Are Gutter Guards Worth It? Everything You Need To Know

Wednesday, July 13th, 2022 by Hannah Holland

The gutter is a vital part of your home's drainage system. But it's also one of those things you don't think about until it's clogged with leaves or when you find water in your basement. And if you're anything like us, you've probably thought about putting up gutter guards to prevent these issues in the first place.

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Gutter guards are simple devices that attach to the inside of your gutters and prevent debris from entering them. They're made out of metal, mesh, or plastic, and they're designed to fit snugly into your existing gutters so that rainwater easily flows through them without getting caught on leaves or other debris.

But why should you invest in gutter guards? And do they even work? We go over all of this and more in this blog post. Let's dive in.

The purpose of gutters

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Gutters are responsible for draining water away from your home. When it rains, water slopes down your roof and into your gutters. Your gutters then funnel that water into downspouts. And the downspouts direct that water away from the vulnerable areas like your foundation and basement. They are vital to the home's structural integrity. But only when the gutter is kept clean and free from debris.

Gutter's aren't perfect

As we alluded to just now, gutters only work when they aren't filled with leaves, twigs, pine needles, and other debris. Clogged gutters are nearly as bad as having no gutters at all. 

When rainwater meets a clogged gutter, it has nowhere to go, but over the edge of the gutter.

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Once rainwater pours over the gutter, it starts to pool around your home. Soil can only absorb so much, so the water will find its way into the cracks of your walls and into your home.

But cleaning gutters is no easy feat. It involves climbing on your roof, via a ladder, with a hose to clean them out. This might sound easy, in theory, but if you don't have experience working on a ladder, cleaning gutters can be challenging and potentially dangerous.

Luckily, though, gutter guards prevent this entire experience from happening.

Types of gutter guards

There are a few different types of gutter guards to choose from.

1. Brush gutter guards. As the name implies, brush gutter guards are heavy bristles that are placed at the bottom of the gutter to block large debris. 

2. Foam gutter guards. Foam gutter guards consist of a foam insert that acts as a sponge to filter debris out of the water. 

3. Screen gutter guards. Screens are the most common type of gutter guard. They feature a wire or plastic grid that blocks debris.

4. Mesh gutter guards. Similar to screen gutter guards, mesh gutter guards have smaller holes. Typically made of stronger materials like stainless steel, they're more permanent than the others.

6 advantages of gutter guards

1. Easy maintenance and cleaning

Gone are the days of getting on the roof and cleaning the gutters. With gutter guards, maintenance is easy (if leaves get stuck on top just brush them off). And since their whole purpose is to prevent clogs, you don't have to clean your gutters annually or bi-annually anymore.

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2. Prevents water and structural damage to your home.

We're a foundation repair company and part of that job is figuring out the root of the foundation problem. One of the first things we inspect is the gutters. Clogged gutters are one of the biggest reasons for bowing walls and water in the basement. Investing in gutter guards is investing in protecting your home (and your wallet) from future damage. 

3. No animals will make a home out of your gutters

Leaves, twigs, and pine needles are the perfect materials for a little nest. So imagine a little critter, like a bird or mouse, stumbling upon your clogged gutters. Jackpot, right? They don't even have to scavenge for their nest, it is basically already made for them in your gutters. And on top of that, the stagnant water that has nowhere to go because of your clogged gutters looks like a perfect breeding ground for mosquitos. And just like that, your gutters are now a little ecosystem. Gutter guards prevent this from happening. Not only are they a physical barrier that prevents anything from building a nest, but they also minimize the amount of water sitting in your gutters. 

4. Wood rot, rust, and corrosion are a thing of the past

Your gutters will rust prematurely if you have wet debris sitting there. Plus, that moisture will make the wood on your home start to rot. But with gutter guards, your gutter's lifespan is prolonged. 

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5. No more mold and mildew

Mold and mildew are unpleasant, especially inside your home. Leaves, dirt, and twigs are organic materials that harbor mold spores. This debris plus stagnant water allows mold to thrive. 

6. Easily installed on your existing gutters

The best thing about gutter guards? You don't need a whole new gutter system. They are quickly installed on your existing gutters.

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3 disadvantages of gutter guards

1. Installation isn't an easy DIY job.

A lot of people DIY their gutter guards, but the best, long-lasting gutter guards need to be installed by a professional.

2. Quality varies depending on the type of gutter guard

Some gutter guards aren't as effective as others, and are more of a hassle to deal with than anything. Make sure you do research, shop carefully, and find a reputable company to install.

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3. Might not be compatible with your roof

Some gutter guards attach to your roof and might void your warranty. Make sure you pick the type that works the best with your home.

What type of gutter guard is the best?

After going over the types of gutter guards, it's clear to see they all have their own pros and cons. What is best for your home may not be best for someone else. But we will say this, the most important choice to make is who you pick to install them.

Even though installing it yourself can save you money, you run the risk of getting the wrong type of guards for your home and damaging your roof. 

Installing RainDrop Gutter guards

Here at Midwest, we are an exclusive installer of RainDrop gutter guards. RainDrop is a hybrid combination of a gutter screen and hood. This unique construction makes it insanely durable and effective. They work on every roof style and fit all gutter types. If you're interested in learning more about RainDrop, we're here to help answer any questions. Our gutter experts will visit your home for a free, no-obligation inspection. We want to help you find the best fit for your home. If you'd like to schedule a free estimate, please give us a call at 515-289-1606  or fill out our online contact form and we'll get right back to you.

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Our Locations:

Midwest Foundation Repair
9850 Douglas Ave Suite 100
Urbandale, IA 50322