Many people in Kansas City dream of owning their own home, but once that dream becomes a reality, it’s only a matter of time before the homeowner realizes the extent of the work that goes along with homeownership. No one mentions that during the home-buying process, do they? While many starry-eyed do-it-yourselfers embrace home maintenance and repair projects, many would just as soon ignore them like an ostrich with its head in the sand. These are the people most likely to invest in gutter guards for their new home, hoping they’ll never have to clean gutters in the future.
But is that really true?
Many homeowners are dismayed to discover that gutter guards, while very effective at minimizing gutter issues, may not eliminate them altogether. At Energy Pro Windows and Siding, we like to make sure customers are educated before they make any costly decisions about maintenance or repair projects. Our goal is exceptional customer service and satisfaction; we don’t want anyone to be disappointed after a gutter guard purchase.
Why Use Gutter Guards?
In a nutshell, gutter guards are designed to help your gutters do the job they were designed to do more effectively. A well-designed guttering system catches moisture from the roof and channels it to the downspouts attached at the corners of the house. The downspouts then carry the water down and away from the foundation. The challenge is that most gutters are open on the top – they’re essentially open troughs. Not only do they catch water; they also catch a lot of debris like leaves, sticks, branches, and roofing material. These items build up in the troughs, making it difficult for water to get to the downspouts. When this happens, the water backs up.
Clogged gutters can cause all sorts of problems. If it’s cold enough, the water may freeze in the gutter, which could then cause it to expand and crack, break, or pull away from the house. Clogged gutters are also heavier, and the weight alone can cause gutters to pull away from the fascia. When this happens, you’re often stuck with a sizable repair bill.
Effectiveness Depends on Different Variables
The effectiveness of gutter guards depends on several variables:
The quality of the original gutter installation job. A poor gutter installation job can cause all kinds of problems. Gutters that were not attached correctly may pull away from the fascia, increasing the chance that water will eventually cascade down the sides of the house in heavy rain. This is hard on both the siding and the foundation. Moisture is the enemy of housing construction materials, and your home’s foundation can be weakened in this situation, or your basement may flood. Likewise, siding subjected to torrents of water during every rain will eventually wear down, allowing water to penetrate the walls, which could lead to mold and mildew issues.
If your current gutter system is showing signs of wear or of being incorrectly installed to begin with, gutter guards won’t help the situation. Invest in a professional gutter replacement job first. Then install gutter guards to keep your new gutters working effectively.
The type of gutter guard system. Not all gutter guard systems are created equal. Some provide more protection than others. It’s important to know which kind of gutter guard offers the most protection for your home based on what’s going on in your yard. A micro-mesh gutter guard system may be best if your yard is full of mature trees, while your neighbor without as many trees might do well with a metal screen-type guard.
How frequently you clean out your gutters. Regardless of what kind of gutter guards you choose, you’ll still need to clean out the gutters. But gutter guards help by cutting down on the frequency and labor involved in this tedious task. They also reduce the risk of someone falling off a ladder since gutters will need less frequent attention.
If you have gutter guards, why do you still need to clean them out? Even the best gutter guards aren’t impervious to small particles of debris. Because of the design, small bits of leaves, sticks, acorns, or roofing material can still find their way into the gutters. At some point, it’ll gain critical mass and need to be cleared out. Otherwise, it’ll overload the gutters. They’ll get heavy and may start to pull away from the house. And that’s when the trouble starts.
How good is the installation job? Many homeowners want to install gutter guards themselves to save money, and for some, that’s a viable option. But many of the higher-end gutter guards require professional installation by Kansas City gutter guard companies to make sure they perform to the manufacturer’s standards. A good gutter guard installation job ensures top performance.
Here’s Our Assessment
While most gutter guards do hold up to the claims in the advertising, they’re not foolproof. Having gutter guards installed on your home drastically reduces the need for frequent gutter maintenance.
If you’re overwhelmed by the types of gutters or gutter guards that are available these days, give us a call at Energy Pro Windows and Siding. We’re the experts when it comes to gutter installation and gutter replacement in Kansas City. Whether you live in Prairie Village, Overland Park, Leawood, Olathe, or Lee’s Summit, or southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas, we’ll help you assess your unique situation and guide you to the gutters and gutter guards that are the best solution for your home.