be prevented with a gutter guard protection product:
To keep gutters working properly, they must be professionally installed using material that is appropriate strength for drainage needs. From there, you need to keep the gutters and downspouts clear of debris and free-flowing at all times. Seems easy enough, assuming you are willing to spend a few hours going up and down a ladder, or hiring someone every time it needs to be done. Just remember, if you live near a lot of trees, your gutters could require cleaning upwards of five times a year or more.
Unfortunately, gutter cleaning is not something you can overlook. Clogging is the main problem that prevents gutters from properly draining water away from your home and you don’t want to learn the hard way just how damaging clogged gutters can be to your property.
Another factor that prevents gutters from working is sagging. Sagging looks much like it sounds: gutters bending in between the hangers, causing water to pool up and overflow rather than flow towards downspouts. Sagging not only looks bad, but it can render your gutters almost useless in their ability to protect your home. Sagging occurs when gutters are not installed properly, or the gutter material has weakened from age or erosion. One of the main accelerators of sagging is clogged gutters. When water sits in your gutters too long, it mixes with debris to become a corrosive sludge that breaks down your gutters to the point where they become completely ineffective.
Another problem to consider is ice damming – a wall of ice that forms in your gutter, preventing melting water (snow) from draining through gutter and down your downspout. In the Mid-Atlantic portions of the United States this is a dangerous situation, since the longer ice accumulates in your gutters, the better chance they have of damaging your gutters to point where they can sometimes pull away or completely off your home. The water that is dammed therefore has nowhere to go and will follow the path of least resistance leading to potentially devastating flooding issues.
The process of ice damming is complex, but the cause is sometimes very simple. Clogged gutters can perpetuate ice damming by preventing snow melt from entering your gutters, water becomes backed up, water gathers then freezes in your gutters, starting the ice damming process.
How a Gutter Guard Protection System Can Help
As you can see from reading this article, the leading cause of gutter damage is clogging. Keeping gutters flowing freely at all times is critical to the protection of your home. If climbing up and down a ladder seems like a dangerous chore, or you realize that shelling out money every time your gutters need cleaning is not a long term solution, you should seriously consider a gutter guard protection system. And don’t settle for a product that doesn’t guarantee your gutters won’t clog. The last thing you need is to invest in a gutter protection product that still requires that you manually clean out your gutters, even occasionally.