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Are you considering installing gutter guards but wondering if they still require cleaning? Gutter guards can be a smart investment for your home, reducing maintenance, preventing insect infestations, protecting your home from water damage, and even offering fire protection.

However, there are still common myths about gutters and gutter guards that need debunking. Additionally, while gutter guards can drastically reduce debris buildup, they are not 100% foolproof and may still require cleaning. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of gutter guards, common myths, and why gutter guards may still need cleaning despite their design.

What Are Gutter Guards, And How Do They Work?

Gutter guards are a system installed over the tops of your gutters to keep debris like leaves and twigs from entering while still allowing water to drain away from your home. These guards are also called gutter screens, helmets, or covers. Gutter guards are a good tool if they are properly installed and maintained, but they’re not entirely worry-free. They don’t provide foolproof protection against all debris, but they can help you cut back on yearly upkeep, cleaning, and maintenance.

The advantages of professionally installed gutter guards are numerous, with few drawbacks. Gutter guards cut down on the need for maintenance, reducing the recurring stress of clogged gutters. They also reduce the risk of damage to your home and property, allowing for water to go where it’s supposed to instead of causing roof or foundation damage. Gutter guards are also safer to clean than traditional gutters, requiring only a long brush to remove leaves that may accumulate on top. Lastly, they can even increase your home’s resale value if installed correctly.

The Benefits of Gutter Guards for Home Maintenance and Protection

Save Money and Time

Gutter guards are a smart investment for your home that can save you time and money. Without gutter guards, you’ll have to clean your gutters or hire a professional, which takes time and money. Even with gutter guards, occasional maintenance may be required, but they are much easier to clean compared to clogged gutters filled with twigs, leaves, and debris.

Prevent Insect Infestation

Gutter guards also help prevent infestations of mice, insects, and other vermin by minimizing stagnant water in your gutters. They act as a physical barrier, preventing animals from accessing your roof space. In addition, gutter guards can help alleviate ice dams and gutter freezing by preventing debris from accumulating in your gutters.

Prevent your Home From Water Damage

One of the main benefits of gutter guards is that they protect your home. Clogged gutters can cause overflowing water, leading to foundation damage, mold and mildew development, roof damage, and basement flooding. Gutter guards can also reduce the need for gutter cleaning, which can be a difficult and dangerous task.

Fire Protection

Gutter guards also offer added fire protection in areas prone to bush and brush fires. They act as a barrier between debris and embers, preventing potential ignition. Gutter guards can also prevent premature rust and corrosion in your gutters, extending their lifespan.

Common Myths About Gutters and Gutter Guards and Why They May Need to Be Cleaned

1. Myth 1: Installing roof guttering is easy – This is not entirely true. Unless you have experience with power tools and know how to properly measure and angle gutters, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Incorrect installation can lead to sagging gutters and water not properly draining to the downspout.

2. Myth 2: Roof gutters last forever – While gutters don’t require expensive maintenance, they do need regular cleaning and inspection. Twigs, leaves, and other debris can accumulate and cause clogs, and gutters can also be damaged by trees or warping over time.

3. Myth 3: Cleaning the gutters is easy – Climbing a ladder to clean gutters can be dangerous, with ladder falls being a common cause of DIY injuries. Gutters can also be difficult to clean during wet or icy conditions, especially in winter months.

4. Myth 4: A gutter guard is not necessary – Gutter guards can actually be beneficial in reducing the need for frequent gutter cleaning. They can prevent debris from entering the gutters and make maintenance easier. Installing gutter guards along with new gutters is a practical option.

5. Myth 5: No trees, no debris – Even if there are no trees around, gutters can still accumulate debris such as dirt, ice, or other debris. Regular gutter cleaning and inspection are still necessary.

6. Myth 6: It doesn’t matter when you clean your gutters – Timing matters when it comes to gutter cleaning. Spring and fall are the recommended times, with early spring allowing for post-winter inspection and late fall after leaves have fallen.

7. Myth 7: Cleaning the gutters is enough – Regular cleaning is important, but it’s also crucial to schedule inspections for other issues such as debris buildup, blocked downspouts, leaking corners, and damaged hardware to avoid further problems like mold or rot.

8. Myth 8: It is okay to use a pressure cleaner on gutters – Using pressure cleaners or leaf blowers can actually cause more harm than good, pushing debris into downpipes and causing more blockage. It’s best to ask professionals about their cleaning methods.

9. Myth 9: Insurance will cover water damage caused by clogged gutters – Insurance may not cover water damage caused by clogged gutters, highlighting the importance of regular professional gutter cleaning to prevent costly damage.

10. Myth 10: Gutters do not affect the health of the roof – Gutters and roofs work together to keep the home dry. Properly functioning gutters are essential in directing rainwater away from the house, preventing damage to the roof and the overall health of the home.

Why Gutter Guards May Still Need to Be Cleaned Despite Their Design

Gutter guards are a great investment for keeping your gutters clean and preventing debris from clogging them. They drastically reduce the number of leaves, twigs, and debris that end up in your gutters, but they are not 100% foolproof. Smaller particles like pine needles, seeds, and twigs can still find their way through, especially if you live in a rainy or windy area. Gutter covers might make it harder to see when debris piles up, and water can back up underneath your shingles, causing roof leaks and damage.

So, while gutter guards can block larger falling leaves or twigs, you can’t solely depend on them to eliminate the need for routine cleaning. You will still need to clean the top of your gutter guards throughout the year to ensure water can still drain through, and you may need to remove and clean any debris that makes it into your gutters.

Regularly cleaning your gutter guards offers several benefits. It keeps the meshes or grilles more effective, allowing more water to flow through smoothly. It keeps your gutters looking clean and prevents the accumulation of grime and dirt. It reduces the frequency of gutter and downpipe cleaning as it prevents debris buildup. It also prevents premature rust and corrosion for metal gutter guards, saving you costly replacements. Additionally, it lowers the risk of fire, as dry vegetation on top of gutter guards can create hazardous conditions.

If you need help with the gutter guard or gutter cleaning, you can rely on our professional services. We provide exceptional drainage and gutter cleaning services in the southeast area of the US. Our team can provide you with a free quote and the lowest price guaranteed. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for a hassle-free and effective gutter-cleaning solution.

How Often Should Gutter Guards Be Cleaned to Maintain Their Effectiveness?

Simply put gutter guards, just like gutters, require regular cleaning to maintain their effectiveness. It is recommended to have your gutters and gutter guards cleaned at least twice a year and even more frequently if your property is surrounded by trees that shed a lot of debris, like pine trees.

It’s a good idea to inspect your gutters and gutter guards throughout the year, especially in autumn, when leaves are most likely to cause blockages, and in winter, to check for snow and ice issues. Spring and summer tend to cause fewer problems, but it’s still advisable to check based on the foliage around your property.

When it comes to gutter cleaning and gutter guard installation, it’s always best to enlist the help of professional gutter cleaners. Attempting to do it yourself can be dangerous without adequate knowledge and experience, and you risk damaging your property or improperly installing the guards.

If you have or are considering gutter guards for your home, you may wonder if they eliminate the need for gutter cleaning altogether. While gutter guards are designed to reduce maintenance, they may not completely eliminate them. Over time, small seams where the panels of the gutter guards are joined can become bigger, allowing debris to get caught. Therefore, it’s advisable to check the status of your gutter guards at least twice a year to ensure the seams are intact and there are no clogs.

do gutter guards need cleaning

Signs That Your Gutter Guards May Need Cleaning or Maintenance

Listen to your gut! When it starts whispering, ‘Clean me!’ it’s time to pay attention. Don’t let your gutters be an afterthought; keep an eye out for these eight tell-tale signs that they’re due for a little TLC.

· Animals Are Crawling Inside Them: Squirrels, mice, rats, frogs, and other critters can make themselves at home in clogged gutters, and that’s not something you want.

· Water Staining: If you notice water stains on your fascia boards or roofing, it’s time to clean gutters. Clogged gutters can cause standing water and poor water flow, leading to structural damage and health risks.

· Sagging Gutters: Sagging gutters can be a sign of too much weight from debris or a clog in the downspout. This can damage the gutter system and may require costly repairs.

· Overflowing Water: If water is overflowing out of the sides of your gutters during a rainstorm, it may be a sign of clogged gutters or inadequate downspout size. Overflowing water can damage landscaping and erode topsoil.

· Insect Infestation: Standing water and debris in gutters can attract insects like ants, termites, and roaches, leading to infestations and potential damage to your home’s structure.

· Plant Growth: Moss and other plants can grow in clogged gutters, causing further blockage and damage to the gutters and roof.

· Peeling Paint: If you notice peeling paint on the exterior of your home, it may be due to water overflowing from clogged gutters, causing moisture damage.

· Gutters Are Visible: Finally, if you can see debris or water overflowing from your gutters, it’s a clear sign that they need cleaning and maintenance.

Don’t ignore these signs. Regular gutter cleaning is essential to prevent water damage, pest infestations, and other costly problems. Consider hiring professional gutter cleaners for a thorough and effective job.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do gutter guards completely eliminate the need for gutter cleaning?

No, while gutter guards can significantly reduce the amount of debris that enters your gutters, they are not 100% foolproof. Some smaller particles like dirt, pollen, and shingle granules may still make their way through the gutter guards and accumulate in the gutters, requiring occasional cleaning.

Can I install gutter guards myself?

Installing gutter guards may require experience with power tools and proper measurement and angling of the gutters. It’s best to leave it to the professionals to ensure correct installation and avoid issues like sagging gutters or improper drainage.

Do gutter guards prevent all types of debris from entering the gutters?

While gutter guards are designed to keep out leaves, twigs, and larger debris, smaller particles like dirt, pollen, and shingle granules may still pass through and require cleaning. However, gutter guards can significantly reduce the amount of debris that enters the gutters compared to unprotected gutters.

Can I clean gutter guards with a pressure cleaner or leaf blower?

Using pressure cleaners or leaf blowers to clean gutter guards can actually cause more harm than good, pushing debris into downpipes and causing more blockage. It’s best to consult professionals for recommended cleaning methods for gutter guards to avoid damaging them.

 Do gutter guards eliminate the need for gutter inspections?

While gutter guards can reduce the need for frequent gutter cleaning, it’s still important to schedule regular inspections for other issues, such as debris buildup, blocked downspouts, leaking corners, and damaged hardware. Regular inspections can help identify and address potential problems early to prevent costly damage to your gutters and home.


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