Choose the Right Gutter Cover System
Gutter guards, also known as gutter caps and gutter cover systems, are a great way to keep your gutters from getting clogged up by leaves, twigs and other debris. What’s the best gutter cover system for your home?
Why You Need a Gutter Cover System
- Your gutters will last longer.
- You won’t have to clean your gutters as often.
- They prevent birds from nesting in your gutters.
- You can attach them to your existing gutters rather than having to buy a whole new system of gutters and guards.
What Gutter Covers Can’t Do
- Many gutter covers won’t filter out seeds or seed pods. If you don’t clean them out periodically, you could get sprouting seedlings in your gutters.
- They can add excess weight to your gutters. Make sure you use lightweight materials.
- They are not maintenance-free. You still need to clean your gutters regularly.
What Types of Gutter Cover System are Available to Homeowners?
These are the simplest and least expensive gutter guards. They consist of small mesh screens that you can attach to the end of your gutter with nails or screws. Most people with decent DIY skills can attach these themselves.
The screens allow water to flow through your gutter while trapping leaves and other debris. They are a quick, easy solution, but you need to check them frequently. The tight mesh can actually cause debris to build up if you’re not vigilant about cleaning them.
These are panels or inserts made of aluminum, steel, plastic or vinyl.
When you choose a panel system, there are three factors to consider.
1. The Size of the Perforations or Holes
The size of holes in your panel can vary from a tight mesh to a panel with holes that are the size of quarters. The choice depends on the amount of rainfall you get, the type of debris that typically collects in your gutters and how often you clean the gutters.
Tighter holes trap larger amounts of debris and will also catch larger items like twigs and leaves. The downside is that water takes longer to drain out.
Large holes won’t catch small debris like pine needles and small branches, but they will allow faster drainage of water.
2. The Material
What materials are best for your gutter covers? Some people will tell you to stick to aluminum, because it’s durable and rustproof. Others recommend vinyl, because it’s inexpensive, lightweight and also rustproof. A roofing and gutter expert can help you make the right decision.
3. How the Gutter Cover Is Installed
You can install gutter guards or gutter cover systems without fasteners, but doing that can be risky. Many homeowners think they’re saving time and money by installing these guards without fasteners, only to discover that the gutter guard gets swept away by strong winds and rain. It’s more secure to fasten them with a professional installation.
Reverse Curve Gutter Guards
These are the systems sold by various manufacturers of gutter guards. They require professional installation and are more costly than other systems.
They’re also known as surface tension gutter guards, because they use surface tension to guide water and debris out of your gutters.
- They remove both water and debris.
- They push debris off the edges of your gutters.
- They typically come with a manufacturer’s warranty.
- They install permanently onto your home.
- The reverse hood shape creates a gap that can attract nesting birds, wasps or rodents.
- They are more expensive than screens or panels.
Choosing the Right Gutter Guard System
Gutter guards are a great investment in your home. If you need advice about choosing or installing the right gutter cover system, give Last Call Exteriors a call. We’re the roofing and gutter experts who can help you make the right choice based on your needs and your budget.