One of the best things about buying your first home is the satisfaction that you've navigated the process of loans, budgeting, and finding the perfect place to call home. However, now that you're all moved in, you want to protect that investment while optimizing your new home budget wherever possible. The best way to do that is to preserve and maintain your home right from the start.
As a new homeowner, you're probably already aware of many home maintenance items you'll need to check regularly, such as air filters, making sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working, and lawn maintenance, but have you thought about your gutters?
Gutters may not get much attention when contemplating home maintenance and savings, but when it comes to protecting your home, they are the hero. Gutters safeguard your home against water damage by diverting water away from the foundation and protecting it from erosion and leaks, so you must keep your gutters and downspouts flowing.
When it rains, gutters collect the water and other debris, such as leaves, pine needles, and sticks, that can prevent the water from draining properly, causing gutter overflow.
While we may not think of water as dangerous, when it comes to our homes, the damage can be devastating. Splashing water from rain can cause wood rotting, bug infestation, mold, erosion, and flooding; which can be costly to repair.
That's where gutter guards come in handy. Gutter guards are installed over the gutters to stop debris from clogging gutters. They allow the water to flow in the gutters and exit in a controlled environment, eliminating water damage to the home and the surrounding foundation.
The Benefits of Gutter Guards
If you've ever had to clean gutters, you may understand that it's a messy and dangerous job. From gutter clogging and rotting leaves, to the occasional rodents, and the equipment you'll need to use while on a ladder, it's not easy. If you clean your gutters yourself, click here to see a video the coolest easy gutter guard.
While gutter guards reduce gutter maintenance, they aren't completely maintenance-free, they can significantly reduce downspouts from filling with leaves and the need for frequent gutter cleaning. So, if you're still wondering if you need gutter guards, read on to learn about the benefits and costs.
Types of Gutter Guards
One of the benefits of gutter guards is that there are a variety of materials to choose from, so before installing gutter guards , check out your options.
- Foam Gutter Guards - foam guards are pieces of gutter foam that fit down into the gutters. They are an inexpensive and lightweight option, but they have extremely tight pores that clog quickly, so the downside is that they will need to be removed to clean often, due to the gutter debris settling on and into the foam: it can be a messy job.
Pros: It is an easy DIY gutter guard option, and is inexpensive.
Cons: Gutter leaves and debris, settles on top of, and into the foam, requiring gutter maintenance frequently which can be difficult and messy.
- Mesh gutter guards - Gutter mesh is a gutter guard option that catches debris while allowing the water to flow through the system freely. They tend to be very expensive and collect debris, which can eventually fall to the ground. This option keeps most gutter debris out of the gutter but often, when covered with gutter leaves, mesh can be the actual reason the rain water misses the gutter all together. Customers with mesh must clean off the top of the gutter mesh itself regularly, or it becomes a ramp sending the water past the gutter.
Pros: Blocks large debris from entering the gutter system..
Cons: Professional installation is required, which can be expensive: and you may have to brush or clean off the top of the screen on a regular basis.
- Screen gutter guards - Similar to mesh guards, screen gutter guards have larger openings that allow both water and small debris to enter. They accept the rain water better than mesh gutter guards, but they also do let debris into the screen opening so maintenance and gutter cleaning ( inside the gutter ) is required.
Pros: block large debris, and acceptance of fast rain water is pretty good..
Cons: Must be removed to clean the screen itself as well as inside the gutter, yearly. Holes may be too large to block some debris.
- Brush gutter guards - Gutter Guard Brushes are an easy and inexpensive way to avoid gutter clogging and, at the same time, allow water to flow freely into the gutters. As you may expect, gutter brushes are long round bristle brushes that easily slide into the gutter to protect against debris buildup. They are an easy DIY gutter guard option that won't break the bank. They solve gutter clogging the easy way, and they accept rain water better than any other gutter guard option. Nothing is fastened so eventually, down the line, gutter maintenance is very easy. At some point you can completely remove, renew, and reuse Gutterbrush.
Pros: Durable option, inexpensive, available in several sizes to guard any size gutter, solves clogging, lasts over 10 years, easy to install.
Cons: All Gutter guards require maintenance at some point, but this one is the easiest to maintain since nothing is fastened.
Gutter Guard Costs
Gutter guards come in various types and price points, so no matter your budget, you'll find an option that fits your needs. Generally, gutter guards cost anywhere from $2.50 per foot to $ 35.00 per foot, but costs vary.
The price will largely depend on the type chosen and whether there is a need for installation, which can increase costs significantly, but for those of you who would rather do-it-yourself, GutterBrush has some great, affordable options.
Factors that Influence Gutter Guard Installation Costs
Although there are various DIY gutter guard installation options, it can be challenging in some circumstances, and going it alone may not be a good idea. So, when you want to call for help with the ladder, there are a few factors that you may want to consider that can affect costs.
Some of them include the following:
- Gutter guard product type. As discussed, the type of guards you choose can alter gutter guard costs as well as the difficulty of gutter guard installation.
- The current condition of existing gutters. If gutters and downspouts are already damaged or corroded, they may need to be replaced with new gutters before adding gutter guards.
- Roofing. The roof's size, slope, type, shingles and condition can impact gutter guard installation due to possible difficulties in safely accessing gutters. Metal roof gutter guards can differ and may need specialized gutter guards, adding to costs. GutterBrush works with any type of roof because it does not touch or intersect the roof.
- Climate. Depending on the type of climate you live in, heavy-duty rain gutters may be required to make sure they can withstand the elements such as strong downpours, snow and ice, which can be heavy.
- Obstructions. Foliage, sloped landscaping and trees around the home can make it difficult for installers to access the gutters with a ladder, adding time to the installation process.
- Labor costs. Some states can have higher labor rates, making the installation more costly. The slower and more complicated the gutter guard installation, the more expensive the labor and therefore the total gutter guard cost. Faster easier gutter guard systems tend to be less expensive due to a lower gutter guard labor component.
Gutter guards can do so much to offer gutter protection for your home and save you money over time. While you have a variety of choices, you'll want to consider all factors, including gutter guard costs and ease of installation, when making the final decision.