Should I Install Gutter Guards?
At first glance, this might seem like a stupid question. If you can afford it, why not? But the answer is much more nuanced than you might expect.
The benefits of gutter guards appear obvious at first: By keeping out leaves and debris, you’ll eliminate a lot of maintenance—dangerous maintenance. After all, no one wants to fall off a ladder while cleaning out their gutters.
But gutter guards won’t completely eliminate maintenance. They’re great for keeping maple leaves and other large foliage from out of your gutters, but they’re less effective at keeping out small or thin foliage, like pine needles or tiny debris. They require cleaning themselves too—albeit at a less frequent rate.
Gutter guards also come with a whole new set of problems. For example, they’re vulnerable to ice dams—those icy buildups around the roof’s perimeter—which are a major cause of roof leakage and water damage.
Depending on the style of gutter guard, they might not even collect all the rainwater either. The smaller the holes, the less water volume they can handle at once. What’s the point of having gutters if they’re not collecting rainwater runoff?
Lastly, gutter guards are expensive. You have to consider how much you’ll save on maintenance by installing them. Do you clean your own gutters, or do you hire a professional to clean them? If you clean them yourself, the cost might be worth the reduced labor. But if you’re hiring a professional, you might just consider having them cleaned a few more times a year.
Whether or not you should install gutter guards is really based on your individual circumstance.